Recently I noticed a number of photographs from the same general area, similar light, yet different birds and scenes. As I found one I liked, and was slightly different, I made a small collection, and of course had to shrink that even further.
The common theme here is the dark, fully grown and covered , dike wall in the background. Here the dike is perhaps 10-12 feet tall (3.5 m), covered in grasses and reeds, with a wide flat top. This dike separates 2 large marshes and allows control over water depth and flow. The South Carolina Lowcountry has thousands of these dikes. Some dating back hundreds of years.
Above a Great Blue Heron mixed in with a few Wood Storks. It looked like the Storks got along better with the Heron than each other.
Here a Wood Stork plodded through the water, a Great Egret can be seen in the background.
I’m fairly sure all these images were taken in the morning which explains the dark reflections and brown shading. Typical fall look around there.
Along the dikes, and just a short distance into the marsh many small islands of reeds have grown up. Most are under water half the time but when the marshes are low they become crowded with animals, like this Great Blue Heron landing.
The Great Egret above and the Blue Herons are year round residents. It’s rare to get cold enough for any ice to form (but it does). Wood Storks, Spoonbills, and other true tropical birds will winter further south for a few months.
Last is the apex predator here, an Alligator. If there is a dry, preferably muddy, spot on the dike bank one of these will be near.
As I’m finishing this I found one more common thread with all these photographs and animals. They are all predators.