SIB participates in Christmas Bird Count

On Tuesday, January 4, 17 SIB members once again participated in the fantastic annual tradition that is the Christmas Bird Count! Every year, birdwatchers all over North America (and elsewhere) head out bird counting in an attempt to gather a scientific snapshot of the bird population in our area.

Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is conducted every year with 2022 being the 122nd year. This year, they projected 603 circles to submit data. Each circle is a defined area with no overlaps and remains constant from year to year so data comparisons may be made. Each circle does their count on one specified day between December 14 and January 5.

Seabrook Island is part of the Sea Islands CBC circle which is coordinated by Aaron Givens. Nancy Brown coordinated the activities on Seabrook Island for SIB and submitted our results to Aaron for consolidation. We had 10 teams of birders hitting Seabrook Island “hotspots” of Jenkins Point, Palmetto Lake, North Beach, the Lake District, Camp St Christopher, SIPOA/Club horse pasture and maintenance area, Crooked Oaks and Ocean Winds golf courses, and Bobcat/Six Ladies Trail. These teams saw 98 species and 1914 individual birds. We walked 27 miles, drove 3.4 miles and rode in golf carts 9.8 miles for 34 people hours of effort! Amazing!

Female Western Tanager – Jackie Brooks

In addition our team consisted of nine feeder watch homes sighting 39 species and 275 individual birds during 22.5 people hours of watching. Our feeder watch observers saw 7 species missed by the field team so the total species on Seabrook Island was 105. One of those 7 species was a “rare” Western Tanager at Joleen Ardaiolo’s great feeders. This bird normally a summer resident in the Rockies, going slightly eastward during migration. Rarely it is seen east of the Mississippi but this female has been a regular visitor to Joleen’s feeders for about a week. When Aaron confirmed her identification, he stated he hoped it stayed for CBC….and it did!

SIB member, Kathy Woosley, took the initiative to create a new CBC circle centered on James Island which this year was considered a practice CBC. She’s not the only one involved in other CBC circles. Just some of SIB member CBC participation off of Seabrook Island:

  • Mark Andrews: Sea Islands on Wadmalaw in addition to his 2.5 miles on North Beach
  • Mike Harhold: Four Holes Swamp, Charleston and the new James Island.
  • Bob Mercer: Southern Bucks County, PA and Cape May
  • Carl and Cathy Miller: Congaree, Four Holes Swamp, Sea Islands (Kiawah side of Capn Sam, coordinating with Mark Andrews to avoid duplicate counts), Charleston and the new James Island. They are schedule to participate in another “practice” CBC this weekend: Edisto Island CBC.
  • Craig Watson: new James Island,  Winyah Bay,  McClellanville, Charleston, and ACE Basin
  • Kathy and Bill Woosley: Four Holes Swamp, Charleston (1/5), Sea Island (not on Seabrook Island and new James Island.   Kathy commented that doing Sea Island and Charleston back to back was tough on them . Her first Christmas Count was in 1974 in Lynchburg Va.

Submitted by: Judy Morr

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