Join SIB for Backyard Birding at Cat Tail Pond

Come join us in Paula and Bob’s Adamson’s back yard. They live right on the golf course and have 6 feeders plus a birdbath and 2 bluebird boxes. They even have 2 owl boxes. Many birds can be seen from the deck or the yard.  In addition to birds,  Paula says they have lots of  turkeys, squirrels, bunnies raccoons and possums.

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

If you are not yet a 2022 SIB member, you must first become a member for only $15 by following the instructions on our website: https://seabrookislandbirders.org/contact/join-sib/.   or you may pay the Guest Fee of $10.

Please complete the information below to register no later than Monday November 29th  at 10am.  All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Wednesday, November 30.

REGISTER 

Talk Turkey to me

I recently received an email from National Audubon that gave 10 fun facts about Wild Turkeys. An article that starts with “Super vision? Flowing beards? Spiral poo? Yeah, there’s plenty to talk about when it comes to this American icon” is too fun not to share.

Wild Turkey. Photo: Melissa James/Audubon Photography Awards

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Submitted by: Judy Morr

SIB Presents: Roseate Spoonbills, Wood Storks and Limpkins … are SC residents

Date: Wednesday December 7, 2022
Registration starts 7:00pm. Program starts 7:30pm
Location: Live Oak Hall, Lake House, Seabrook Island, SC
Program Fee: Members $0, Guests $10.00
Attendance: Limited to 100 members

If you are not a 2022 or 2023 SIB Member,
you can first join/renew for $15/year

Roseate Spoonbill, flamboyant with bright pink feathers, red eye staring from a partly bald head, giant spoon-shaped bill! Wood Stork, soaring on thermals with outstretched neck and legs, at 3 ft tall towering above other wetland birds! Limpkin, its long bill adapted for removing snails from shells, and unforgettable haunting cry! These fascinating birds, two that we enjoy seeing frequently on Seabrook, were once restricted to Florida. Now they all reside and nest in SC!


Craig Watson, bird guide and recent retiree from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service after 33 years of dedicated bird and habitat conservation, will be our guest. Craig will discuss these fascinating species’ decline and now subsequent increase in population, along with the reasons and implications of their range expansion to SC. Join us to hear Craig’s informative program, along with some enjoyable social time with Seabrook Island Birders’ members and guests!

 The program is limited to 100 SIB members. SIPOA COVID protocol will be followed.

Questions? Email us at: SeabrookIslandBirders@gmail.com 

Craig Watson currently resides in Charleston County South Carolina where he previously worked as a full time migratory bird biologist for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Now retired (September 2022), Craig moved to South Carolina 33 years ago and began his career with the U.S. Forest Service managing Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, particularly after Hurricane Hugo decimated the habitat and population of the woodpeckers. Craig transitioned into his most recent position with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 25 years ago, where his primary duties were securing funds for bird habitat conservation from North Carolina to Puerto Rico. His most recent collaborative effort is the newly released Black Rail Conservation Plan and working with partners on the Atlantic Coast for the conservation of Black Rail.

Craig currently serves as the Chair of the Grants Committee of the Carolina Bird Club, and he works part time for Ventures Bird Tours. He is also a volunteer for Audubon South Carolina, leading local trips, and he is a trip leader for various birding festivals in the US, including the North Shore Birding Festival in Lake Apopka area in Florida, and The Biggest Week in American Birding on the shores of Lake Erie. Craig participates in many Christmas Bird Counts, and leads other local birding activities including Seabrook Island Birders’ Learning Together bird walks. Craig spends most of his time exploring and birding, and spreading the word about birds!

