We’ve been meaning to make the short hour and 15 minute drive north from Mount Pleasant, SC, to Huntington Beach State Park for a while now. A local birder told me that there are Roseated Spoonbills there throughout the summer, a bird I haven’t seen much in our short time living in South Carolina. I’d heard from a number of sources that it is one of the best birdwatching locations in the state. They were right! I took over 500 pics in a couple of hours.
As we drove into the 2500 acre park the road turned into a causeway over a large saltmarsh. Birds of many kinds were on both sides of the street feeding at low tide in the shallow water. Anhingas were drying their wings while perched on posts. Egrets and herons were flying back and forth over the causeway. Spoonbills were off in the distance.
We knew the causeway would be a great place to photograph but we started further into the park at the marsh boardwalk. White Ibis and Snowy Egrets were feeding close by the boardwalk. A Green Heron was lurking in-between the railing, walking down the boardwalk, and dancing on the top railing!
Another location in the park was a favorite of this Little Blue Heron. He was all alone, but from a birding platform we were able to spot various kinds of herons and egrets flying back and forth from fairly close up.
The causeway allows birders to photograph on both sides of the road, which is ideal because you can count on having the sun at your back most of the time, if you so choose. It also allows you to look out over the expansive marshland. Today happened to have a big sky with a dramatic cloud formation over the marsh. I’ve been looking for marsh scenes to paint and this one might be on the list.
I saw more Green Herons and Tricolored Herons than I’ve ever seen in one location. There were plenty of Great White Egrets too. We didn’t get to see the Roseated Spoonbills up close, so that will have to be on another trip.
As we were getting ready to leave, this beautiful Tricolored Heron flew up onto the boardwalk railing. I was struck by its size and coloring.
I’m sure there are certain times of day and year that Huntington Beach State Park would have many more birds than we saw today, but I was more than pleased with what we saw in our short time there. I can’t wait to go back.
I hope you like the pics of the birds that made the cut for this blog. Some might find there way into future paintings.
Thanks for reading my journal and following my art and photography. I will be finishing a small shrimp boat scene in the next few days and will be posting a blog about it soon thereafter. Thanks!!!