One of the must-do's on this trip to the Low Country was to spend a day at Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge boasts several ponds with islands of their own that are packed beak to tail with breeding egrets and herons. The rookery is so dense that it's nearly impossible to even count all the birds there. Snowy and Great Egrets, Little Blue, Green, and Tri-colored Herons, Anhinga, Black and Yellow-crowned Night Herons all cram onto these islands and fight for their breeding space. For a photographer it's a little like shooting fish in a barrel--it's hard not to get good images of birds there. Plus, all the birds are in their breeding plumage this time of year, and doing all kinds of courtship dances and territorial displays, and the sound, as you can imagine, is impressive.
Here's a series of shots of a Great Egret stretching in preparation for take off.