Join or Renew Your SIB Membership for 2023

We are pleased the implementation of online payment using Credit Card / PayPal was well received this past year. The Seabrook Island Birders Executive Committee (SIB EC) met recently to review the budget for the coming year. In our first seven years of operation, we were able to maintain membership dues at $10/person. In order to cover increased expenses, offer quality programs, support the Shorebird Steward and the Bluebird Trail programs, the SIB EC has voted to increase dues to $15/person/year

We hope you will renew your membership today and it is valid through December 31, 2023. SIB membership is open to anyone interested in birds; residents, renters and guests to Seabrook Island.  Benefits of SIB membership include the opportunity to go on bird walks, participate in bird counts and learn about the many birds that frequent our island each season of the year.  In addition, SIB members will receive a discount on bird food purchased at Wild Birds Unlimited in West Ashley, SC.This past year, more than 290 members enjoyed the various in-person and virtual SIB events.  We encourage you to renew your 2023 membership today! These funds will help us offer great programs in the next year!

We have a two step process to renew by credit card.  

Step 1: Tell us Who You Are 

Step 2: Pay Your Membership to Us

OR

If you prefer to pay by check or cash, place a check made out to Seabrook Island Birders for $15/person in an envelope and include the name, email, and phone number of each member and bring to an event or drop off/mail to:  Seabrook Island Birders (SIB), 1202 Landfall Way, Seabrook Island, SC 29455

Thank you for your support! We look forward to seeing you soon.

Join SIB for Learning Together at Camp St. Christopher

Friday, November 25, 2022 8:00 am-11:00 am
Birding at Camp St. Christopher
Meet at bus parking lot at St. Christopher
Max:  10
Cost: Voluntary donation to Camp St.Christopher

Register Now

Come walk off the  bird by doing some birding!!! Explore the lakes, lagoons, paths and slough at St. Christopher.  This event will have 1 – 2 miles of walking over uneven terrain.  We  should see all the usual suspects, but will also hopefully get looks at our some of our winter friends-Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Northern Flicker, Yellow-rumped Warbler and sparrows.

Bring sun block, bug spray, a hat, water and binoculars.   We are asking our attendees to make a voluntary contribution to Camp St. Christopher to help support their efforts after a few trying years.

Please register no later than Wednesday, November 23, 2021.  All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Thursday, November 24, 2022.  If you need to cancel, please let us know so we can invite people on the waitlist to attend.

Volunteers Needed

We would love to have you join our team of volunteers!  Don’t worry if you are a beginning birder, we are looking for diverse skill sets, including experience or willingness to learn the following:  communications, marketing, organizing, strategic planning, leadership, financial, technology/digital media, etc. 

The committees shown with an asterisk ( * ) indicate they can be done remote from Seabrook Island. So even if you are only in the area for part of the year, you can still assist us in many areas!

  • Activities *:  Plan & coordinate workshops, bird walks, movie matinees and bird count activities for members. Committee meets via Zoom for no more than 1.5 hours about every other month.
  • Bluebird Monitoring:  Monitor Bluebird Houses located throughout Seabrook Island for one of three 6-week periods between March and August.  
  • Communications *:  Write stories to be used in SIB Blogs, Tidelines and The Seabrooker.  Update Facebook posts, Instagram and Twitter.  Share photographs with our members of activities and birds you see.
  • Shorebird Steward:  The steward program needs volunteers two-hour shifts to help educate people about the importance of our tiny piece of the world to the shorebirds that visit. This is not an enforcement effort, but an educational effort.
  • Hospitality:  Set up chairs and tables prior to meeting, register members and guests, provide and set up refreshments and clean up after each of the SIB events.
  • Membership:  Recruit and retain members.
  • Programs & Speakers *:  Plan & coordinate SIB Quarterly Programs for membership.
  • Executive Committee *:  Join the SIB board to assist with the overall strategy for our organization, take a role as President, VP, Secretary, Treasurer, lead and/or participate on committees. Committee meets via Zoom for no more than 1.5 hours every month.

Please let us know your interest by filling out this form.

Mark Andrews talks about Seabrook Island’s Shorebird Steward Program

For today’s blog, Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) spoke with Mark Andrews, one of the founders of Seabrook’s Shorebird Steward Program and current co-chair along with Bob Mercer. We asked Mark to share his knowledge and experience with our SIB followers. We have many new residents on Seabrook who might be interested in learning more about this program and volunteering their time and talents.

SIB: What is the Shorebird Steward Program?

