American Holly

American Holly
American Holly

Thursday, April 17, 2014

My South Carolina Visit to a New Friend, Part III: Birding All Day

On the second day of my visit to Laurel, we went to two Wildlife Management areas, Bear Island WMA and Donnelley WMA.  The forecast was for the entire weekend to be rainey, and this day turned out to be the closest to the prediction.  The skies were mostly really dark and we didn't get many pictures.  I had particular trouble because my camera up and died the evening before.  I tried all my batteries but none started the camera.  I had forgotten to bring my charger so tried not to worry too much that somehow my camera had died after only a few months of use. (It WAS the batteries and it's working fine now.) Laurel gave me a little camera that could not handle the low light and perhaps not the operator either. So most of these pictures were taken by Laurel.  Again we got up early, drove an hour and were birding at sunrise. 


Black-necked stilts were everywhere - must have just arrived


We also had several avocets.  We took lots of pictures of them

Laurel also caught several in flight - I think she got one photograph of every avocet there

We were surprised to find lots of shovelers and blue-winged teal still around.  But with the combination of terrible light and the birds maintaining their distance, neither of us got decent pictures of them. 


Snowy and reflection

Dowitchers

Double-crested cormorant looking much prettier than usual
We mostly drove around but also took several short walks and then a long one - probably around three miles.  However, we saw few birds, but did get a wood stork.  

Fiddler crab hanging to the end of my stick

Almost as soon as we got back to the car, it started to rain. That was just a shower and we had time to go to Donnelley NWR where we just drove around, stopping to get pictures. It then rained most of the night. So, other than light that made for less then great pictures, we had a wonderful time and saw lots of species of birds. We saw all the herons except for yellow-headed night herons. Also woodstorks, ospreys - on the nest - and a very bedraggled young American eagle as well as  lots of small birds.  I reported 60 species for the day. 


We got distracted by the first of the year iris - by me

And a bumblebee on a thistle bloom -  by me

We found twenty white pelicans, many of which were juveniles - by me

We had to take the picture of the wild azalea- love the color and shape - by me


We took sandwiches for lunch and then had a lovely supper of broiled chicken and vegetables and a wonderful salad. I think I had three helpings of the salad. 

Thus ended the second day of a  wonderful visit that was turning out to be way too short.