Request for Help!

American Oystercatchers on North Beach

HELP WANTED! With the increasing number of visitors to our beaches we need
more volunteers to help protect the Red Knots, American Oystercatchers and
Least Terns. We haven’t had a successful Least Tern nesting on our beach since
2018 and Oystercatcher U5, who is nested out there, tried three times last year
without success.

If you can spare just a couple of hours per week from now until the end of June to help keep visitors a safe distance from the nesting area, please let us know. We are looking for people to be on the beach from 10-12pm and 12-2:00pm or
maybe even bring your lunch & do a double shift from 10-2p!

This will not be the full steward expectation since the Red Knots are about to head north.We need people to monitor the Nesting Area to protect the nesting birds from disturbance. You will use our cart and wear a Steward Vest to identify your function. Just your presence will make a difference.

We will give you a quick training course on Least Terns and American Oystercatchers nesting and provide you with a reference guide. We will also get you registered on our website that allows you to self schedule and make an easy shift report on your phone. The experience will be easy, rewarding and very much appreciated!

The SIB Shorebird Steward Program Team
● Mark Andrews
● Lesley Gore
● Melanie Jerome
● Bob Mercer
Email: SIBStewards@gmail.com

Join SIB for Backyard Birding at The Haul Over

Backyard Birding at The Haul Over
Friday, May 14, 2021 from 6:00pm-7:30pm – The Haul Over
Location: 2445 The Haul Over
Max: 20
Cost: None for 2021 members; $5 donation for guests

Great Egret in Breeding Plumage – Dean Morr

Were going back to see more fledglings! Come join us in Annalee Regenburg’s backyard. Her house backs up to the Great Egret Rookery. The females sit on their nests all day and the males come into the nests in the evenings. We plan on observing this wonderful, sometimes noisy event. I’m sure we will see some Snowy Egrets and Green Herons, plus some night herons, all tucked in there too. As always, be sure to bring your water, binoculars, hats and sunscreen.

If you are not yet a 2021 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.

Register no later than  Wednesday May 12. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter the evening of May 13th.

Reminder: International Shorebird Survey Walks-North Beach

Reminder: There are 3 opportunities remaining for you to participate in International Shorebird Survey Walks. Use the links below to register for dates you wish to attend. No need to register for a date for which you have already registered.

The schedule: Click on Date to register.

DateStart timeHigh tideEnd timeLeader
Tu 5/11/217:158:369:45MA
F 5/21/213:154:215:45MA
M 5/31/2111:451:052:15MA

Over the years, data submitted to ebird documented Seabrook Island’s importance as a stopover for migratory shorebirds. In an effort to make that data meet the rigors of scientific scrutiny, a series of surveys will be conducted by either Bob Mercer or Mark Andrews. These surveys will follow the protocols of the International Shorebird Survey (ISS). One feature of the ISS is the surveys need to be conducted every ten days and at the same or similar tide. The survey can involve numerous volunteers and provides a golden opportunity to build the shorebird identification skills of SIB members. Beginners and advanced birders will enjoy this walk.

Participants need to bring their own binoculars and, if they have one, a spotting scope. Due to Covid, we will not be able to share equipment. According to the CDC, people are encouraged to wear a mask when they are unable to maintain social distance. We ask people to put on their masks when they get close to each other.

The count will be conducted over a two hour period starting from the boardwalk #1 beach and continuing up to the point, a distance of 1.5 miles each way. The walks should be about 2.5 hours long. 

The schedule is tide driven. The official survey start on the beach one hour prior to high tide and end on the beach about one hour after high tide. The start time for the walk is set so participants can meet in the #1 parking lot and have 15 minutes to reach the beach and the start of the survey. The end times are, like any birding experience, approximates. People can leave whenever they wish. 

Come prepared for the weather and natural conditions (bugs, sun, wind, hunger, thirst, etc.).

The schedule: Click on Date to register.