Mark: The Shorebird Steward Program is a special program of the Seabrook Island Birders with an interesting history. It began in 2020, but after just a few days of operations, the program was cancelled because of Covid. I still remember Marcia Hider and Charley Moore enthusiastically towing the sign cart and scope down the beach to greet new folks. All of my efforts to get them to socially distance were for naught but neither of them had ever met a stranger!

More to your question, from March to the end of nesting season in June or July, stewards volunteer for two hour shifts on the beach each day to educate visitors and residents alike about shorebirds. Seabrook Island is a critical stopover for many migrating shorebird species like the federally threatened Red Knot. Our beach is also nesting habitat for threatened Least Terns and Wilson’s Plovers and wintering habitat for endangered/threatened Piping Plovers. The shorebird stewards teach beachgoers to respect the shorebirds by giving the birds space to forage and to rest. Even small disturbances to their routine can sap the birds of the energy that they need to migrate, nest or survive the winter. The message is simple: If you see shorebirds, walk around and please keep your dog on a leash when near birds.

SIB: After getting the green light to proceed in 2021, what has been the volunteer response?

Mark: This program has grown because of the enthusiastic legacy of Seabrook Island Birders. The strong tradition of community service, of not just planning birding activities but communicating with Seabrook to educate and draw others into the fold, has carried over to the Shorebird Steward Program. We have trained 37 people to be stewards. While most are members of Seabrook Island Birders, one does not need to be a serious “birder” to enjoy stewarding. We encourage both residents and non-residents to join our program

SIB: How is the Shorebird Steward Program funded?

Mark: We are very grateful that our costs from the very beginning have been covered by grants from the Town of Seabrook Island (TOSI), South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) and Seabrook Island Property Owners Association (SIPOA). These grants have covered speakers for our shorebird programs and our equipment. Our training has been provided by Audubon South Carolina. SIB has stepped in to insure the replacement cost of our scope and tripod.

SIB: How many hours have the Shorebird Stewards volunteered in the last 2 years?

Mark: The Shorebird Stewards volunteered 240 hours in 2021 and educated 768 beachgoers. This year the stewards worked 170 hours in a shorter season but still interacted with 748 people. Upwards of 60% of these interactions were with visitors in both years. This underscores that in-person stewarding a very effective method of teaching beachgoers about shorebirds.

SIB: Is the Shorebird Steward Program engaged in other projects?

Mark: Yes. Stewards have contributed to research projects being conducted on Seabrook beaches by SCDNR and United States Federal Wildlife Services (USFWS). We provided support for SCDNR’s Red Knot banding in April, a coastal Georgia to North Carolina Red Knot Survey, the US Fish and Wildlife Prey Surveys and Red Knot resighting, to name a few. In fact, the SIB Shorebird Steward Program’s operating endorsement from TOSI includes special provisions to support our research component. We are also active in an organization of other Audubon South Carolina steward programs with whom we share training resources and statistics.

SIB: Does that include coordinating with the Kiawah Shorebird Stewards?

Mark: Yes. We share the birds of Captain Sam’s Inlet with the Kiawah Shorebird Stewards who organized a series of four shorebird lectures which can be found on the SIB website. Our association with Kiawah has also resulted in an invitation for us to participate in the first ever Sea Island Shorebird Festival scheduled for May 2023. This is going to be an exceptional event. We think this is an incredible opportunity to promote shorebird conservation to our communities.

SIB: If you can dust off your crystal ball, what do you think the future might look like for Shorebird Stewards?

Mark: The Shorebird Steward Program has evolved to be a major activity on Seabrook Island. Shorebird Stewards is much like Turtle Patrol or Dolphin Watch in that we provide a material service to the community and interact directly with regulatory agencies. As shown by the number of interactions we have with visitors, Seabrook Island is prime destination for eco-tourism. The service our members provide help to make their experience enjoyable & educational while contributing to the conservation of shorebirds.

