Egrets and herons are all very agile, twisting this way and that, not minding if their head is upside right or down, as they go about their daily business.
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The Yellow-billed Cuckoo normally forages at tree top level for caterpillars but this small group of 4 or 5 birds was flitting along the ground and low branches at the edge of a swamp near the Waccamaw River. When not eating they stayed perfectly still for 30 or more seconds, patiently watching.
This area was recently roughed up by Hurricane Matthew and water is still high, possibly affecting both the birds’ and the bugs’ routines.
Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC.
Several Great Egrets gave aerial shows around the old rice fields at Magnolia Plantation this afternoon.
This one circled around swinging out over the Ashley River several times, seemingly undecided and looking for just the right perch.
The water is high and much of the vegetation is displaced due to Hurricane Matthew that passed through over the weekend. Clumps of what I previously thought was solid earth have floated around the marsh or gotten pushed on to the berm, a few trees blew over, and a lot of the cane is flattened. From the ground is looks like a different place. I expect the bird’s eye view is quite different, too.
Harsh photos with silvery water and mud background at low tide with most of the water drained out of the marshland around the Stono River.
These photos were taken from an old railroad bed turned to rail trail with limited options to change my angle.
The wading birds pursued fish in the narrowing stream, seemingly oblivious to the mud.
A number of Great Blue Herons posed in and out of the old rice fields adjacent to the Ashley River last week. The reeds, weeds and bushes along the edge are starting to show that end of summer droop and a hint of color changes.
This Heron was performing what appeared to be a cooling ritual with panting type breathing and his wings at bent angle.
The classic pose, waiting and watching.
These Wood Ducks swam away from shore, circling around each other in no great hurry, but all the while getting further from me.
And always an eye towards shore.
The duck weed was making interesting patterns in the barely moving water at the edge of the former rice fields.
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This little fellow caught my attention as he flitted in a small tree at the edge of a swamp on the Ashley River at Magnolia Plantation.
Hardly a gnat, his catch was pretty good sized.
The coloring made me think he was a Tufted TItmouse, but in profile I could see he was tuftless and he did have more of a “jaunty” tail, as described by Cornell’s All About Birds.
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