Monday, September 11, 2017

Back To My Birding Roots: Magnolia Cemetery!

Selfie- note the sweaty arm reflection- it was a hot day!
With Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irma impacting South Carolina today (Sept. 11), I am hunkered down at home and hoping for the best!

With no school, I'm trying to be productive by getting to a few blog posts I've been wanting to write.

Last month on a Sunday, Alesia and I went to Magnolia Cemetery to walk around and see what birds we can photograph.

Armed with my Canon SX 50 and monopod
It turned out to be an excellent day bird-wise, but extremely hot, temperature-wise.

Another treat was running into Beverly Donald, who is a dear friend and the superintendent of Magnolia Cemetery.

Alesia snapped this picture of me taking pictures of a "congregation" of  White Ibis on a tree across the front lagoon.

Alesia has a similar camera set up and enjoy her new hobby

I returned the favor, taking this photo of Alesia.

Ponds attract birds and other wildlife at Magnolia Cemetery

Magnolia Cemetery, which dates to 1850, is photogenic in so many ways.  If the birding is slow, which is was not this day, a visitor can enjoy the expansive grounds, which include two lagoons (or ponds) and salt marsh that joins the Cooper River a short distance away.

150 acres, 35,000 burials make for a big space to explore!

Magnolia is a premier and historic Victorian rural cemetery. It features a wide and interesting variety of grave markers, monuments and memorials.

In case you don't know, I have written two books about this special place: "The Birds of Magnolia Cemetery: Charleston's Secret Bird Sanctuary" (2011) and "In the Arms of Angels: Magnolia Cemetery- Charleston's Treasure of History, Mystery and Artistry" (2014).

The Elbert Jones Gothic monument dates to the 1850s

Both books have sold well and are available from me directly, or through Amazon. See my Amazon author's page for details and also information about my latest book on bird photography, which was published last year.

Green Heron

Back to the birds on this Sunday visit. One of my favorites is this Green Heron, which I encountered just 10 or 15 feet away on the bank of the front pond.

Green Heron- the same one in the previous photo
Green Heron from behind- such a colorful wading bird!
I think this White Ibis was as hot as I would become!
Trying to chill on the bridge
Stretching its legs, thinking about getting away- from me!
White Ibis often travel in large groups or "congregations"
A juvenile White Ibis is the brown one on the right side
Preening away
Such a unique-looking bird. Note the Spanish moss too.
Enjoyed seeing this Tricolored Heron at fairly close range
Tricolored Herons used to be called Louisiana Herons
Looking for a meal. The ponds have fish, crabs, shrimp even
In a reflective mood at the moment
A Snowy Egret on the device used to allow water into the pond
Closeup of the pretty Snowy Egret with its signature yellow "slippers"
Hoping and praying Hurricane Irma won't beat up the cemetery as Matthew did last October
Great Blue Herons are also common sites at Magnolia Cemetery
It's neat that so many birds made themselves at home here
Another great visit to Magnolia Cemetery!  
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