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.
A Little Blue Heron caught a frog almost as big as his head then didn’t seem to know what to do.
He just stood there for quite awhile–the frog wasn’t moving so I don’t think preventing escape was on the bird’s mind.
A rinse in the canal might help:
Finally, down the hatch:
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.
Click image for larger view.
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.
With no apparent connection to dry land this old wall or walkway out in a marshy inlet of the Cooper River makes a perfect spot for a bird gathering.
This marsh borders Charleston’s Magnolia Cemetery, some of which has sunk into the marsh. It’s hard to tell if it may have been a part of the cemetery property.
I followed a berm to get a closer shot but was driven to retreat by a viscous horde of mosquitoes.
(Click any photo to enlarge.)
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.
Slow and methodical, this Great Blue Heron watched over his swamp.
He flew to the end of the pond as we came along and I got a nice view through the bushes, with just a few pieces of vegetation blocking my shot.
A flexible neck makes it easy to keep an eye out in all directions.
Click on photos for larger view.
Sharing the shallow edge of the Cooper River in the shadow of Charleston’s Ravenel Bridge these two waders patiently ignored each other as they went about their business.
The Snowy Egret was intent on personal grooming and the Tricolored Heron was in search of dinner.
They ignored the noise of a live concert happening at the adjacent Waterfront Park and a small airplane practicing banking over the river as well.
The Tricolored Heron finally moved along, flapping his wings in the late afternoon sun.
Click on photos for larger view.
After a couple of false starts when junior thought this was about getting lunch brought in this adult Little Blue Heron got his offspring to fly.
First we climb to the top.
Then flap and go!
Junior was reluctant to take that last step:
And touch down, all in less than 30 seconds.
Landing is a “must do” after they have learned to fly and sometimes the young in the rookery make precarious choices.
Even the adults sometimes land on less secure perches. The stance of this Little Blue Heron reminded me of a gymnast about to perform a routine on the uneven bars.
The juvenile Little Blue Heron in the header photo landed in a tree over my head amidst much squawking and just hung on.