Monday, March 24, 2008

Sea Pines Forest Reserve

We visited the Forest Preserve in Sea Pines Plantation - the reserve encompasses 605 acres and features nature trails, lakes and a pavilion located on Fish Island. It is home to about 350 species of birds.

This Anhinga below was really unconcerned about our presence.

The Anhinga's feathers are not waterproofed by oils like those of ducks, and can get waterlogged, causing the bird to become barely buoyant. However, this allows it to dive easily and search for fish under the water. It can stay down for significant periods.

When necessary, the Anhinga will dry out its wings and feathers. It will perch for long periods with its wings spread to allow the drying process, as do cormorants. If it attempts to fly while its wings are wet, it has great difficulty getting off the water and takes off by flapping vigorously while 'running' on the water. Anhinga will often search for food in small groups.

An ancient Shell Ring can be seen near the east entrance to the Sea Pines Forest Reserve. The ring, one of only 20 in existence, is 150 feet (46 m) in diameter and is believed to be over 4,000 years old. Archeologists believe that the ring was a refuse heap, created by Native Americans that lived in the interior of the ring, which was kept clear and used as a common area. Two other Shell Rings on Hilton Head were destroyed when the shells were removed and used to make tabby for roads and buildings. The Shell Ring is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is protected by law. The Indian Shell Ring in the Forest Preserve was built at the time of the Great Pyramids of Egypt- 4,000 years ago.

A population of white ibis were settling down in the tree near a pond. This ibis feeds by probing with its long, downcurved beak. Its diet consists of various fish, frogs and other water creatures, as well as insects.

Good thing we did not happen to have a couple of raw chickens with us!

This alligator was sunny itself on the shore across from one of the ponds on the Reserve. I know! It looks like a log on the bank. A little bit after I snapped the photo, this "log" entered the water and swam off quickly!

Speaking of feeding the critters - Judy is enjoying a gourmet meal of sandwiches and chips.

A string of equestrians came by our picnic table for a visit. We Appalachians always want to invite folks for lunch, but we did not have enough oats for the 18 horses that passed.

This Great Blue Heron was busy fishing for his supper.

Was a nice visit to one of the special nature areas on Hilton Head.


Post a Comment

<< Home