Ace basin birdlife

A day in the wildlife refuges of coastal South Carolina.

During my visit to Charleston, my father and I spent several hours exploring the wetlands of Bear Island WMA and Donnelly WMA – two beautiful wildlife management areas in the “Ace Basin” south of Charleston. I snapped nearly a thousand photos, and present the best two dozen in the gallery. Below, a blue heron settles in near an island, where an anhinga dries its wings; these two had an altercation earlier… read on for the drama!

A great blue heron searches for fish –  at Donnelly WMA, South Carolina.

The anhinga was an expert fisherman, swimming underwater for long periods, then surfacing with a fish skewered on its beak.

An anhinga caught a fish.

It would wrestle the fish for several minutes. Below, though, notice the legs of a great blue heron approaching from the left.

An anhinga wrestles with its lunch while a heron approaches.

Then, all of a sudden, the heron grabs the fish!

A great blue heron snatches a fish from the anhinga that caught it.

It all happened within seconds! I include more photos from their battle in the gallery, along with other photos of herons, egrets, spoonbills, cormorants, anhingas, terns, swans, ibis, alligators, and more. Check it out!

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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