Birding with Lewis & Clark

In these stressful times when we’re staying close to home, how about a trip across the US? This week Ed posted our 2019 birding trips on his Flickr site. A memorable trip was our month-long driving tour in July 2019 from Atlanta to the Oregon coast, a combination of birding and following the Lewis and Clark trail!

After some birding in Michigan, we headed west and followed Meriweather Lewis and William Clark on their trek across North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon to the Pacific. Then back home through California, Nevada, Utah and the Midwest. Ed is an avid history buff, so this was definitely on his bucket list. I was a bit wary of a driving trip of that distance. But I have to say, it was a wonderful experience for 29 days!!! We visited many wonderful National Parks, including Theodore Roosevelt in North Dakota (what a fabulous sleeper), Yellowstone in Montana, Crater Lake in Oregon, and Redwood in California.

To follow our journey on Flickr, here’s the URL:

2020 Pandemic Birdathon - 190 Species

Some Flickr navigation tips:

The home page that comes up is the “Photostream” – a chronological view of all our birding trips with the Lewis and Clark trip first. When you get to the bottom of each Photostream page, click to the next page to keep the story going.

To see the name of the bird, or a caption, place the mouse pointer over the photo. And if you’d like to view the photos in a Slideshow instead, click the button above “Clark” on the Photostream.

On the Photostream home page you’ll see tabs under the banner. Click on “Albums” and you’ll see all our 2019 trips. Including an album of the many birds we’ve spotted and photographed throughout 2019 on Seabrook Island. There are also albums of my 2018 US Big Year, and our many other wonderful trips through the years.

So, if you need some diversion, or something to lull you to sleep at night, take a look at our birds. Enjoy!

Article by Aija Konrad, photos by Ed Konrad

Cancellation of 2020 SIB Shorebird Steward Program

We hope you and your families are doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this challenging time as the news of coronavirus spreads in our community, country and world!  Our lives have changed dramatically since we first put out the call for volunteers for our inaugural SIB Shorebird Steward Program back in January, 2020.

We have made the decision to cancel the SIB Shorebird Steward Program for this year.  In the last week, we have enough experience to realize we can not safely stay 6’ apart from each other and the use of the scope and other tools bring risk of contamination if anyone has the disease, especially if they are a carrier with no symptoms.

We would like to thank the more than 40 people who volunteered for this program, many who completed the training and participated in a shift on North Beach during the past three weeks. We hope everyone will use their knowledge about the birds on our beach to share with friends, family and those you meet as you are safely out and about. We will continue to send out information through our SIB blogs and Tidelines.  

We hope many of you will volunteer when we start the SIB Shorebird Steward Program again! We appreciate the support we’ve received from the Town of Seabrook Island, the SIPOA, the Seabrook Island Club and all the Seabrook Island Birders’ members and friends for our birds!


The SIB Shorebird Steward Program Core Team

  • Mark Andrews
  • Joleen Ardaiolo
  • Nancy Brown
  • Marcia Hider
  • Aija Konrad
  • Ed Konrad
  • Bob Mercer
  • Charley Moore

email: SIBStewards@gmail.com

Social Distancing Entertainment – Bird Games

Although we shared this information last November, we thought it might be appropriate to distribute again for anyone looking to entertain young people or even themselves! Here are three games that we thought all of you might enjoy to test your bird knowledge!

In the first game called “Bill Me,” you have to combine two words to make the name of a bird. Next, you have to match each of the birds with the appropriate bill shape.

The second handout has two games, the first is called “Fake Names,” and it lists fifteen bird names, of which eight are not real birds. The final game is a list of five statements, and you need to determine if they are True or False.

As the holiday season approaches, we hope you will print out these games and test your friends and family’s knowledge! To view the answers, visit SIB’s “Bird Games & Puzzles” page where you will find not only the two puzzles and answers discussed above, but an additional two puzzles. Don’t cheat and look at the answers before you try each of the puzzles!

Escape to Nature from Home with BirdNote

During this time of social distancing, stay connected to nature through BirdNote! The first season of Sound Escapes is a great place to start. Join Ashley Ahearn and acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton for sonic adventures in some of the most wild and sound-rich places in the world. (Hint: if you’d like to hear the sounds of the Indigo Bunting, don’t miss Land Between the Lakes.)

