Join us Saturday for October Big Day

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REGISTER NOW!

Date: Saturday October 6, 2018, various times between 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
Activity: October Big Day on Seabrook Island
Location: Various locations around Seabrook Island
Max: 10
Cost: No cost to members, $5 to non-members

Join us in participating in eBird’s first ever October Big Day. The event will involve walks at various locations throughout the day. The schedule below allows for individuals to sign up for a portion of the day if the whole day is not of interest. We request you register for all sections you will be attending so we know if we should wait for you at any individual location.

North Beach – (High Tide 6:20 am; Sunrise 7:16 am) – 7:00 AM – 10:00 AM
The group will walk the 2 miles to Captain Sam’s Inlet. Those unable to walk the entire distance may turn around at any time. The group will work together to identify those hard to distinguish plovers and sandpipers. Red Knots may even be sited. The walk is scheduled around the high tide when the birds will be consolidated on a narrower beach. Meet at the Owners Beach Access Parking Lot at Boardwalk .

Camp St. Christopher (10:00 AM – 12:00 PM)
At this site we plan an active walk in search of migrating warblers and others through the various habitats on the property. Expect to walk at least 2 miles on wooded paths. Meet in the bus parking area.

Equestrian Center / Maintenance Area – 1:30 – 3:00 PM
Starlings and Cowbirds plus numerous other birds can be expected. A large number of birds will likely be seen near the parking area but then a walk along the horse trail to the maintenance and garden area may be added to see a different variety of birds.

Palmetto Lake – 3:00 – 4:30 PM
Join us to explore the birds around the Lake House and the walks of Palmetto Lake. This is less than one mile of flat, paved walk around the lake. Meet at the Lake House parking lot.

Jenkin’s Point – 4:30 – 6:00 PM (Sunset 7:00 pm)
We will be exploring the birds seen along Jenkins Point lagoons and streets, including ducks, wading birds and shorebirds. Since this event will be primarily by car, it is appropriate for members with mobility issues. Meet at Jenkins Point Ct, the street after the first pond on the left.

For all events, bring sun block, bug spray, a hat, water, snacks and binoculars.

Learn more about October Big Day: https://ebird.org/news/october-big-day-6-october-2018

Please register no later than Wednesday October 4, 2018. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter the day prior the event.

If you have additional questions about the program, please contact us by sending an email to: SeabrookIslandBirders@gmail.com

If you are not yet a 2018 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 $5 donation to SIB.

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Snowy & Cold “Christmas Bird Count” a Success!

CBC – Nancy, Aija, Judy, SI Water Treatment Facility – Ed Konrad

On Friday, January 5, 2018, Seabrook Island Birders participated in Audubon’s 118th Annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) on the Sea Islands as we counted birds on our frozen, snow-covered island. We sent people to the beach, Camp St. Christopher’s, Palmetto Lake, Jenkins Point, Bohicket Marina, the water treatment and maintenance areas, and backyards!  For a day that started at 21 degrees with ice and snow, more than 20 people participated and saw 112 unique bird species, just missing last years record of 116 species. We hope even more people will join us a year from now for the 2018 Christmas Bird Count on our quest to beat the Seabrook Island record of unique bird species. And possibly beat the record for Kiawah Island too!

Read below about our adventures and enjoy our photos!

The Backyard Birders

A record 11 families took part in the backyard birding for a total of 20 hours, recording 44 unique species, including five not seen elsewhere on the island. These included the Baltimore Oriole, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Black-and-White Warbler, Common Yellowthroat and a Swamp Sparrow.  Special thanks to our Backyard Birding participants:

  • Jackie Brooks
  • Paul Giardino
  • Lucy Hoover
  • Melanie & Rob Jerome
  • Christina McHenry
  • Charley Moore
  • Dean Morr
  • Patricia Schaefer
  • Carl Voelker
  • Marie Wardell

North Beach
(Aija & Ed Konrad, David Gardner)

CBC Aija and David, North Beach – Ed Konrad

What a crazy experience, birding on our beach in frozen solid sand and snow!!! That was the start of our morning on the North Beach CBC. David Gardner, Ed and I headed out on a beautiful wintry day after our big snowfall for a most unusual CBC that would yield 59 species. 

