The Wood Storks were just standing around after having fed at sunrise, while the Snowy Egret was making a fuss. Snowy Egrets are known for their active foraging and strutting as they stir up food in shallow ponds or inlets.
I’ve mentioned the dilemma of choice in previous posts: stick with what is right in front of me or move where I might capture something else. I was happily photographing Roseate Spoonbills in a pond when I noticed these Wood Storks standing in a Pine Tree at the end of the dike.
Stick with the Spoonies or see if I can get some nice Wood Stork images?
I waited too long and the Wood Storks took off.
It was clear they were leaving not just settling into another tree as they circled to an altitude where they fly for distance.
There were at least thirty, many more than had been visible in that tree from my vantage point.
A row of wading birds was lined up along the shore of this shallow pond. Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Laughing Gulls and a lone Tricolored Heron went about their morning rituals with little fuss.
When we arrived at Mary’s Pond about 20 minutes before sunrise on Wednesday this group of Wood Storks with a single Great Blue Heron was huddled in a canal that runs along side the pond.
The Heron flew off shortly after I took this photo. As it got lighter the Wood Storks started wading down the canal out of my sight.
Sony Alpha 6500, 18-105 mm at 105 mm, F4, ISO 3200
Swish, swish, turn…repeat…back and forth the Wood Storks go when they find a good feeding spot.
They stir up the food with their beaks and sometimes use their wings to create shadows in the water so they can see what is moving.
This trio stuck together for quite awhile and whenever one was the odd man out he quickly rejoined the other two.
The marsh grasses are changing color as fall progresses. All the vegetation around the ponds is settling and we see less green each time we visit.
Photo taken 10/13/2017.
These three Wood Storks were just standing around in the shallow end of the pond.
Two decided to relocate on foot, further away of course. They weren’t moving fast but it was less than a minute before they were beyond camera range.
A Little Blue Heron tagged along. The smaller birds often follow the larger ones, hoping to share good feeding spots.
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Circling at low altitude, the Wood Stork loops several times looking for the perfect spot to drop down.
Found it! In this marsh of reeds and canals it was nice of him to pick a spot where I could see the ground.
Pay no attention to others in the landing zone.
Nailed it! A little ruffle and show off of the green wing tips and he was down.
The Snowy Egret never turned his head.
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I startled a few of these Wood Storks, which then startled me, when I walked under a tree where they were perched. They took off then settled in on the other side of a small pond.
The path through this sanctuary led underneath the new tree. Knowing they were there I approached slowly and got some nice shots from below.
The pine tree made a much better backdrop than the usual mud we see them wading in.
Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, Charleston, SC.
Pay no attention to the Great Egret blocking the way…
The Wood Storks kept moving forward with their heads down and the Egret moved.
They had serious business to do gathering lunch from the shrinking stream created by the outgoing tide.
Click on any photo for larger view.