Bird Sighting: Jenkins Point Nests with Chicks

Name of Bird Species:  Great Egret, Snowy Egret, and Green Heron nests with chicks
Number of Birds Sighted:  
Estimate adults and chicks on/near nests:

36 Great Egret
32 Snowy Egret
12 Green Heron

Date & Time of Sighting:  June 9, 2017, 10:00 – 10:45am
Location of SightingJenkins Point: 1st pond to left as enter on Jenkins Point Road, and Old Wharf Road

At first pond to left as enter on Jenkins Point: 5 Great Egret and 3 Snowy Egret nests with chicks. Also spotted juvenile Green Heron so must be nest there too.

On Old Wharf Road: 4 Great Egret and 5 Snowy Egret nests with chicks, all visible from road. Also in tree, just to left of this pond near road, spotted a Green Heron nest with 3 chicks, and at least 12 total Green Herons including 9 juveniles/chicks. Be careful of the baby alligators sunning near this tree, and their big mama keeping a close watch. Adult gator eyed-balled us as she swam by, and later gave a very loud bellow from back of pond that seemed to denote her displeasure with us in this area.

Great photo opportunities of chicks and adults in action!

Article Submitted by Aija Konrad, Photos by Ed Konrad

Bird Sighting: Yellow-breasted Chat

Name of Bird Species: Yellow-breasted Chat
Number of Birds Sighted: 2
Date & Time of Sighting: June 9, 2017, 8:17am and 10:10am
Location of Sighting: North Beach Property Owners’ Boardwalk #1

As we were walking out to North Beach on Boardwalk #1 at 8:17am, the Yellow-breasted Chat was very vocal on the right side of the boardwalk, often in the tallest tree on the right, just before the bend to the porta-potty. Several times if flew over the boardwalk, with clumsy flight and then back. It made it’s silly calls the entire time. When we came off the beach about 10:10am, we heard and saw it in the same area, same tree. I believe there were 2 birds, because I thought I heard another one in the wax myrtle area on Bobcat Dune boardwalk. 

Article Submitted by Aija Konrad, Photos by Ed Konrad

Bird Sighting – “FOS” Mississippi Kite

Mississippi Kite flying – Ed Konrad

Name: Nancy Brown & Flo Foley
Date & Time of Sighting:
Wednesday April 26, 2017 approximately 10:30 am
Location of Sighting (be as specific as possible):
Flying above Crooked Oaks Golf Course on the 11th hole fairway
Name of Bird Species:
Mississippi Kite
Number of Birds Sighted: 2
Comments: We have been expecting to see the Mississippi Kite any day, and today was our “first of season” sighting. Throughout the late spring and summer of 2016, we would see them nearly every time we golfed Crooked Oaks (sometimes on Ocean Winds) and almost always on the fairway or green of the 11th hole of Crooked Oaks. Flo was golfing in a separate group ahead of me and she also saw them. Look for a sleek looking gray bird of prey with long slender wings and a long squared off tail.

Editors Note: This first of season (FOS) sighting is another example of a migrating bird who spends the summer on Seabrook Island (and most likely breeds here too!).   To learn more about them, visit the Mississippi & Swallow-tail Kite blog we published one year ago.  Photo above was is a file photo taken by Ed Konrad in Georgia.

Bird Sighting – “FOS” Yellow-breasted Chat

Yellow-breasted Chat – Ed Konrad

Name: Aija and Ed Konrad
Date & Time of Sighting:
April 21. 2017 at about 9:30 am
Location of Sighting (be as specific as possible):
Bobcat Dune Boardwalk, looking toward the houses. In the area that runs through the sandy part with grasses, looking toward the houses.
Name of Bird Species:
Yellow-breasted Chat
Number of Birds Sighted: 1
Comments: I heard this bird before we saw it, calling it’s ridiculous “chatting” call. I have had it at this location for the past 3 summers. It tends to sit on top of bushes or trees and make it’s call. It can be a bit secretive and make you crazy because you can hear it, but hard to find. It is very showy with it’s yellow breast and throat, and fairly large (7.5″). I have since seen or heard it for the last 4 days. It will stay for the summer.

Editors Note:  Thank you Aija and Ed for reporting your sighting! This first of season (FOS) sighting is another example of a migrating bird who spends the summer on Seabrook Island to breed. Since your sighting we learned that David Gardner from St. Christopher had never seen or heard this bird on Seabrook Island, and it is new for several others of us!  How exciting to know we have an elusive bird that many of us will now add to our lifelist!

Bird Sighting – “FOS” Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-headed Woodpecker – Patricia Schaefer

Submitter Name:
Patricia Schaefer
Date & Time of Sighting:
Sunday April 23 at about Noon
Location of Sighting (be as specific as possible):
Over the marsh and trees in my back yard and lot next door
Name of Bird Species:
Red-headed woodpeckers
Number of Birds Sighted: 2
Comments: I have not see this bird here in a long time. There were a pair flying in and out of trees. They did a lot of chirping, then in the distance I could see them chasing one another and lots of talking! I did snap an image or two

Editors Note:  Thank you Patricia for reporting your sighting! This first of season (FOS) sighting is another example of a migrating bird who spends the summer on Seabrook Island to breed. Last year, I would see them in two places on the golf course – on Crooked Oaks in the dead tree to the right of the 10th green and in the same tree where the former Bald Eagles had their nest (from the Crooked Oaks tee box of #4 and Ocean Winds green #3).  Where have you seen these interesting birds?  To learn more about them, visit the Red-headed Woodpecker blog we published one year ago.