On the way out to the point, we got all the “salty” sparrows near the old inlet. Seaside, Nelson’s and Saltmarsh were out in good numbers on an almost high tide. A surprise was flushing 5 Clapper Rails from the grasses, some almost underfoot! Looking toward the cove, that is the old inlet, we saw excellent numbers of ducks. A surprise was a group of 8 Northern Shovelers, not commonly seen at Seabrook. Buffleheads won in numbers with Redheads and Lesser Scaup next. But the prize duck was a first time for Seabrook Island, a Long-tailed Duck! This is a great duck for our island.

Shorebirds were plentiful down on the point, with the most exciting find, a group of 5 Piping Plovers huddling in the snow on the beach. There were over 250 Dunlin and a large group of 56 Black-bellied Plovers. Oystercatchers, Marbled Godwits, a lone Whimbrel and Ruddy Turnstones were among the highlights. We finished the day with 59 species on North Beach…a CBC in the snow, one to remember!

Camp St. Christopher
(David Gardner, Justin Johnson, Lauryn Gilmer, Nathaniel Hernandez)

A team of four staff on Camp St. Christopher observed 42 species over a period of four and half hours and through four miles of beach, woods and ponds.  Highlights included:   230 Red-winged Blackbirds, 405 American Robins, once again, all three marsh sparrows (Saltmarsh, Seaside and Nelson’s), 42 Scaup seen from the beach and a Barred owl that flew past the window while Justin Johnson ate his breakfast.

The Rest of Seabrook Island
(Judy Morr, Aija Konrad, George Haskins,
Nancy Brown)

CBC Mtce Area – Painted Bunting – Nancy Brown
CBC – Mtce Area – Red-shouldered Hawk – Ed Konrad

The sun was shining nicely off of the snow but it was a brisk 20 degrees when we began our search in the SIPOA / Club Maintenance Area and the Water Treatment Facility.  33 species were seen in this area including four Ruddy Duck, 13 Bufflehead and one Ring-necked Duck.  The surprise of this stop was seeing two olive green birds with a yellow chest.  Who would think on a snowy January morning we would see Painted Bunting?  The day also ended with a brief return to this area where 13 species were observed including the expected Hooded Merganser which had joined the other ducks. This time, the surprise was an American Woodcock in the tree line between the SIPOA / Club Maintenance Area and the Community Garden.  Both visits included Brown Thrasher and Eastern Towhee scratching under a bush looking for bugs among the leaves and snow.

CBC Palmetto Lake – Western Kingbird – Nancy Brown

It had warmed to the mid-30s as we got to Palmetto Lake where 30 species were seen.  Although a sighting of Killdeer is not unusual, it was unusual that we observed numerous Killdeer at each stop throughout the day.  Also at Palmetto Lake we saw the expected various Heron and Egrets.  The prize “find” at this stop was seeing the Western Kingbird that was first observed on Tuesday and continued at various locations around the lake through Friday.  During CBC, it was walking the path near the tennis courts side of the lake.  We returned to Palmetto Lake later in the day and spent more time near the playground and on the nature trail.  There the 24 species seen included seeing a Golden-Crowned Kinglet and a Blue-headed Vireo.

A drive down the various streets off of Jenkins Point resulted in 22 species being seen with three Tricolor Heron being the first of this species seen for the day.  Since the golf courses were closed, the survey of that usually prolific site was done looking at the cart path and ponds near the Sealoft Villas.  This brief stop resulted in nine species including a Belted Kingfisher, a good view of two Wood Storks and as we were leaving, a Coopers Hawk cooperated and landed on a nearby chimney.  While making the drive back to Palmetto Lake, the trip was delayed while waiting for 17 Wild Turkeys to complete their crossing of Seabrook Island Road near Fox Lair.  Surprisingly, this was the only siting of Turkeys during the our various birding sites.

Once again, thank you to all the participants of this years Christmas Bird Count!  Even with the delay of a day due to snow and ice, the team did a fabulous job in searching out some great birds!

