Join us Saturday to Bird “Beyond our Backyard” at Bear Island/Donnelly WMA

REGISTER NOW!

Saturday, February 23, 2019 6:00 am – 6:00 pm
Location: Meet at SI Real Estate Office to Car Pool to Bear Island and Donnelly Wildlife Management Area
Max: 10 Cost: Free to members, $5 Guest Fee

If you have never been to Bear Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) or to Donnelly WMA, you won’t want to miss this opportunity – it’s well worth the 60-mile one-way trip! Part of the ACE Basin, this area is perfect habitat for birds with ponds, rivers, salt marsh, freshwater marsh, mudflats mixed pine-hardwood forest and farmland. Most of the birding is done by car with stops to get out and take short walks for viewing. Bear Island closes for hunting from November 1 – February 1 each year. We hope the winter waterfowl will still be present including the Tundra Swan. Each person should bring their own lunch, snacks and beverages, as there are no restaurants in the area. Also be sure to bring sun block, bug spray, a hat, binoculars, camera and a scope if you have one.

If you are not yet a 2019 SIB member, you must first become a member by following the instructions on our website: https://seabrookislandbirders.org/contact/join-sib/. Otherwise you may pay a $5 Guest Fee.

Once you are a member, please complete the information below to register no later than Thursday, February 21, 2019. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Friday, February 22, 2019.

Advertisements

Final Reminder: Register for Audubon’s Great Backyard Bird Count – SIB’s Activities This Weekend

Interested to  join for a bird walk on Sunday or Monday?  See below and sign up for one, some or all!  In fact, if you have children at home or visiting, consider bringing them to our walk at Palmetto Lake on Sunday February 17, at 1:00 pm!  Details and link to register below.

screen shot 2019-01-25 at 7.25.32 amEach year, Audubon hosts The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC).  The GBBC is a fun, and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at birdcount.org.  The 22nd annual GBBC will be held Friday, February 15, through Monday, February 18, 2019.

Seabrook Island Birders schedules numerous activities in conjunction with the GBBC.

On Sunday, February 17, four separate walks are scheduled.  You can register to participate in one or all four.

  • Sunrise Birding at North Beach – 6:30 AM – 9:30 AM
    It’s early but what can be greater than sunrise and birding on the beach. The group will meet at the Owners Beach Access Parking Lot at Boardwalk 1 then 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 sighted. The walk is scheduled around the high tide when the birds will be consolidated on a narrower beach.
  • Jenkin’s Point – 10:00 AM – 12:00 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.
  • Palmetto Lake – 1:00 – 2:30 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. We welcome our Seabrook Island parents to bring their children to this walk with no charge for parent or child.
  • Maintenance Area / Equestrian Center – 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
    We’ll start at the Garden Parking Lot and explore the retention ponds of the Water Treatment Facility and its borders where Hooded Mergansers, Buffleheads, Ruddy Ducks and songbirds and sparrows can be seen. From there, we will walk along the horse trail (or drive) to the Equestrian Center to see Starlings and Cowbirds plus numerous other birds that can be expected there.

On Monday, February 18, 9:00 am – 11:00 am, we conclude our GBBC with a “walk” on Ocean Winds Golf courseRegister here.  Join us for a morning of birding by RIDING in golf carts for at least 9-holes on the 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. Maybe Hooded Mergansers, Northern Flickers, Eastern Phoebe’s or some of our winter residents may also be seen.

Submitted by: Judy Morr

Backyard Birding – Would you be willing to host one time in your backyard?

Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) offers its members a monthly opportunity to bird with other members in the comfort of someone’s backyard.  Almost every home on Seabrook has a good view of a variety of different birds. In 2018, we had 10 such activities, some in the morning, some in the evening.  Our members get a lot out of the relaxed activity and learn a lot from each other. The host(s) sometimes learns about birds they see every day but may not notice or know what they are.  Others enjoying sharing their little piece of paradise. No matter whether you are on the golf course, tennis area, lakes, lagoons, woods or ocean, there are birds in your backyard. If you are willing to host a Backyard Birding activity, please contact Melanie Jerome (melaniejerome@att.net) who coordinates these activities.