Click on an episode below to listen:  

Relearn the Art of Listening
The Song of the Big Island
The Auditory Horizon
Land Between the Lakes
A Jubilant Riot of Music
Cold Lake Amphitheater
Nightfall on the Zabalo

More ways to connect with nature through BirdNote:

Subscribe to BirdNote’s Weekly Preview

Copyright © 2020 BirdNote, All rights reserved.

Early Morning Birdwalks at Caw Caw – Cancelled through Saturday May 9

Please see the message below regarding birdwalks at Caw Caw:

Date: March 17, 2020 at 2:30:53 PM EDT

Charleston County Parks has cancelled all programs and events from now through May 10. There will be no birdwalks at Caw Caw during that time, even though the park may be open. It is possible that more will be cancelled into the future, and that the parks may close entirely during some or all of that time.

Please check charlestoncountyparks.com for additional cancellation information. Since we don’t require pre-registration for these birdwalks at Caw Caw, people may just show up expecting a program. Please spread the word that as of right now, our next birdwalk at Caw Caw will be Wednesday May 13.

Thanks for your help, and we hope to see you soon! Good birding to you! 

Best, 
Keith McCullough, C.I.T.
Natural History Interpretation Coordinator
Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission
5200 Savannah Hwy, Ravenel, SC 29470

Attention: SIB Cancels All Events Until Further Notice

Out of concern for everyone’s health and safety, Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) has decided to cancel all events until further notice.  We realize that as much as we would love to be with everyone talking about the birds on our island, we don’t feel we can safely maintain social distance while viewing and discussing the birds.

We encourage everyone to follow the guidance from the CDC. Only if appropriate, we encourage you to enjoy the outside spaces like the beach and nature walks for birding and nature watching.  

We will work on providing blogs that will give you ideas of activities that you, your children and grandchildren can do in a safe and responsible manner.

Thanks for your understanding and be well.

Join SIB for Spring Migration at Camp St. Christopher

Register Now!

Green Heron by Michael Audette

Sunday March 22, 2020 9:00 – 11:00 am
Spring Migration @ St. Christopher Camp & Conference Center
Location: Meet at the Bus Parking Lot at St. Christopher
Max: 10 walkers, 3 in cart

Explore the property at St. Christopher with one of the Camp’s environmentalists providing a cart for 3 birders with mobility issues. This event will visit the feeders near Susannah’s House then continue along the roads with walking birders accompanying those in the Camp’s vehicle. Spring should have begun, so we should see all the usual suspects, but will also hopefully get looks at our some of our more elusive resident breeding songbirds…Yellow-throated Warbler, Pine Warbler, Northern Parula, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Painted Bunting.

Early April is the start of migration for a number of species, so we may be lucky to see a few migrant warblers (Louisiana Waterthrush, Prothonotary Warbler, Common Yellowthroat), Scarlet Tanagers and Blue Grosbeaks.

Bring sun block, bug spray, a hat, water and binoculars. 

If you are not yet a 2020 SIB member, you must first become a member by following the instructions on our website: https://seabrookislandbirders.org/contact/join-sib/.

Once you are a member, please register no later than Friday March 20, 2020. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Saturday March 21st. 

Seabrook Island Birders-Shorebird Walk on North Beach

1-red-knot-flock-of-700-north-beach-east-of-boardwalk-1-1Tuesday, March 17, 2020 2pm-5pm
North Beach, boardwalk #1
Location: Meet at Property Owners’ beach parking lot, boardwalk #1.
Max: 20
Cost: None for members; $5 donation for guests

Bob Mercer and Mark Andrews will lead several Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) Shorebird Beach Walks at North Beach this spring. We’ll be looking for shorebirds of all types, but watching especially for the very special visitors; the Piping Plovers and Red Knots. The Red Knots that are our guests every March – May, stop at Seabrook Island to rest and refuel on their long migration from South America to the Arctic to breed. Flocks of 1,000 knots are expected during this time, growing to 5,000 or more as in past years. Wilson’s Plovers are being seen in the critical habitat getting ready to mate and nest. Overall, we hope to spot a nice variety of shorebirds as we work our way to the North Beach inlet.

