SIB wants to make you aware of an opportunity to take a boat trip to Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge through Coastal Expeditions, on Sunday February 4, 2018, 8:00 am – 12 noon. As of now there are still 25 seats available and the cost is $45/person. SIB is not sponsoring this event, but there are several SIB members already signed up. See description and website below for more information.
As the weather cools and the northerly winds start to blow, birding in the Lowcountry blossoms. Join Coastal Expeditions on a guided birding trip through the estuaries to the northern end of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge in search of migrating shorebirds, songbirds, and birds of prey.
We’ll take you to the hidden spots where long-billed curlew can be found for a chance to see this life list-worthy bird in its native habitat. While we are out, expect to see other extraordinary avian species like peregrine falcons, marbled godwits, whimbrels, marsh wrens and seaside sparrows.
Throughout the year, 293 bird species are classified within Cape Romain, and many of them are seen during the fall migration along the Atlantic Flyway.
This is going to be a very special opportunity for birding in Cape Romain. With close-up views of the historic lighthouses and unmatched scenery, this trip is perfect for photographers, birders, nature-lovers and history buffs. This excursion will take place on board Caretta (We will not be departing onto any islands). SPACE IS LIMITED
Nearly a dozen SIB members are participating in the 2017-2018 Project FeederWatch program. During a seminar held earlier this week, one of the members asked a great question:
Q: My backyard is legally ended by a tidal creek that flows in to a marsh behind my neighbor’s house. The neighbor has a dock. I know I don’t count birds in flight but if there are birds perched on the dock or in the marsh, should I include them in my counts? Also, if there are birds scavenging at low tide in the mud of the creek or swimming by on high tide, should they be included?
Since this is an important questions as many of us live on or near marsh, beach, rivers, etc, Judy Morr sent the question to Project Feeder. Below is their answer:
A: It gets a little tricky counting near water. If any of the birds are attracted to something you provide (feeder, birdbath, plants, stocked fish in a pond etc…), please include them in the count. If you think the birds would be at that location regardless of anything you provide, please exclude them. For example, if a bird is foraging at the tide line or resting at the dock, I would exclude it. However, if ducks come up into your yard to forage, I would include them. I hope that helps.
Thank you for FeederWatching,
Chelsea Benson Project Assistant Project FeederWatch Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road Ithaca, NY 14850
If you are interested to learn more about Project FeederWatch, please read our BLOG or visit their website www.feederwatch.org and join today!
As you may know, there is an active bird banding station on our neighboring island. The following information is a summary of what Aaron Given, Wildlife Biologist, provided on his Kiawah Island Banding Station blog, where you can read the full report.
The 2017 fall migration banding season at the Kiawah Island Banding Station (KIBS) ended on Thursday, November 20, 2017. We banded at two sites on Kiawah Island again this fall: Captain Sam’s and Little Bear. This was the 9th consecutive year of fall migration banding at the Captain Sam’s site with banding occurring daily during the last 6 years. This was the 3rd season for the Little Bear site which we initiated during the fall of 2015. The two sites are located at each end of island about 8 miles apart (Captain Sam’s on the west end, Little Bear on the east end). Both sites are situated in coastal scrub/shrub and high marsh habitats, however, the Little Bear site is in an earlier stage of succession. Collectively, we banded 8,393 birds and had 1,845 recaptures of 93 different species at both sites.
Do you enjoy watching the birds in your backyard? Whether you have feeders or not, you should consider becoming a citizen scientist by joining Project FeederWatch this winter. If you would like to learn more about the program, SIB is hosting a seminar to explain Project FeederWatch and provide support to our members on Monday, December 4, from 4:00 – 5:00 pm. The seminar will be held at the Lake House in the Eagle’s Nest room.
Late Monday afternoon, David Gardner reported a siting of a Western Kingbird in the dunes in front of the chapel at Camp St. Christopher. A Western Kingbird is an eye-catching bird with ashy gray and lemon-yellow plumage, the Western Kingbird is a familiar summertime sight in open habitats across western North America. This large flycatcher sallies out to capture flying insects from conspicuous perches on trees or utility lines, flashing a black tail with white edges.
Note, the description above from Cornell Labs says it habitats western North America. This is not the first time this bird has been seen at Camp St. Christopher as it has been here for a week in several previous falls.
Tuesday morning, Aija and Ed Konrad with Judy Morr visited Camp St. Christopher and were able to see this visitor. David reported he was still there again on Thursday afternoon. The bird has been hanging out in the dunes between the beach and the chapel / cross just down from Pelican Watch Villas.
If you wish to search for the bird, look from the beach or access from the Camp by first registering at the camp’s Welcome Center. The Western Kingbird is not expected to stay on Seabrook all winter but we don’t know how long he will enjoy his vacation in our little paradise.