We had four things really going for us while we visited Congaree, and if any of them had been different, our reaction might have been different. 1) We got there before anyone else, except for one nice fellow from Vermont. 2) The water was low, so none of the boardwalk was flooded. 3) There were no mosquitoes. "War Zone" was one of the options on the index by the restroom. 4) Migratory bird season.
We hiked the whole boardwalk loop. Alison had fun cleaning up the boardwalk by dropping sycamore pods over the side. It took a while because I had a hard time figuring out what little warblers were up in the tops of some of the tallest trees on this side of the Rockies. After some work, I figured out they were northern parula warblers and yellow-throated warblers. The parulas were everywhere. I did most of my ID work by sound, since it was hard to get a good look at them, and that was only possible because I recently purchased the Sibley Guide to Birds for my phone, which I would totally recommend. The only trouble was I had the program running so long while I was out there, it drained my phone's battery!
The light wasn't great for photos and I neglected to bring my better camera, so I had to take the above pictures with my phone. Internet to the rescue for better photos!
And let me finish by saying the visitor center was super nice inside, with interesting natural history exhibits, and good green-and-gray staff who patiently helped me with my bird questions.