I recently posted on our trip to Charleston, SC and on the nearby plantations. While visiting the Magnolia Plantation, Gail and I were very happily surprised to find this gem, the Audubon Swamp Garden! Here are a few photos taken during the visit.
This area around Charleston is known as “low country” because it is at or below sea level. The rivers that course through here are tidal rivers, rising and falling with the ocean tides. So it is not surprising to find swampy, marshy habitat. This particular swampy patch had trails where the land was solid, and a boardwalk where it was not. This afforded great views of the wildlife.
Here is a typical view of the swamp, with a Great Blue Heron.
And a close up shot of the same bird. Beautiful!
In another part of the swamp we stumbled onto this pair of Wood Ducks…
… and close by was their brood of ducklings!
Then we spotted these Common Gallinules. Maybe they are “common,” but they were life birds for both Gail and me.
There was action on the water, on land, in the trees, and in the air. An Osprey soared by, grasping it’s fish meal, probably headed back to the nest to feed its young.
I always have to laugh when I see a Cattle Egret. They will always remind me of Kevin’s Cattle Egret.
We had wonderful close-up and prolonged views of this Little Blue Heron.
This juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron was also a life bird for Gail and me.
But the bird of the day had to be the Great Egret. Or should I say egretS! There were a zillion of them, all over the trees, on countless nests!
Parents were flying back and forth with food for the young ones, who were playful while mom was away, and agitated for food when she returned.
What a beautiful bird!
When we were at the plantation before coming to the swamp garden, we saw this bird flying high overhead and had no idea what it was.
But we saw it again at the swamp garden. These birds were also all over the place, flying in and out of their nests. We were able to identify them as Anhinga, yet another life bird for us!
There was also a variety of the more common birds, but it was really fun to see such a collection of herons, egrets and other water birds. Memorable!
Finally, a picture of a non-bird item, a beautiful Mimosa Tree. They might be beautiful, but these Asian invaders take over roadsides and new riparian growth areas, and are able to grow just fine even in a swamp! Notice the beautiful Spanish Moss, which we learned is neither Spanish nor a moss. Who names these things anyway!?
We had a great time at the Magnolia Plantation, and if you ever go, don’t miss the spectacular Audubon Swamp Garden, with trails and boardwalk laid out nicely for easy viewing. You might pick up a new life bird, or two, or three!