Tag Archives: Water Bird

Anhingas

Anhingas are beautiful birds in an understated way. During mating season the color around their eye intensifies to a rich minty green.

Anhinga
Anhinga on nest with mate standing guard

The male, on the left below, is all black and the female has a tan neck and shoulders.

Anhinga Pair
Anhinga Pair displaying mating behavior

These images are from a few years ago, a post I started but left unfinished. This year we are not seeing nearly as many Anhinga pairs at the rookery as other years.

Anhinga Sunning
Anhinga Sunning

Cormorants Perched on Pilings

These pilings are what are left of a dock on the Ashley River at Middleton Place. The tide was going out and a crew of Double-crested Cormorants were using them as perches.

Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant

This one seemed to be investigating a crack in the wood.

Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant

I looked away and he either jumped or fell into the water.

Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant

I thought he might be going fishing but he flew right back out of the water.

Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorants

There was room for a couple more birds to join them.

Double-crested Cormorants on River Pilings
Double-crested Cormorants

Middleton Place, Charleston, SC
April 17, 2021

Double-crested Cormorant

This log at the edge of one of Magnolia Plantation’s ponds is often occupied by a drying Anhinga, but on this day a Double-crested Cormorant had possession.

Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant

I have rarely seen one this close, and he seemed to only be paying attention to the warm sun.

Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant

About an hour later when I passed back by, sunlight was no longer shining on the pond or the bird, and the Cormorant was in the same spot.

Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant

And he was just as uninterested in passers by.

Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant

Canada Goose With A Treasure

I don’t see that many Canada Geese expect near housing developments, but a few have been hanging around the pond at Magnolia Cemetery recently.

Canada Goose With Treasure
Canada Goose With Treasure

This one entertained me with a stalk of vegetation that he seemed quite sure was valuable.

Canada Goose With Treasure
Canada Goose With Treasure

He carefully kept his back to his mate, clearly not looking to share this find.

Canada Goose With Treasure
Canada Goose With Treasure

In the end he dropped the whole thing back in the water, perhaps it was too tough or just not edible.

 

American Avocet

American Avocet aren’t the only birds in these images, but I haven’t seen one in awhile so thought I’d give them top billing. And I really like them with their snazzy color scheme.

American Avocet, American White Pelican, Great Egret
American Avocet, American White Pelican, Great Egret

I sure was hoping they would fly closer to my side of the pond.

American Avocet taking off, American White Pelican, Great Egret
American Avocet taking off, American White Pelican, Great Egret

Instead they disappeared on the other side of the marsh.

American Avocet taking off, American White Pelican, Great Egret
American Avocet taking off, American White Pelican, Great Egret

Tucked in a Hummock

The big pond at Donnelley Wildlife Management Area is dotted with these little islands covered with clumps of marsh grasses. Maybe not quite technically hummocks, as I’m not sure the ground is in a mound or if the grass is just thriving in a clump.

It’s not uncommon to see Black-crowned Night-herons tucked into the grass, but on this cold day they were joined by a Great Egret and a Double-crested Cormorant was bobbing in the water. I couple other Night Herons came and went while I was watching.

Birds Tucked Into the Grass
Birds Tucked Into the Grass

Look closely and those little blurs are Swallows zipping through the air. By 11:30 AM it had warmed up enough for insects to be active at the water surface.

Birds Tucked Into the Grass
Birds Tucked Into the Grass

These Swallows are fast!

Swallows Over Marsh Grass
Swallows Over Marsh Grass

Restless Great Blue Heron

This was the scene under the Spoonbill Tree at Donnelley Wildlife Management Area on a recent cold and windy morning. The Roseate Spoonbills were wisely at the back of the pond, tucked under a bigger tree.

Great Blue Heron, Gallinules, and Double-crested Cormorants
Great Blue Heron, Gallinules, and Double-crested Cormorants

A few Gallinules were popping in and out view and the Great Blue Heron seemed on the verge of doing something as he repositioned several times.

Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorants
Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorants

The GBH moved back into the water when a Great Egret appeared. This dead tree, which has been a great perch for a Roseate Spoonbills over the last few years,  has taken another step towards its end as another good size limb has fallen off this winter.

Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorants
Great Blue Heron, Double-crested Cormorants, and a Great Egret

I was expecting the Heron to drive off the other birds the way he came back around the front of the island all puffed up.

Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorants
Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorants

But he decided to ignore whatever was going on behind him at least for the moment, as one lone gull paddled by.

Great Blue Heron, Double-crested Cormorants, and Ring-billed Gull
Great Blue Heron, Double-crested Cormorants, and Ring-billed Gull

February 4, 2021