Since we moved to Georgia, I have no one to take care of Remy, so she has to go along. This becomes a logistical nightmare between finding places that she can walk with us and finding pet friendly hotels.
I was becoming quite discouraged until I found Skidway Island, which is a state park. They always allow pets on a leash. So, I called and ask about the birds. She told me that there are several hiking trails and yes there are birds and right now, and the Painted Buntings are migrating through. Great! Those are beautiful birds and I would love to get photos of them.
Well, not everything turns out as planned! Skidway Island was a total bust! We hiked about 5-6 miles and saw nothing, except some pretty spanish moss and a couple of egrets and lots of runners. The Painted Buntings…I saw one and it was at a feeder with wire mesh surrounding it. Catching those birds in the wild was not going to happen due to the amount of bird feeders which would attract the birds to their bird watching patio area. Just not what I had anticipated and people kept coming in and out of the area, so the birds were constantly on the move.
So now we’re on to Beaufort, SC. I have always wanted to see this coastal city and it’s only an hour up the coast. Once again it’s hard to find a pet friendly hotel in these small towns, but I found one in Port Royal.
Port Royal is a quaint little town about 5 miles from Beaufort. We had an awesome dinner at a restaurant called Dockside. After dinner we decided to just ride around and see what we could find. Near the middle of town David noticed a semi circular deck like structure on the left side of the road and wanted to see what it was. I decided to stay by the Jeep and take Remy for a little walk. He said it was an amphitheater and I should come look. I really didn’t want to and was about to tell him so when he practically hollered, “Terie, look at all the birds down there”. I couldn’t believe it… there through a narrow part of the trees I saw hundreds of egrets. I told him get in the Jeep and let’s see if we can find a road that might get us closer. We turned down the first road and got out and there down a little pathway in the woods I saw a boardwalk.
I loaded my tripod and camera and off we went. Oh I could hardly contain myself, I was practically running down the path. The boardwalk led right out to the middle of all those birds which just happen to be one big rookery. I set up and started snapping away. I just couldn’t believe what I was looking at. We spent the next 3 hours there (yes I have a great husband who supports my habit). It was around 5:30 and luckily the sun was to my back which was perfect for shooting because I was getting some beautiful sunlight on those white birds. As the light started fading, I did have to crank my iso up to around 1600 (for those photographers reading). A couple of little boys riding their bikes ask if we had seen the alligator (which we never did) and did we know there was more walkway on up the path? Since it was getting dark we decided not to travel that way.
The following morning I ask David if he cared if we went back to see what was happening in the early morning. We walked the other part of the path and I spent another 2 hours shooting. I am thankful there was another walkway around the wetlands, because today the sun was right in my face. This part of the walkway led to an observation deck that allowed me to take some more photos without having to deal with the sun, so it all worked out perfectly. This small coastal town held a great surprise for me and I am thankful that we stumbled upon it.
The birds I saw at the Cyrpus Wetland Project were the Snowy Egret, Great Egret, Tricolored Heron, Green Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Wood Stork, Wood Duck, Moorhen, White Ibis.
Like I said in the title, sometimes you just get lucky and David was my lucky charm on this trip and I’m so thankful that he shares my passion of photography.