Category Archives: A Watering Hole

A Great Gathering

The Lowcountry is known as one of the biggest and best wild bird areas in the country. Even here though finding a gathering like this is special. Something you see only a few times a year.

A Great Gathering
A Great Gathering

These photographs capture a small piece of the different flocks.

A Great Gathering
A Great Gathering

When the water levels are just right all the different species come together to feed.

A Great Gathering
A Great Gathering

When the water rises, or food is depleted, they will move to other areas around the marshes. Unfortunately for us most of the locations are inaccessible. Of course this is exactly why the animals come here in the first place.

Working The Shallow Marsh

This is a magical scene we rarely get to witness, especially close up.

Working The Shallow Marsh
Working The Shallow Marsh

White Pelican are surface feeders, not divers. They also work as a unit if part of a flock. Above they have pulled close together and slowly swim forward, driving the fish ahead.

Working The Shallow Marsh
Working The Shallow Marsh

As the water gets more shallow the fish are trapped and feeding begins.

Working The Shallow Marsh
Working The Shallow Marsh

This marsh has become more of a watering hole. In the photographs above many other birds can be seen in the background. Wood Storks being the most obvious, but there are Egrets, Ibis, Gull and even smaller Avocet.

This time of year, if lucky, we can come across groups like this with hundreds of birds. The jack pot ? Thousands.

Early Morning Pelican

There was a time when I would wait for ‘good light’.

That was a bad name and an even worse idea.

Early Morning Pelican
Early Morning Pelican

I now think of this as ‘good light’.

It highlights these beautiful animals, provides interesting backgrounds, and even accents the tiny droplets of mud.

Early Morning Pelican
Early Morning Pelican

Taken in the morning at ACE Basin during feeding in the shallows.

They Knew All Along, Pelican

I tried my best to move slow and quiet. You can see the grasses blacking the bottom of screen too.

Of course some were watching me the whole time.

They Knew All Along, Pelican
They Knew All Along, Pelican

They were calm so no wild exit. Which was great. Several photographers were in the area, and maybe several hundred birds along the banks. You never want to be ‘that one’.

They Knew All Along, Pelican
They Knew All Along, Pelican

White Pelican and Snowy Egret gathered in ACE Basin.

Not Seen Every Day, Pelican

Not very often can you be right in the middle of a White Pelican feeding.

Not Seen Every Day, Pelican
Not Seen Every Day, Pelican
Not Seen Every Day, Pelican
Not Seen Every Day, Pelican

This is a small group, out of the hundreds of feeding birds in the shallows.

Not Seen Every Day, Pelican
Not Seen Every Day, Pelican

When the big guys start to feed smaller birds move, or get run over.

Not Seen Every Day, Pelican
Not Seen Every Day, Pelican

Great Blue By The Ashley River

At the end of this marsh a dike and trunk lets the water flow in and out of the marshland.

Great Blue By The Ashley River
Great Blue By The Ashley River

As the tide pushes water back up the river fish move in and out of the trunk. Of course the Herons figured this out and wait for any signs of movement.

Great Blue By The Ashley River
Great Blue By The Ashley River

It’s a bit of a walk but you will almost always find something interesting back there.

Great Blue By The Ashley River
Great Blue By The Ashley River