Article submitted by:  Aija Konrad, Judy Morr, Nancy Brown
Photographs by:  Ed Konrad, Charley Moore, Dean Morr, Nancy Brown

Seabrook Island Birders participate in Audubon’s Great Backyard Bird Count

SIB Members enjoying a bird walk on North Beach during the GBBC - Ed Konrad
SIB Members enjoying a bird walk on North Beach during the GBBC – Ed Konrad

Seabrook Island Birders participated in the nationwide Audubon’s Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) on February 17th through the 20th. In addition to members reporting their sightings in their own backyard, 36 individuals also joined at least one of the five bird walks scheduled on Sunday February 19 and Monday February 20 at various venues around Seabrook Island.

Seabrook Island GBBC 2017 Summary
Seabrook Island GBBC 2017 Summary

Sunday morning started at 8:30 am with the group car pooling along Jenkins Point to check out various lagoons and vistas. Among the 28 species seen, the group enjoyed watching a Yellow-throated Warbler have breakfast on a pine cone.

The next walk was at Palmetto Lake and the Lake House. An Osprey crossed overhead multiple times to allow good views of banking and turning. Nineteen (primarily juvenile) White Ibis also flew overhead. Two Black-crowned Night-Herons and a Green Heron were near the water to provide a better view as were the Pied-billed Grebes and Double-crested Cormorant. Not to be outdone by their feathered friends, two alligators posed intertwined on the platform with five yellow bellied sliders basking on the alligators’ backs in the sun.

After a brief break, the third walk was along North Beach. Not surprising, a different variety of birds was seen on this walk. It would be hard to pick a highlight of this walk but the Northern Gannet in the distance as well as closer views of Horned Grebe, Dunlin and 42 Lessor Scaup were all crowd pleasers. Of course seeing banded Piping Plover and American Oystercatchers were also winners.

Sunday ended with a walk starting at the Equestrian Center and proceeding to the Garden and Maintenance Area. Eastern Bluebirds abound but bigger birds stole the show. Twenty-six (26) Wild Turkeys were gathered in one of the pastures. A Red-shouldered Hawk flew overhead then posed in a tree for pictures. As the group was leaving the Equestrian Center, a screech alerted of more activity and a picture of a pair of hawks mating was able to be captured. Continuing the big bird theme, a view into the holding pond past the maintenance area resulted in not only 25 Bufflehead but a rarer Common Goldeneye.

Monday ended the fabulous weekend with a “walk” in golf carts along the paths of Crooked Oaks Golf Course, closed to golfing for the day for maintenance. The 19 participants split in to two groups for a friendly competition regarding who could find the most species. One group started at 18 and went backwards on the course while another started at one. Sightings were shared when the groups met at the Bald Eagle’s nest on the hole #3. Unfortunately the Bald Eagle was not visible at that time but when one of the groups returned later, a mature eagle was watching over from above. A weekend high of 38 species was seen that morning with favorites that included the Wood Stork who appeared to be guarding over a 7 foot alligator along with the eagle mentioned above and an Eastern Towhee ground feeding near a feeder on the 17th hole.

Each walk saw American Crows (no surprise) and Yellow-rumped warblers with most walks reporting Carolina Chickadees and Tufted Titmice. The total number of each species by walk is shown below. A great weekend of contributing to citizen science and the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Article Submitted by:  Judy Morr
Photographs Submitted by:  Valerie Doane, Ed Konrad, Charles Moore & Dean Morr

