A Late Afternoon at North Beach

North Beach November 16 – Ed Konrad

As the days grow shorter, Ed and I had a spectacular day just before sunset at North Beach on November 16. We had to go to the very end of the inlet for our rewards, but it was worth it. We were greeted by a spectacular Merlin, sitting on the washed up snaggy bush. This is the second time we have seen this bird on this perch in the past year. He posed for beautiful pictures.

On the very tip of the inlet were 95 American Oystercatchers! This is a Seabrook high count for us. The tide was rising, which is our favorite time to go to the beach, when the birds are pushed in close. And for Ed, it was the “Golden Hour” of beautiful light for photography. With the oystercatchers were at least 85 Black Skimmers, and a resting group 46 Willets, 8 Marbled Godwits, and 11 Short-billed Dowitchers. 

In the inlet frolicked four dolphins, surrounded by three Double-crested Cormorants looking for the fish the dolphins were chasing. What a beautiful sight! Nearby a Snowy Egret fished in the foamy surf. And always an important discovery, we spotted a banded Piping Plover. Our contact with the VA Tech Piping Plover team advised that this one was banded during winter migration at Kiawah Island in November 2012, and breeds along the NJ coast. The Atlantic Region Piping Plovers have green flags, with additional bands.

As we returned to the boardwalk, we were treated to a group of oystercatchers at water’s edge in the fading light. We walked back in a beautiful sunset. Another wonderful day at our gorgeous beach.

Ed’s Flickr site is updated with fall Seabrook photos, along with photos from our other recent birding travels. On the Flickr homepage you can click on “Albums” for the Seabrook Album to view the many we’ve birds seen and photographed through the years, along with Albums of our birding trips and various bird species. The URL is:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/edkon/

Article by Aija Konrad, photos by Ed Konrad

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Another Traveling Red Knot

Red Knot seen in Florida and banded on Seabrook Island, SC

SIB recently received the note below from SCDNR Wildlife Biologist Felicia Sanders.

Pat Leary photographed this Red Knot, which we tagged at Seabrook Island on April 29, 2017, at Corrigan’s Reef, Cedar Key Florida on November 18, 2017. This bird probably went to the arctic to nest and now is wintering in Florida or headed farther south and just stopping a while in Florida. He saw another knot we tagged at Seabrook and one we tagged at Deveaux Bank in April 2012. 

Thanks again to everyone for helping with Red Knot trapping, which is helping us figure out their migration patterns!

Felicia

If you are interested to learn more about protecting birds on the beaches of Seabrook Island, please contact us:  seabrookislandbirders@gmail.com.

Attend SIB’s First Afternoon Seminar to Learn About Project FeederWatch

 

Do you enjoy watching the birds in your backyard?  Whether you have feeders or not, you should consider becoming a citizen scientist by joining Project FeederWatch this winter. If you would like to learn more about the program, SIB is hosting a seminar to explain Project FeederWatch and provide support to our members on Monday, December 4, from 4:00 – 5:00 pm.  The seminar will be held at the Lake House in the Eagle’s Nest room.

Sign up to attend now!

Continue reading “Attend SIB’s First Afternoon Seminar to Learn About Project FeederWatch”

Are you as Smart as a Corvid???

Join Seabrook Island Birders for our 2nd Anniversary celebration at “Bird Brain Game Night”! If you haven’t done so, please RSVP now!

And just to prove size of brain has nothing to do with your smarts, check out these two fascinating articles about the brain power of birds!

Study Gives New Meaning to the Term Bird Brain

Studies Show Birds Remarkable Cognitive Skills

 

SIB Member Profile: Marcia & Bob Hider

My dad was an avid birder. Most would find that hard to believe since he was color blind and had lost a lot of his hearing as he aged. Actually, really knowledgeable birders use other clues in identifying birds: location, season, amount and type of activity, shape, size and more, all of which require neither a color sense nor good ears.

As a kid, I thought it was a ridiculous hobby. But one day, when he was visiting Bob and me in Reston, VA, Dad set up an old TV tray outside and filled it with birdseed. Within a couple of hours, we had seen probably 20 different species. Bob and I were hooked.

Marcia and Bob Hider

We both worked, however, I with the Federal Government and Bob with his own video production company. That, and raising two kids, left us with little time to pursue birding with much gusto. When the kids left, we got more involved, often traveling to areas of the country where birds were known to frequent.

Then we found Seabrook. There was so much to do here that it was hard to choose. Initially, and for the first seven years or so, I was very involved with SINHG, as treasurer and membership chair and then with reorganizing and expanding its trip offerings. Following that, I was co-editor of the Seabrooker for several years. Also, during this period, I was involved with several other regular and special committees…and on and on.

Bob was into tennis. He and his teammates won several local and regional tournaments. For three years, he ran the Fleming Tournament where he introduced the idea of raising money for a charity. The first year I think his committee donated $5,200 to Hospice of Charleston which at that time was a non-profit organization. (This year, they raised over $40,000 for Respite Care!) And all this time, he had his photography, a hobby he pursued even as a child.

Then we both rested.

In 2015, Charley Moore suggested that he and I should start a birding club. After all, how could you not get interested in birds when there is such a wonderful variety of habitats on this little island? I wasn’t sure I wanted to. Neither Bob nor I is what I would call an avid birder. I don’t even maintain a life list which almost every real birder keeps. I have trouble seeing the birds so I resort to identifying them by ear and that’s not as easy as it sounds. Do you know that our cardinals have 53 different songs? I’m glad I helped, however, because I’ve learned a lot and met some wonderful people in the process.

Submitted by:  Marcia Hider

Rare Western Kingbird is visiting Seabrook Island

Late Monday afternoon, David Gardner reported a siting of a Western Kingbird in the dunes in front of the chapel at Camp St. Christopher.  A Western Kingbird is an eye-catching bird with ashy gray and lemon-yellow plumage, the Western Kingbird is a familiar summertime sight in open habitats across western North America. This large flycatcher sallies out to capture flying insects from conspicuous perches on trees or utility lines, flashing a black tail with white edges.

Note, the description above from Cornell Labs says it habitats western North America.  This is not the first time this bird has been seen at Camp St. Christopher as it has been here for a week in several previous falls.

Western Kingbird – Ed Konrad

Tuesday morning, Aija and Ed Konrad with Judy Morr visited Camp St. Christopher and were able to see this visitor.  David reported he was still there again on Thursday afternoon.  The bird has been hanging out in the dunes between the beach and the chapel / cross just down from Pelican Watch Villas.

If you wish to search for the bird, look from the beach or access from the Camp by first registering at the camp’s Welcome Center.  The Western Kingbird is not expected to stay on Seabrook all winter but we don’t know how long he will enjoy his vacation in our little paradise.

Submitted by: Judy Morr

Photo by: Ed Konrad