Bath Time

On January 28, 2020, we were delighted to see Eastern Bluebirds checking out our nest boxes and drinking from our birdbaths along with many Cedar Waxwings in our backyard on Deer Run Drive, Seabrook Island.

JANICE WATSON-SHADA

If you have bird encounters you would like to share with Seabrook Island Birders, go to Report a Bird Sighting on our website.

"Life on the Beach"

Mixed Shorebirds on North Beach – Bob Mercer

Monday, January 20, was a cool day for Seabrook Island with a brisk wind. Despite that, on impulse, I took a late afternoon walk on North Beach. The wind blowing into my face quickly ate through my light jacket, but the mass of birds feeding along the water and sitting on the beach pulled me farther away from the parking lot and warmth.

Bob Mercer, SIB Member & Retired Director/Naturalist, Silver Lake Nature Center, Bristol, PA

To read Bob’s full account of his day on North Beach, visit his blog Mercer’s Musings.

Unexpected Visitor to Johns Island, SC

Yesterday (Sunday January 19, 2020), I received a text from my South Carolina birding friend Aija who posted the presence of a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher nearby. Eileen and I quickly jumped into the car and dashed off to the location. Six other local birders had already arrived and they pointed us in the right direction. There sat a beautiful adult male bird resplendent in its rosy colors, and banner like tail.

Scissor-tailed flycatchers spend the summer months in the southern plains—primarily Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. The vast majority spend the winter on the Pacific Coast of Central America—primarily southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Costa Rica. Every year a few spend the winter in Florida and once in a while they will pop up in South Carolina. We were fortunate enough to be in the right spot at the right time.

Bob Mercer, SIB Member and Retired Director/Naturalist, Silver Lake Nature Center, Bristol, PA

Join SIB for Learning Together at Crooked Oaks

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 Crooked Oaks 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. Even some of our wintering residents such as Northern Flickers and Buffleheads may be seen.

  • Date: Monday January 27, 2020 9:00 am – 11:30 am
  • Title: Learning Together – Birding on Crooked Oaks 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: 30 
  • Cost: Free members; $5 donation for guests

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars, cameras, hats and sunscreen. Water will be provided.  

If you are not yet a 2020 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 we request a $5 donation to SIB. 

Once you are a member, please  register no later than Friday January 24, 2020. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Saturday January 25.

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

Be in the Know – Subscribe To SIB’s Google Group Emails

Did you miss the bird walk on North Beach last Saturday morning?  It started with an email sent last Friday mid-day from Ed Konrad to “SeabrookIslandBirders@googlegroups.com” and resulted with 14 SIB members enjoying a great morning of birding the next day.

Would you like to communicate information about birding on Seabrook Island to others who may be interested? Would you like to receive these types of communications?

If so, you may want to join the other 45 members of SIB who are part of SIB’s “Google Group”. It’s easy! To sign up for SIB’s Google Groups – click here and then click on “Subscribe to this group”.

Once you are signed up, you will receive any notice sent to the SeabrookIslandBirders@googlegroups.com. This could include:

  • What birds are being seen in the area and where they are being seen
  • Spur-of-the-moment birding trips on and off island
  • Questions about wild birds, bird watching and other wildlife conservation issues

If you have information to share with the group, just send an email to: SeabrookIslandBirders@googlegroups.com

It’s that easy!!! Give us your feedback and join our communication network for Seabrook Island Birders!

North Beach – Ed Konrad

Learning Together at the Maintenance Center

Date: Saturday January 18,2020
2:00-4:30 pm
Title: Learning Together at the Maintenance Area
Location: Meet at SIPOA Garden Plots parking lot
Max: 30
Cost: Free members; $5 donation for guests (No guest fee required for Brew portion. Each person will pay for their own drink).

Description: By now the wintering birds have found their way back to Seabrook Island. We will tour around the ponds at the Water Treatment area, the gardens and possibly the horse pastures in search of wintering waterfowl, birds of prey and passerines.

Dress in layers, wear study shoes and bring sun block, bug spray, a hat, water and binoculars.

For Birding, if you are not yet a SIB member, you must first become a member by following the instructions on our website: https://seabrookislandbirders.org/contact/join-sib/. Alternatively, you may pay a $5 guest fee.

Register by Thursday, January 16th.

Bird and Birding Books for Children

As parents raising children on Seabrook Island or grandparents whose grandchildren visit here often, you hopefully use our environment to spark an interest in nature. And, because we have access to the ocean, marsh, fresh water ponds, and woods our island is the perfect place to introduce your young ones to bird watching. 

To enhance this experience, there are many wonderful books about birds and birding for children of all ages that you might like to have on hand at your Seabrook Island home or send as gifts. To get you started SIB has a few recommendations. 

Little Book of Backyard Bird Songs by Andrea Pennington – This interactive book features recordings of twelve bird songs of some of the best known backyard birds across North America.  The board pages are easy to turn and the song buttons are easy to activate. There is a beautiful drawing and basic details for each bird. Even though this is a board book, it would be interesting for children of all ages. 

Noisy Bird Sing-Along by John Himmelman – This is a book similar to the above, but one that uses mnemonics instead of recordings of bird songs. A great book for preschoolers through age 8 or 9 and some adults like me who use mnemonics to remember bird sounds. The birds featured are found in many backyards and even though some of the birds are specific to either the east or west coast, there are birds found in other regions that are comparable. The illustrations of the birds and something from their environment are accurate and delightful. 

Birds, Nests & Eggs by Mel Boring – This is a fun, informative take-along guide that will help children from around the ages of 5 to 10 to locate and identify 15 birds. There are also activities that will enhance learning about birds and their habitats. This is a great steppingstone to the more advanced bird guides. 

National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America by Jonathan Alderfer – This is a more advanced bird guide than the previous book and, paired with a pair of binoculars, would be a wonderful gift for children age 8 and up. This book not only features detailed drawings by a top avian artist, Jonathan Alderfer, but also descriptions, fun facts, activities, and range maps. The guide includes comprehensive details of 50 of North America’s most popular birds as well as mini profiles of another 100 birds. This is a book that a child could take everywhere he or she goes.

The Big Book of Birds by Yuval Zommer – This large sized book features lots of beautiful and quirky illustrations and cool facts. The author and illustrator features flamboyant and whacky birds of the sky instead of the more common backyard birds. The large beautiful illustrations should hold the attention of children of all ages. This book also encourages young bird watchers to protect birds and to make their yards bird friendly. Also, check out one of his other books; The Big Book of Bugs! This book is equally, if not even more, impressive. 

This is just a sampling of all the amazing books about nature available for children. You can also visit the Charleston County Public Library on Johns Island to load up on lots of books about birds and nature in preparation for their visit. And, after introducing your children and grandchildren to the wonderful world of birds you all can then join the Seabrook Island Birders on one of our birding activities to put their new skills into practice. Check out all our fun activities at seabrookislandbirders.org.

Article Submitted by Joleen Ardaiolo