The Great Blue Herons have arrived at the Audubon Swamp Rookery and wasted no time fixing up their nests and getting ready for their next brood.
They did take some breaks for displays of affection.
The males gather most of the nest material and the females spend quite a bit of time arranging it. This pair was relatively quiet, but others in the rookery did a lot of squawking as they worked on their nests.
The Roseate Spoonbills are still in South Carolina despite all the bird guides indicating they either shouldn’t be here at all or at least should have decamped to warmer Florida.
Another awkward looking bird, the Roseate Spoonbills are remarkable agile while seeking food and in the air. I was amazed at the flying skills, although the banking and dropping maneuvers didn’t seem to have a purpose as he wasn’t being pursued and they don’t catch bugs in the air.
Against an all blue sky the spoonbills are a pink stand out, if somewhat boring picture.
Not classic Heron poses, and leaning toward the comical, this Great Blue kept me entertained for quite awhile on a recent afternoon. These shots reminded me of some people I know that are reluctant to have their picture taken.
First we take care of the itch.
Then a few vocal protests.
What’s a photo shoot without a photo bomb?
Finally, settled for the pose, neck tucked back down looking like a scarf in the breeze, a very elegant result.
Interesting that the black patches are much more pronounced in the Great Blue Herons around Magnolia Plantation the last few weeks.
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.