When we go out to the Bear Island WMA area we have a few plans, based on time and weather, we try to work through. It’s a huge location and we know you can’t be everywhere at the morning hours.
These photographs are a few, presented in order, from a dike walk that will give us views of large areas, on each side, and cross several other dikes in case we spot something in the distance. This part will cover around 4 miles if we don’t ‘go down a rabbit hole’.
At the end of the dirt access road we found a large number of the mid sized wading birds feeding at the edge of hummocks of grass. Too many, and too much motion, to get even a rough count. Just a lot of them including Tricolors, Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets.
Several Willetts (shore birds) were flapping around in the mud not much further down the dike. Yes, flapping their wings like crazy. At the time I had no clue. Now I think they were stirring up the insect larvae on the surface.
These trillions of Swallows came down and covered the open areas. At times they swopped over the surface. They came in like a horde of locust, flew out in a mass, and then came back a bit later. They were making the rounds of each connected marsh.
This Black-necked Stilt was in the middle of it all. We found others, in larger numbers, further down another dike.
Northern shovelers were in the tall grass when I first arrived in this spot. For some reason several pairs came out and swam in circles. I rarely get any shots of these shy ducks.
There was no sign of Roseate Spoonbills this morning. Not here or on the other trails. As I mentioned Bear Island is big and they could be in the areas with no access.
I did find American Coots at the end of the dike. Nothing like the hundreds the previous week. A few shots like below is my preference anyway.
I think two of these photographs are similar, taken at the same time, to others previously published. However mixing up the format keeps things at least a little different.
Bear Island, WMA, South Carolina.