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars, hats, sunscreen, water and snack.

If you are not yet a 2020 SIB member, you must first become a member for only $10 by following the instructions on our website: https://seabrookislandbirders.org/contact/join-sib/. Or you may pay the Guest Fee of $5.

Please complete the information below to register no later than Sunday March 15,2020. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Friday, March 6th.

USC Students to Study Red Knots on Seabrook and Kiawah Beaches

Sara Padula and Jenny Linscott counting red knots and finding flags.

Seabrook and Kiawah Islands will be hosting University of South Carolina (USC) graduate and undergraduate students for the next few months. These students are studying the Red Knots as they use our beaches as a stopover during their long spring migration. The students will be on the beach two days weekly from March through May, mostly likely on Friday and Saturday. As students survey the beach, you may recognize them by their bright yellow vests, tripods and scopes. If you find them looking through the scopes, it is important not to approach them or cross through their line of sight as looking for flags requires concentration and patience.

Luckily, the Seabrook Island Birders new Shorebird Steward Program began last Friday, March 6th. The goal of this new program is to have someone on the beach four hours a day with information, binoculars, and a birding scope for anyone who is interested in observing and learning more about our shorebirds. We will also have a Shorebird Steward accompany the USC student(s) as an intermediary in the event visiting beach goers are curious about their research project. 

Objectives of the USC Red Knot Project: 

During their annual migrations, rufa Red Knots depend on stopover sites along the Atlantic coast of the U.S to rest and refuel. In the past, most research concerning Red Knots has concentrated on Delaware Bay, which may host 50-80% of the Red Knot population. However, observations and counts by SCDNR and other colleagues in the region suggest that the coast of South Carolina, specifically Seabrook and Kiawah Islands, are of great importance for knots. The research will quantify the knots use of the area during spring migration. 

The objectives of the study are: 

  • Conduct weekly resighting efforts from Feb-May 2020 to identify individually marked Red Knots along the coast of Seabrook and Kiawah Island, SC. Resighting is an activity where an observer, using a high powered spotting scope or by photography, reads identification codes on the colored bands previously placed on the legs of Red Knots by researchers. It is a tough job to read tags on moving Red Knots!
  • Obtain robust estimates of the proportion of the rufa Red Knot population utilizing the study area and total stopover duration using  a research technique called mark-recapture sampling. This method statistically compares data obtained from banded birds to the number of unbanded birds to make an estimate of the total population and how long they stay.
  • Train two undergraduate students from the University of South Carolina (USC) to contribute to field work and data analyses. 
  • Support SCDNR shorebird conservation efforts through the provision of robust data. 

Lodging Needed

To allow the students to spend more of their limited time closer to the beach, the program would like to find lodging on Friday nights for the students. If anyone on Seabrook Island would be interested in providing a room for a student one weekend during the next few months it would be a tremendous help to them. If interested please fill out this form and someone will contact you within a few days.  

If you want to learn more about the students and their research please visit their university’s website: http://www.sennerlab.com/people.html 

Thank you to everyone for your support of this important study.

Sara Padula and Cameron Wise. Undergraduate students from the University of South Carolina.

Updated Registration Link – Join SIB for a Youth Bird Walk at Palmetto Lake

Please sign up using the updated link below:

Register today for the Youth Bird Walk at Palmetto Lake

IMG_8059

Description: Join the Seabrook Island Birders and the Seabrook Island Youth Group for a leisurely walk around Palmetto Lake. Beginners and experienced birders are welcome. We can teach you birding and how to use binoculars. We will provide binoculars, but if you have your own, please bring them. Spring Migration will have just started, but maybe the ducks will still be there. We will see our usual songbirds and shorebirds. We will have to look to the skies for hawks and bald eagles too. Daylight savings time is March 8th. We will have plenty of light left for our stroll. Members welcome without children.

Dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes and bring sun block, bug spray, a hat, water and binoculars.

Revision: This event will be free to all who attend. If you would like to join Seabrook Island Birders, the annual fee is $10/person aged 17 and older. Just visit us at our website: https://seabrookislandbirders.org/contact/join-sib/ to find the membership form or bring $10 to the next event you attend.

Register by completing the information below by Friday March 13.