DateStart timeHigh tideEnd timeLeader
Su 4/11/217:15 8:319:45RAM
W 4/21/212:453:515:15RAM
Sa 5/1/2111:1512:201:45MA
Tu 5/11/217:158:369:45MA
F 5/21/213:154:215:45MA
M 5/31/2111:451:052:15MA

Beyond Our Backyard-Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center & Sanctuary

Tuesday, May 11, 2021 7:45 am – 2:00 pm (Tour starts at Beidler at 9:30a)
Location: Meet at SI Real Estate Office to Car Pool to Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center & Sanctuary (Google maps says 1.5 hour drive)
Min: 7 Max: 12 Cost: $12 per person, $5 Additional Guest Fee

If you have never been to Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center & Sanctuary (https://sc.audubon.org/visit/beidler), you won’t want to miss this opportunity – it’s well worth the 70-mile one-way trip! Matt Johnson, Center Director at the facility has offered to lead us on a guided tour while the Prothonotary Warblers are likely to be present. This private tour will be on a day the Center is normally closed. In prior years in this same week, Matt’s tours saw 30+ species including not only the Prothonotary Warbler but also Barred Owls, 5 species of Woodpeckers, 3 species of Vireos and 5 additional species of Warblers.

As the walk ends between 12:00 and 12:30, participants may want to bring a lunch, snacks and beverages to “picnic” at the Center prior to their return to Seabrook Island as Matt reports there are limited number of restaurants in the area. The visitor center is not open but there is a port-o-let available as a restroom option.

For those so inclined, they also have the option to continue their visit by walking the New Grassland-Woodlands Trails (https://sc.audubon.org/beidler-forest/new-grassland-woodland-trails-beidler-forest) recently opened.

Also be sure to bring sun block, bug spray, a hat, binoculars, camera and a scope if you have one. We will ask that people wear masks while riding together and to maintain social distance and wear masks while birding. Due to COVID concerns, shared use of scopes is discouraged.

If you are not yet a 2021 SIB member, you must first become a member for only $10 by following the instructions on our website: https://seabrookislandbirders.org/contact/join-sib/. You may bring the form and your dues to the event. Or you may pay the Guest Fee of $5.

Please register no later than Saturday May 8, 2021. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Monday, May 10, 2021. If you need to cancel, please let us know so we can invite people on the waitlist to attend.

SIB’s May Movie Matinee

Movie Matinees

Movie Matinee | The Spinal Column
As we continue to social distance, Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) has scheduled a “Virtual Movie Matinee” series using Zoom on the second Tuesday of each month. If you would like to join us for a Seabrook Island Birder’s “Virtual Movie Matinees” you must REGISTER to attend. Then we will email you the Zoom link the day prior to the event. We will open each event with introductions and a little social time, watch the  show together (generally an hour), and finish with a short discussion to get your feedback and answer questions. Sign up  then plan to get comfy in your favorite chair with snacks and beverages of your choice to enjoy our gathering!

May Movie – Register Here

Tuesday May 11, 2021 at 4:00 – 5:00 pm My Life as a Turkey

image-1After a local farmer left a bowl of eggs on Joe Hutto’s front porch, his life was forever changed. Hutto, possessing a broad background in the natural sciences and an interest in imprinting young animals, incubated the eggs and waited for them to hatch. As the chicks emerged from their shells, they locked eyes with an unusual but dedicated mother. Deep in the wilds of Florida’s Flatlands, Hutto spent each day living as a turkey mother, taking on the full-time job of raising sixteen turkey chicks. Hutto dutifully cared for his family around the clock, roosting with them, taking them foraging, and immersing himself in their world. In the process, they revealed their charming curiosity and surprising intellect. There was little he could teach them that they did not already know, but he showed them the lay of the land and protected them from the dangers of the forest as best he could. In return, they taught him how to see the world through their eyes. Based on his true story, My Life as a Turkey chronicles Hutto’s remarkable and moving experience of raising a group of wild turkey hatchlings to adulthood. You are invited to a Zoom meeting. When: May 11, 2021 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMsc-uoqDMuEtL9T_Ixhsyo7dolyjYKbkLI After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Watch the trailer here.
Tuesday June 8, 2021 at 4:00 – 5:00 pm – Big Birds Can’t Fly Tuesday July 13, 2021 4:00 – 5:00 pm – David Allen Sibley, “What It’s Like to Be a Bird”

