It’s a Yellowlegs, most likely the ‘Lesser’ shorter billed version. I think you would need to be holding one in each hand to be sure. I just call all these smaller guys ‘shore birds’, it’s easier.
This is the most common of the little guys out in the marshes. In the air they are like lightening and make a whistling noise with their wings. Extended wings shows a V feather pattern making an ID much easier.
I thought these shots were a nice representation of which animals actually live out there. This is just scratching the surface of the species we find, but it does give an idea of a typical marsh scene.
These photographs were taken in the Donnelley wildlife area within the ACE Basin of South Carolina.
The photographs here were shot at Donnelley WMA in South Carolina. The water was shallow on this day which means that all the locals come to the same spot to feed. This happens maybe two or three times each Spring/Summer.
All these species live here but they don’t all get together every day like this. That’s what makes a find like this so special.
Below you can see how the big gators actually do get along, as long as they are not hungry, or mating. Each one of them were like small cars 😆.
Next is always a crazy site. The Alligator is not even thinking about trying to catch one of the close birds. He is very fast, they are even faster. Alligators are opportunistic hunters, they wait for the perfect moment. Also they not eat once a week or so, and not all that much.
As you can imagine, when we come up on a scene like this we fill memory cards and drain batteries. We came to this marsh a few times while the water was low. I will be deleting and sorting files and folders for months 😂🤣.
Timing was perfect for this. I’ll be getting my back and neck rebuilt soon and not heading out for a few months.
Everything else stops when you spot a Reddish Egret on the hunt. Catch one at dawn in the early light…hard not to do the happy dance. This is a bird you need to go find, they rarely show up on the average walk, no matter where you are.
This Egret was spotted a bit after dawn in a salt marsh, that’s their only habitat.
Because there is always sun glare on the water hiding their prey the dance is a series of moves to find fish.
First a Reddish will run through shallows, splashing water and driving fish ahead.
At the end the Egret will raise his wings to throw a shadow on the water. This makes for clear visibility.
You know this is a great show when photographers walk away from Roseate Spoonbills to watch the dancing Egret.
Anhinga, AKA Snake Bird, warming up to start her day. A true South American tropical bird who discovered a warming climate and has steadily moved north. They now breed every year down the road from me in a local swamp. While not the biggest of predators most other birds keep their distance.
Cornell Labs description;
‘A dark body stealthily swims through a lake with only a snakelike head poking above the surface. What may sound like the Loch Ness monster is actually an Anhinga, swimming underwater and stabbing fish with its daggerlike bill. After every dip, it strikes a regal pose on the edges of shallow lakes and ponds, with its silvery wings outstretched and head held high to dry its waterlogged feathers. Once dry, it takes to the sky, soaring high on thermals stretched out like a cross.’