SIB: Thank you, Mark. You have provided a lot of good information to long term and new residents alike. For those of you who wish more information about the Seabrook Shorebird Stewards, please visit the SIB website.

https://seabrookislandbirders.org

Join SIB for Learning Together on North Beach – November 15

Tuesday November 15, 2022  10:00 am – 12:00 am (High Tide 12:44pm)
Birding at North Beach
Location:  Meet at Boardwalk # 1 Parking lot
Max:  none
Cost: Free for members; $10 donation for guests

Register Now

Join SIB Shorebird Steward leader Mark Andrews to bird at Seabrook Island’s North Beach. This three mile round trip walk travels from Board Walk #1 to the tip of North Beach along Captain Sams Inlet as high tide approaches.  Birders from beginners to advanced birders will enjoy the variety of birds found on North Beach. At this time, many different species of shorebirds rest and feed near the point or along the beach ridge near the beach’s pond. Along the way, we will explore the many different species that can be found in this unique area.  Piping Plovers and other winter residents should have returned from their summer nesting areas.

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars/cameras, hats and sunscreen. Bring a spotting scope if you have one. There should be spotting scopes available for viewing. Bring plenty to drink and a snack if desired. There are no facilities.  

If you are not yet a 2022 SIB member, you must first become a member for only $15 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 $10.

Please register no later than November 13th.  All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on November 14th, the day prior to the trip.  If you need to cancel, please let us know so we can invite people on the waitlist to attend.

SIB’s Article for the November The Seabrooker

In case you don’t receive it, or haven’t had a chance to read it yet, we hope you will enjoy The Seabrooker’s November 2022 SIB article. Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) contributed a full page article on Page 4! The stories this month feature:

Seabrook’s Snowbird Piping Plover is Back – Learn more one of our returning winter residents.

Thanks to author and photographer Ed Konrad for his awesome submission. Ed also serves as our graphic designer!

Join SIB to Bike and Bird the West Ashley Greenway

Wednesday, November 9, 2022 8:00 am – 12:00pm
Beyond our Backyard – Biking & Birding the Greenway
Location:  Meet at Parking area for West Ashley Greenway (McLeod Mill Rd. nr. Main Rd./SR S 10-20)
Max:  12
Cost None for members; $10 donation for guests

Register Now

Grab your bike and join us as we bike the West Ashley Greenway! This trail stretches about 8 miles from Johns Island to the South Windermere Shopping Center on Folly Road (parking available at either end). The trail is open from dawn to dusk. It’s 100 feet wide and mostly hard-parked dirt and some asphalt. Plus, the trail is flat so it’s great for beginning bikers and kids. For the most part, the trail runs parallel to U.S. Highway 17 past neighborhoods, parks and marshes so there’s plenty to see.  The City of Charleston Department of Parks has confirmed motorized handicap scooters may utilize the Greenway for this activity so some members may want to “bike” the Greenway in their scooters.

On Johns Island, the dirt gives way to rough gravel and narrow bridge crossings (beach/mountain bikes are better than road bikes on this section). Here the broad wetlands flank the trail, presenting magnificent views and rewarding bird sightings. If your timing is right, you may catch sight of the tidal flow that carved these lacework channels.

The map of this Rails-to-Trails site can be found here:  https://www.traillink.com/viewtrailmap/?tr=west-ashley-greenway

Join several SIB Executive Committee Members for this biking & birding trip at the West Ashley Greenway. We hope to see shorebirds like egrets, herons and Roseate Spoonbills in the tidal marsh areas. We should see/hear some of our winter residents like Eastern Phoebe, Northern Flicker and Palm Warbler.   And birds of prey are common to see flying overhead.   When we did this ride in December 2021, 58 species were seen or heard.  

Be sure to bring binoculars, camera, hats, sunscreen, bug repellant, snacks and water.  Once we complete our ride, some participants will likely visit Angel Oak Cafe for lunch where all are welcome to join us.

If you are not yet a 2022 SIB member, you must first become a member by following the instructions on our website: https://seabrookislandbirders.org/contact/join-sib/ or we request a $10 donation to SIB.

Once you are a member, register no later than Monday November 7, 2022.  All registrants will receive a confirmation letter the day prior the event.

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