Birding Bear Island & Donnelly WMA

Roseate Spoonbill, Bear Island – Bob Mercer

What an incredible day of birding!  Twelve SIB member left Seabrook Island at 6:00 am on Saturday, February 23 to drive the 60 mile each way trip to Bear Island and Donnelly WMAs in the Ace Basin. We arrived at our first birding area just after sunrise and were thrilled to see about 100 Tundra Swans, a common winter resident at Bear Island.  Using three cars, we traveled the loop road of the wildlife management area and continued to see hundreds of shorebirds, Roseate Spoonbills, and ducks.  Fortunately we had people with great eyes and ears to identify birds both visually and auditorily.  Although we didn’t see him, we were thrilled to hear the Virginia Rail in one of the marsh areas.  In fact, we didn’t even hear the more common Clapper Rail all day! We even got a decent look at a bobcat as he climbed down a tree nearly a quarter mile away.

In Donnelly, we were able to sit at picnic tables to enjoy our brown-bag lunch and use the restroom facility.  The highlight at this WMA were the alligators, of which there were many!  Oh, and we did have a situation with a car getting stuck in the deep mud on the way leaving the park.  Fortunately, after a long wait, the car was removed with the help of AAA and no damage was done.  It made for a very long day!

In total, we identified 89 birds during the daylong trip to Bear Island and Donnelly WMA.  If you click on the “read more now” link, you can enjoy some of the birds we saw during the day. If you are interested to learn more about our bird walks and trips, visit our Activities page on our website.

Photos by: Jackie Brooks, Chris Correale, Bob Mercer & Nancy Brown
(click below to see the slideshow of photos)

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