Just a few glimpses of prior Backyard Birding events:

Below are some frequently asked questions that may help you in your decision.  If you have more questions, contact Melanie and she can answer your questions without you having to make a commitment.

What do I need to do in preparation?

There is no preparation for this event, other than setting a date. You just have to let us into your backyard. You don’t even have to be there, but we hope you are. – only happened once

What if my house is not big enough?

We don’t care, we are not in your house. Many of the backyard birding is done at the villas also. We like to keep it at 12 for registration purposes, but average of 4-8 have been registering.

I haven’t seen many birds lately, what if there isn’t very many to view?

We don’t care if we only see one bird. We can find a lot to talk about and learn , even if we only see crows.  (nutt’in against the crows)

Do I have to provide food and beverage?

We don’t need food or beverage, we bring our own insulated mugs. BYOB

What if I don’t know very many bird names?

We don’t care. We love to teach others, and we sometimes are not sure either. What a great way to learn about the birds you see in your yard.

I have a pretty busy schedule….

We know and it’s only a 2 hour commitment. We will just sit on your back porch or mostly standing in the yard, looking up!!

Won’t I be embarrassed if there are no birds?

Birds can be uncooperative, when it comes time for viewing, but even the most common bird can surprise you. I sat with my binoculars one day, looking at a crow for about 20 min. It was amazing how he sat and groomed his partner. He kept pecking the branch and i watched as he landed there and took off when he was done. The shape of the crows wings are one of the most beautiful shaped wings i’ve see . The bird is so dark black that it looks almost blue in the sunlight. Appears to just caw for no reason, i could see. Interesting character.

Help! Volunteers are needed to host a Backyard Birding Activity for 2019. Please consider hosting a backyard birding activity in the new year. Just contact Melanie at melaniejerome@att.net, to set a date and get it on the calendar. She is currently working on March, April and May.

Tales of a Big Year…the Journey to 577

1 Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, CO
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, CO – Ed Konrad

On January 30, SIB members Aija and Ed Konrad amazed the 68 attendees for our first evening event of 2019 with their “Tales of a Big Year … the Journey to 577.” In 2018, Aija took the challenge to do a United States Big Year, finding 577 bird species for the year. She finished #14 in the lower 48 states among 77,000 US eBirders, and #25 in the US overall!

A Big Year is a personal challenge or an informal competition among birders, who attempt to identify as many species as possible by sight or sound, within a single calendar year, and within a specific geographic area. In doing the Big Year, Aija and Ed took 10 trips across the US, were away 110 days, traveled through 36 states, visited 35 National Parks and NWRs, drove 30,000 miles, flew 14,000 miles, walked countless 5 plus mile days, and used half a million hotel points.

Screen Shot 2019-02-03 at 9.36.35 AM
Here’s the map of Aija and Ed’s travel for Aija’s Big Year…

Not every birder has the luxury of their own personal photographer to document their Big Year, so the evening was filled with Ed’s great pictures of birds and the USA’s beautiful National Parks. The program kicked off with a fast-paced musical slide show displaying over 500 birds of Aija’s 577 year birds that Ed photographed.

Aija and Ed then shared stories through their photos of how they crisscrossed the US, their non-stop schedule of birding from dawn to dusk, favorite birds, hikes, experiences, and even some challenges and a disagreement or two! They led us through a colorful and animated tour though their travels to bird in Texas, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Chicago and Ohio, Arizona, California, Washington, Florida, South and North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, and Maine.

The SIB attendees enjoyed an interesting and fun evening. We all now know what it takes to do a US Big Year. We’re proud that a SIB member accomplished being in last year’s US Top 25 eBirders! Congratulations Aija and Ed!

Audubon’s Great Backyard Bird Count – SIB’s activities

screen shot 2019-01-25 at 7.25.32 amEach year, Audubon hosts The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC).  The GBBC is a fun, and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at birdcount.org.  The 22nd annual GBBC will be held Friday, February 15, through Monday, February 18, 2019.