Learning Together-Ocean Winds Golf Course

Monday May 10, 2021 8:30 am – 10:30 am
Birding on Ocean Winds Golf Course
Location: Meet at Island House (Golf Course Parking Lot next to Spinnaker Beach Houses) for ride along the golf course in golf carts
Max: 24 (If all seats in golf carts are used)
Cost: Free for members; $5 donation for guests – Priority will be given to prior waitlisted & members

Each Monday one of the Golf Courses is closed, so join us for a morning of birding by RIDING in golf carts for at least 9-holes on Ocean Winds golf course. We expect to see a large variety of birds including Double-crested Cormorants, Egrets, Herons, Bald Eagles and other birds of prey. We should also see and hear some of the smaller birds like Tufted Titmice, Eastern Bluebirds, Northern Cardinals and some of the many warbler species.

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars/cameras, hats and sunscreen. Water will be provided. We ask that all participants wear a mask when unable to social distance.

If you are not yet a 2021 SIB member, you must first become a member for only $10 by following the instructions on our website: https://seabrookislandbirders.org/contact/join-sib/. You may bring the form and your dues to the event. Or you may pay the Guest Fee of $5.

REGISTER TODAY

North Beach: New Nesting Area Signs and Nests!

Last Friday, coastal bird biologist Janet Thibault of SCDNR posted the yellow nesting area signs on North Beach and confirmed that we have nesting birds.

A familiar sight for many of us, American Oystercatcher Red U5 & his mate have nested on North Beach. Janet, who did her graduate work on Oystercatchers, says that U5 has been nesting here around Captain Sams Inlet since at least 2014. Last year, he and his mate tried three times to hatch eggs but were defeated by predator crows. This year they are nested in a more open area of the beach which hopefully will give them more time to spot marauding crows or gulls.

While we were posting the signs, we watched as a Least Tern prepared her scrape nest a short distance away from the Oystercatcher nest. By the time we finished with the signs, Janet found an egg in that nest as well!

Both American Oystercatchers and Least Terns will incubate eggs for about 25-30 days and then tend to their young for another 20 or so days until the chicks are able to fly. After the chicks are born, they will hide around any available beach plants, wrack and other debris whether inside the signs or not, to keep out of the sun. The chicks are very vulnerable during this time to walkers and beach vehicles and it takes a sharp eye to see them.

We have not had a successful nesting of Least Terns on Seabrook since 2018 when we had 53 nests. Fingers crossed we will have more Leasties come in to nest since they are colony nesters – there is safety from predators in numbers.

We’ll keep you informed as the season progresses. In the meantime, please stay well away from the nesting area and remember to watch where you walk when you are in dry sand or looking for shells in the wrack line.

Article by Mark Andrews; Photos by Mark Andrews and Janet Thibault

Global Big Day at Palmetto Lake

Join Seabrook Island Birders for a walk around Palmetto Lake.

Register Now

Date: Saturday May 8, 2021, 3:30-5:00P

Location: Meet at Lake House parking lot at end towards Equestrian Center
Max: 24
Cost: Free for Adults and Children ( children must be accompanied by an adult)

Global Big Day is an annual celebration of the birds around you. No matter where you are, join us virtually on May 8, and share the birds you find with eBird. Participating is easy—you can even be part of Global Big Day from home. If you can spare 5 or 10 minutes, report your bird observations to eBird online or with Cornell’s free eBird Mobile app. If you have more time, submit checklists of birds throughout the day.
Seabrook Island Birders and the Seabrook Island Youth Group will be observing the day with a leisurely walk around Palmetto Lake. Beginners and experienced birders are welcome. We can teach you birding and how to use binoculars. Unfortunately, in today’s environment, you must provide your own binoculars. Spring Migration will be nearing completion, but summer residents should be here. We will see our usual songbirds and shorebirds. We will look to the skies for hawks and bald eagles too. We will have plenty of light left for our stroll. Members welcome without children. We will break into two groups going in different directions around the lake if the number of registrants warrant.
Dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes and bring sun block, bug spray, a hat, water, binoculars and/or a camera.
Register by Thursday May 6. You will receive a reminder the day prior to the event.