A Tri-Colored Heron gapes in the Carolina sunshine. These members of the heron/egret clan are coming into their nuptial plumage for the upcoming nesting season. During a seven-day state in Pawleys Island, S.C., I observed 100 species of birds, more than I could likely expect to find back in Northeast Tennessee at this time of the year.
A raft of Lesser Scaup refresh in a shallow pond at Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina. In early March, this diving duck was one of the most common in the park.
A Snowy Egret and Great Egret fish along the causeway at Huntington Beach State Park.
A Greater Yellowlegs forages in a tidal marsh pool during a migratory stop at Huntington Beach State Park. March is the month when many shorebirds start making their way as far north as the Arctic tundra for a brief albeit productive nesting season.
The American Coot is a common species of waterfowl in coastal South Carolina in March.
Common Gallinule, formerly known as the Common Moorhen, is fond of some of the flooded woodlands within Huntington Beach State Park.
Short-billed Dowitchers make a feeding stop at Huntington Beach State Park. These birds were part of a flock that numbers close to 100 birds.
The Osprey, also known as the Fish Eagle or Fish Hawk, is a common sight in the Carolina Low Country.
A Great Blue Heron and Great Egret compete for prime fishing turf.
Winter songbirds, such as this Hermit Thrush at Brookgreen Gardens, will soon give way to returning summer nesting birds, such as warblers, vireos and other thrushes.
Didn’t think snipes were real? Well, the object of the mythical snipe hunt is very much a real creature. Pictured is a Wilson’s Snipe along the causeway at Huntington Beach State Park.
Red-winged Blackbirds and their loud calls are again ringing from the wetlands in the South Carolina Low Country.
Brown Pelican perches in the marsh at Huntington Beach State Park.
Brookgreen Gardens is renowned for its display of sculptures. For Eastern Bluebirds, such as this pair, the works of art are simply convenient perches.
Boat-tailed Grackles perch on a scope and sign at Huntington Beach State Park.
Birding in the transitional period between seasons can also bring unexpected surprises, such as a sighting of White Pelicans at Huntington Beach State Park.
Wild Turkeys stroll the grounds of Brookgreen Gardens.
Horned Grebes ride the rough surf near the jetty at Huntington Beach State Park.
I hope you enjoyed these photos from my recent trip. See you next week back in Northeast Tennessee, just in time for the start of spring migration.