Magnolia Gardens, Charleston, SC 1/1-3/15

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Magnolia Gardens contains lots of areas to hike and see wildlife, but I concentrated on the swamp garden that had miles of trails along and through a large swamp marsh and around a large lake. The lake had a few small islands, and one of them had a tree with a Great Blue Heron rookery.

Wildlife photography here was a lot like where I live in central Virginia, where I have seen all but one of the species I saw in Magnolia Gardens; that is, except for the alligators!


Swamp garden


Alligator


Alligator


Alligator


Alligator and turtles


Turtle

There were lots of ducks and other water birds in the swamp and lake.


Gadwall and Pied-billed Grebe


Gadwall


Wood Ducks


American Wigeon


Blue-winged Teals


Blue-winged Teals and Green-winged Teal


Common Gallinule

Great Blue Herons were in the rookery, and there were several other wading birds there.


Great Blue Heron


Great Blue Heron


White Ibis

The trails meandered through the swamp and around the area where I saw lots of common woodland birds.


Gray Catbird


Yellow-bellied Sapsucker


Ruby-crowned Kinglet


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Immature Red-winged Blackbird


Hermit Thrush


Red-tailed Hawk


Red-shouldered Hawk

I heard the buzz call of a Sedge Wren, and it popped up from the swamp and immediately back down into the vegetation before I could get a photo of it. There were a few sparrows in the same area as the wren, but I think all of them were Swamp Sparrows.


Swamp Sparrow


Swamp Sparrow

I did see and photograph a different sparrow species between the parking area and the swamp gate. It had a unstreaked breast, but I couldn't see its wing and back features, and only a little bit of its facial features. It had a white eye-ring and a rusty eye-stripe. Possible sparrow species include Field, juvenile White-crowned, American Tree, and Clay-colored, but its bill appears to be too long for any of these. The other possibility would be a Bachman's Sparrow, which would be a life bird for me, but the habitat seems to be incorrect for this species. My best guess is a Field Sparrow, but opinions would be appreciated.


Field(?) Sparrow


Field(?) Sparrow

Magnolia Gardens birds seen on this trip (44 species):

Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
White Ibis
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Gadwall
American Wigeon
Blue-winged Teal
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Turkey Vulture
Black Vulture
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Common Gallinule
American Coot
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Wren
Sedge Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Northern Cardinal
Field(?) Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Boat-tailed Grackle
American Goldfinch

Click here for my coastal wildlife trip report and photos

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