Bird Sighting – Return of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Name: Andy Allen
Date & Time of Sighting: 3/31/17 12:30 pm
Location of Sighting (be as specific as possible): 2600 Jenkins point, very near marsh
Name of Bird Species: Ruby Throated Hummingbird
Number of Birds Sighted: one male
Comments: We have one male each year who visits our window feeder several times a day and regularly checks out our deck Penta, even if we are sitting on the deck. He has a mate by summer and at least one fledging by fall. There is a nest in a live oak between the house and the marsh.
Yesterday was the first day we noticed him with his amazingly bright ruby throat. I don’t think he was around this winter.

Is this early for hummingbirds to return since bright red flowers are still fairly rare? Maybe they have come back to lots of feeders or were here this whole mild winter. We stopped feeding in late October when there was no evidence of action and only resumed mid-March

Response from SIB

Hello Andy
Thanks for your sighting and question.  Although some Ruby-throated Hummingbirds do winter on Seabrook Island, it is very possible that the one at your home has returned from its migration.  I have found a few things on the web, but the blog below is quite timely and I like the visual of the map they created showing the return on or around April 1st for our area.
Nancy Brown
(Updated 27 Mar 2017)

After a long winter without Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, it’s gratifying to know this diminutive Neotropical migrant is reportedly making its way back toward Hilton Pond Center and points north. It’s hard to explain to folks who aren’t hummingbird enthusiasts just how crucial this news is to those of us who brew batches of sugar water all summer long, but the annual arrival of spring migrant ruby-throats is one of the most-anticipated happenings in the world of backyard birdwatchers. Ruby-throats have already appeared along the Gulf Coast and are moving their way northward, so it’s only a matter of time until phones start ringing and E-mails start flying as folks announce “I just got my first one at the feeder!” Since hummingbird watching is a such a highly competitive sport, few things are more important than being able to say you spotted the neighborhood’s first ruby-throat of the season.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Migration
 Hilton Pond Center (read the full Hilton Pond Center blog at this site)

Aija & Ed’s Bird Sightings on North Beach last Friday

American Oystercatchers on North Beach - Ed Konrad
American Oystercatchers on North Beach – Ed Konrad

Date & Time of Sighting: Friday February 24, 2017, 6:30am to Noon

Location of Sighting: Seabrook Island North Beach

Name of Bird Species: Red Knot, American Oystercatcher, Merlin, Marbled Godwit, Black-bellied Plover, Short-billed Dowitcher, Dunlin, Ruddy Turnstone, Red’breasted Merganser, Bufflehead, Lesser Scaup

Number of Birds Sighted: 300 Red Knot, 83 American Oystercatcher, 1 Merlin, 5 Marbled Godwit

Comments: Sometimes you just get a magical morning birding at North Beach! Ed and I went out before sunrise, and started our checklist in the parking lot at 6:38 on a cloudless morning. High tide had been at about 6:15, so we had the benefit of a falling tide, with birds pushed up close to shore. This is our favorite tide to bird on.

Our first surprise was 53 American Oystercatcher down past the “No dogs allowed” sign. This is one of the biggest groups we have had on Seabrook, and Ed shot pictures with the rising sun in the background. The oystercatchers flew to the Kiawah side where they joined up with more oystercatchers for a grand total of 83!!! Wow! On the Beachwalker side we could also see numerous Forster’s Terns, Red Knots, gulls, Dunlin, and one Great Black-backed Gull in our scope.

As we continued down the beach we found a beautiful Merlin perched on the dead bush that has washed up on our beach. He’s our middle-sized falcon, between the American Kestrel and Peregrine Falcon. A real treat to see him on our beach, and he posed for great pictures in the early morning light. Soon after we found 5 Marbled Godwits on the inlet, along with 12 Black-bellied Plovers and an assortment of Short-billed Dowitchers, Dunlin, Ruddy Turnstones, and a few Red Knots. The usual contingent of Buffleheads, Lesser Scaup and Red-breasted Mergansers bobbed in the inlet.

Soon the Red Knots on Beachwalker began to fly to Seabrook, and we reached a grand total of almost 300! We photographed a few with flags and also one with a transmitter to track it’s journey. It is so exciting to see the knots gracing us with their presence already.

The Red Knots migrate over 9,000 miles, one of the longest migrations for any bird, from the tip of southern South American to the Arctic tundra to breed. We are an important stop along the way for them to feed. Their numbers will build to several thousand on our beach, during March and April, truly a spectacular sight! If you see them, respect their space and walk around them.

A great morning on out beautiful island.

Article by Aija Konrad, photos by Ed Konrad