Seabrook Island Birders schedules numerous activities in conjunction with the GBBC.

On Sunday, February 17, four separate walks are scheduled.  You can register to participate in one or all four.

  • Sunrise Birding at North Beach – 6:30 AM – 9:30 AM
    It’s early but what can be greater than sunrise and birding on the beach. The group will meet at the Owners Beach Access Parking Lot at Boardwalk 1 then 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 sighted. The walk is scheduled around the high tide when the birds will be consolidated on a narrower beach.
  • Maintenance Area / Equestrian Center – 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    We’ll start at the Garden Parking Lot and explore the retention ponds of the Water Treatment Facility and its borders where Hooded Mergansers, Buffleheads, Ruddy Ducks and songbirds and sparrows can be seen. From there, we will walk along the horse trail (or drive) to the Equestrian Center to see Starlings and Cowbirds plus numerous other birds that can be expected there.
  • Palmetto Lake – 1:00 – 2:30 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. We welcome our Seabrook Island parents to bring their children to this walk with no charge for parent or child.
  • Jenkin’s Point – 3:00 – 4:30 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.

On Monday, February 18, 9:00 am – 11:00 am, we conclude our GBBC with a “walk” on Ocean Winds Golf courseRegister here.  Join us for a morning of birding by RIDING in golf carts for at least 9-holes on the 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. Maybe Hooded Mergansers, Northern Flickers, Eastern Phoebe’s or some of our winter residents may also be seen.

Submitted by: Judy Morr

Learning About Our Shorebirds On North Beach

5SIB North Beach bird walk
SIB North Beach bird walk – Ed Konrad

REGISTER NOW

WHEN: Friday February 1, 2019 8:00 – 11:00 am (High tide is 5:56 am)
WHERE: North Beach – Park and meet our group at the Oystercatcher Community Center at Boardwalk 1
COST: Free for SIB members or $5 donation for guests

Our local shorebird expert, Aija Konrad, will lead us on this Learning Together experience. The walk will be 2+ miles on the beach to Capn Sam’s inlet. You may turn around at any time you wish based upon your personal abilities and time constraints.

We should see Sanderlings, Dunlins, Black Skimmers, American Oystercatchers, and hopefully several types of plovers. Luckily, Ruddy Turnstones and Red Knots have begun to arrive on their journey north, so we might find them at North Beach as well

Bring sun block, bug spray, a hat, water and binoculars.

If you are not yet a 2019 SIB member, you must first become a member by following the instructions on our website: JOIN SIB.

All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Thursday January 31st.

REMINDER: Sign up for “Tales of a Big Year” – SIB Evening Program January 30, 2019

SIGN UP TODAY

Big Year Ed sml (1).jpg

We know most Seabrook Island Birder members enjoy watching the many birds around Seabrook Island. On one of SIB’s bird walks we may be lucky to see 25 different species. SIB members Aija and Ed Konrad decided to make 2018 a “Big Year” and set a goal to find 500 species in 365 days within the United States.

Join us at the Lake House for another fun and informative evening with Aija and Ed’s “Tales of a Big Year – the journey to 570”, highlighting their adventures as they crisscrossed the country from coast to coast.

Many of you have met Aija and Ed as they have led bird walks on the island. Aija became an avid birder after deer invaded her award-winning gardens in Atlanta. Ed soon followed as a photographer extraordinaire of the birds they see. Their home is in Atlanta but also enjoy their condo on Seabrook Island where you can often see them on North Beach with binoculars, spotting scope and long lens camera, enjoying the various sea and shore birds.

SIB will provide beverages including wine and coffee.  We ask everyone to RSVP no later than January 27, 2019 so we will know how much wine to purchase and how many chairs to set up.

For only $10, you may join or renew your 2019 SIB membership the night of the event. Non-members will pay $5 to attend.

Don’t miss this chance to have another fun filled evening with our flock of Seabrook Island Birders!

 Learn how to join SIB 

Contact us if you have questions:   SeabrookIslandBirders@gmail.com