Species Jenkins Point Palmetto Lake North Beach Equestrian Crooked Oaks Judy Crooked Oaks Nancy Grand Total
American Crow 4 3 3 6 6 8 30
American Goldfinch 2 2
American Kestrel 1 2 3
American Oystercatcher 2 2
American Robin 2 2 8 12
Anhinga 1 1 2
Bald Eagle 1 1 1 3 6
Belted Kingfisher 1 1
Black Vulture 4 4 8
Black-crowned Night-Heron 2 2
Blue Jay 9 6 3 2 20
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1 1
Boat-tailed Grackle 5 5
Brown Pelican 1 15 16
Bufflehead 1 15 25 41
Carolina Chickadee 7 8 5 12 15 47
Carolina Wren 2 2 2 6 12
Cedar Waxwing 20 3 23
Common Grackle 1 2 3
Common Loon 1 1
Double-crested Cormorant 4 1 6 6 17
Downy Woodpecker 1 2 3
Dunlin 35 35
Eastern Bluebird 3 3 25 15 15 61
Eastern Phoebe 1 2 3
Eastern Towhee 1 1
Fish Crow 5 3 5 13
Forster’s Tern 8 8
Great Blue Heron 1 1 2
Great Egret 12 1 1 1 1 16
Green Heron 1 1
Hooded Merganser 4 4
Horned Grebe 3 3
House Finch 5 7 6 6 24
House Sparrow 1 1
Laughing Gull 2 2
Lesser Scaup 42 42
Little Blue Heron 2 2
Mourning Dove 1 7 3 11
Northern Cardinal 2 2 1 3 4 12
Northern Flicker 2 2 4
Northern Gannet 10 10
Northern Harrier 1 1
Northern Mockingbird 3 2 1 1 7
Osprey 1 3 4
Pied-billed Grebe 2 2 1 5
Pine Warbler 4 1 3 3 11
Piping Plover 2 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1 3 6 4 14
Red-breasted Merganser 2 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1 1 2 4
Red-throated Loon 2 2
Red-winged Blackbird 30 3 5 38
Ring-billed Gull 12 12
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1 3 2 6
Snowy Egret 7 7
Tricolored Heron 4 1 5
Tufted Titmouse 6 3 12 11 32
Turkey Vulture 3 3 3 1 10
White Ibis 19 19
Wood Stork 2 1 3
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1 3 4
Yellow-rumped Warbler 15 10 5 15 6 8 59
Yellow-throated Warbler 1 2 4 7
Chipping Sparrow 3 3
Common Goldeneye 1 1
European Starling 15 15
Palm Warbler 3 3
Red-shouldered Hawk 2 1 3
Song Sparrow 1 1
Swamp Sparrow 1 1
White-throated Sparrow 1 1
Wild Turkey 26 26
Grand Total 131 94 196 162 127 111 821
Number of species 28 28 27 25 32 23 74

 

Annual Audubon International Bird Count Results

(Article Submitted by:  George Haskins, Survey Coordinator & Photos Submitted by: Charley Moore)

The annual survey of bird species on or adjacent to the Seabrook Island golf courses was conducted on April 28, 2016, by a team of 13 persons.  The ground rules call for counting those seen or heard from the golf courses themselves.  A spotting scope in trained hands expands that horizon.  Five teams of two persons each were out from 6:15 to 8:30 AM, two teams were out from 4:30 to 6:00 PM, one person was vigilant all day from her home on the Crooked Oaks course, and one person was on the 14th tee of Ocean Winds toward sunset. Those participating were Nancy Brown, Helen Donohue, David Gardner, George Haskins, Marcia and Bob Hider, Tori Langen, Charley Moore, Judy and Dean Morr, Martha and Joe Stevenot, and Betty Zimmerman.

The group recorded a total of 207 identifiable birds.  The net result after accounting for duplications was 76 species which are listed below.  That number is toward the higher end of our normal sightings, I believe.  One unusual species, the Bobolink, seen aside the 16th fairway of Ocean Winds was unexpected.  All six of the probable woodpeckers were observed.  One bird very common in our community, the Turkey Vulture, was not sighted by anyone.

The birds noted below are listed in the order they appear on the Seabrook Island bird check list.

I appreciated the effort of the birders who participated and the cooperation of the golf staff in providing us carts and full access to the courses within the specified time parameters.  A master copy of the actual checklist will be provided to Greens Superintendent Sean Hartwick, who is the chair of this project supporting the Audubon Certification process.

