one of South Carolina's best birding areas. With several visits over the years, I cannot argue this accolade. I have posted Bear Island photographs on this blog several times.
This trip would also offer its share of delights.
I spotted this Tricolored Heron just inside the entrance gate in the large Mary's House Pond.
This Tricolored Heron has even more flair and flash, showing the white neck plumage during mating season.
The Heron would be successful in its feeding mission, catching a small fish.
This is, of course, the beautiful Eastern Bluebird.
Eastern Kingbirds also like power lines. The views must be great from up there!
At Bear Island, in front of one of the maintenance shops was this huge rice trunk gate. This is "old tech" going back hundreds of years that is still used to control the flow of water into rice fields from reservoirs, rivers and other water sources.
While rice is no longer grown, the wooden structures are still built and maintained to continue to control water levels in the vast ecosystems of the precious ACE Basin.
A trunk gate "in action" on Bear Island.
There are dozens of these that are still used to let water in and out of what often are former rice fields where slaves would toil cultivating the precious crop in what often had to have been hellish conditions.
I love, in this photo, how the Green Heron blends in so well with the plants and vegetation behind it. I also like how it is perfectly poised- and so poised in disposition- on the low branch just inches above the water.
Always the lone wolf, so to speak, the Green Heron has long been one of my favorite wading birds. It is always neat to see another one in the natural world of South Carolina's Lowcountry.
To access these, the car must be parked and you have to get out and walk. Some of these routes go for miles so you can walk as far or as little as desired.
There are not "amenities" on site, such as restrooms, vending machines and other niceties. These places are rugged, and that's what I like about them.
Time to walk and really explore!
At the crossroads of Hog Island and Pecan Trees- which way should I go?
On one of the trails, it may have been the Hog Island one, I came upon an owl that flew across the sky in front of me.
Then, as I kept walking on the river island, I came upon these feathers.
Several were still connected. It seemed like a fairly fresh kill. I used my go-to bird identification site, whatbird.com, to inquire what kind of feathers these might be. I was thinking hawk, but was taken aback when a few fellow birders said these belonged to a Barn Owl, which unfortunately was someone/thing's meal.
I was informed it could have been killed by another owl (perhaps the one I saw flying away) , a hawk, or maybe even a coyote.
A Red-Winged Blackbird calling out for attention (or warning) while perched atop one of the aforementioned trunk gates.
It's clear why they are called Red-winged Blackbirds, right?
This female Red-winged Blackbird wants to be heard from also.
A had a quick encounter with a Common Moorhens (or Gallinule) family near the side of a pond. That's a juvenile trailing the parent.
The fluffy youngster has some neat coloring around its bill and on top of its head.
They were very skittish, understandably. I only got off a couple shots before they ducked into some shrubs on the water's bank.
I think they are kind of cute and definitely unique.
I took some video with my Canon camera of the Roseate Spoonbill's sweeping feeding action.
Here is part two of my video:
Another amazing time on Bear Island in the ACE Basin. On July 2, I was back in the area at Botany Bay beach. I will soon share some of those photographs.