Red-breasted Merganser Northern Flicker
Common Loon Pileated Woodpecker
Brown Pelican Great Crested Flycatcher
Double Crested Cormorant Blue Jay
Anhinga American Crow
Great Blue Heron Fish Crow
Great Egret Tree Swallow
Snowy Egret Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Tricolored Heron Barn Swallow
Green Heron Carolina Chickadee
Black-crowned Night Heron Tufted Titmouse
Black Vulture Carolina Wren
Osprey Marsh Wren
Bald Eagle Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Red-tailed Hawk Eastern Bluebird
Spotted Sandpiper Gray Catbird
Willet Northern Mockingbird
Whimbrel Brown Thrasher
Laughing Gull Cedar Waxwing
Herring Gull Northern Parula
Least Tern Yellow-rumped Warbler
Gull-billed Tern Yellow-throated Warbler
Caspian Tern Pine Warbler
Forster’s Tern Black and White Warbler
Royal Tern Ovenbird
Black Skimmer Eastern Towhee
Mourning Dove Swamp Sparrow
Common Ground-Dove Painted Bunting
Eurasian Collared-Dove Northern Cardinal
Common Nighthawk Bobolink
Chuck-wills-widow Red-winged Blackbird
Chimney Swift Common Grackle
Ruby-throated Hummingbird Brown-headed Cowbird
Belted Kingfisher Orchard Oriole
Red-headed Woodpecker House Finch
Red-belllied Woodpecker Tricolored Blackbird
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Downy Woodpecker Wild Turkey

Join SIB for our First “Learning Together Bird Walk” this Sunday

There is still time to sign up for the SIB’s first “Learning Together Bird Walks” by registering here .  Read details below.

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 8.33.49 AM

We encourage everyone to take time during the weekend of February 12 – 15, 2016 to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC).  Spend 15 minutes or longer documenting the number of each species and input this information along with the date, time, length of time and location into www.eBird.org  (if you are a first time user, you will need to create a login).  Learn more about the GBBC here.

On Sunday February 14, SIB is sponsoring our fist member activity by hosting two “Learning Together Bird Walks.”  If you are not yet a SIB member, you must first become a member by following the instructions here.

Once you are a member, please register for one of the “Learning Together Bird Walks” by completing the form below and selecting one of the two trips:

Trip 1 – Palmetto Lake:  Casual flat surface walk of less than a mile for approximately 1 1/2 hours around Palmetto Lake to view birds common to Seabrook Island backyards and ponds.  Walk will leave the Lake House front steps promptly at 8:30 am.  Limit 20 people.

Trip 2 – North Beach:  Casual walk on North Beach of two miles (or more) for approximately 1 1/2 hours to view birds common to the beaches on Seabrook Island.  Walk will leave the parking lot of North Beach Boardwalk #1 promptly at 8:30 am.  Limit 12 people.

Please bring water, sunscreen, bug repellent, hat and if you have them binoculars and/or a camera.

Please click here to register no later than Friday February 12, 2016.

Thanks!

Join SIB for the GBBC from February 12-15, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 8.33.49 AM

We encourage everyone to take time during the weekend of February 12 – 15, 2016 to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC).  Spend 15 minutes or longer documenting the number of each species and input this information along with the date, time, length of time and location into www.eBird.org  (if you are a first time user, you will need to create a login).  Learn more about the GBBC here.

On Sunday February 14, SIB is sponsoring our fist member activity by hosting two “Learning Together Bird Walks.”  If you are not yet a SIB member, you must first become a member by following the instructions here.

Once you are a member, please register for one of the “Learning Together Bird Walks” by completing the form below and selecting one of the two trips:

Trip 1 – Palmetto Lake:  Casual flat surface walk of less than a mile for approximately 1 1/2 hours around Palmetto Lake to view birds common to Seabrook Island backyards and ponds.  Walk will leave the Lake House front steps promptly at 8:30 am.  Limit 20 people.

Trip 2 – North Beach:  Casual walk on North Beach of two miles (or more) for approximately 1 1/2 hours to view birds common to the beaches on Seabrook Island.  Walk will leave the parking lot of North Beach Boardwalk #1 promptly at 8:30 am.  Limit 12 people.

Please bring water, sunscreen, bug repellent, hat and if you have them binoculars and/or a camera.

Please register no later than Friday February 12, 2016.  Thanks!