Birding in the rain at Seabrook Island Maintenance Area

Left to right: Melodie Murphy, Charles Moore, Judy Morr, David Gardner. Photo by: Nancy Brown

It was a rainy and cold 45 degrees this past Thursday December 7th, but five SIB members trooped around the Seabrook Island Maintenance area in search of wintering ducks, shorebirds and passerines!  We were thrilled to see a female Common Goldeneye in the pond along with 14 Bufflehead.  In addition, we saw both the Greater & Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpipers, a group of six Killdeer and a single Spotted Sandpiper with its distinctive teeter, bobbing its tail up and down constantly as it walked along the shore.

In total we saw 36 species in just one-hour, including some new species for the year for some members!  Check out the list of birds and selection of photos below!

Please remember to check our website and sign-up for upcoming events, including any part of our Seabrook Island Big Day on Saturday December 16, 2017.

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  • 14 Bufflehead
  • 1 Common Goldeneye
  • 3 Hooded Merganser
  • 3 Wood Stork
  • 4 Double-crested Cormorant
  • 1 Great Egret
  • 1 Snowy Egret
  • 6 Killdeer
  • 18 Least Sandpiper
  • 1 Spotted Sandpiper
  • 4 Greater Yellowlegs
  • 2 Lesser Yellowlegs
  • 1 Bonaparte’s Gull
  • 2 Ring-billed Gull
  • 2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Northern Flicker
  • 2 Eastern Phoebe
  • 3 Blue Jay
  • 3 American Crow
  • 2 Carolina Chickadee
  • 1 Tufted Titmouse
  • 1 House Wren
  • 2 Carolina Wren
  • 4 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • 1 Eastern Bluebird
  • 1 Gray Catbird
  • 2 Northern Mockingbird
  • 30 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Common Yellowthroat
  • 1 Palm Warbler
  • 1 Pine Warbler
  • 35 Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • 1 White-throated Sparrow
  • 1 Song Sparrow
  • 2 Eastern Towhee
  • 3 Northern Cardinal

Article submitted by Nancy Brown and photographs by Charles Moore


Highlights from Productive Bird Walks

Recently, Seabrook Island Birders enjoyed a Bird Walk with a Kiawah Island Resorts Naturalist in the fields around Freshfields and then on another day, a “walk” on Ocean Winds golf course.  A recap of each is below.  More fun activities are scheduled for December.

Fields of Freshfields Village

On November 16, Seabrook Island Birders were honored to have a walk led by two naturalists from Kiawah Island Resorts.  The walk took us to places we usually are unable to bird….the fields behind Freshfields Village.  In the three hours together, an amazing 60 species were identified.  The day started in “Field 14” which is across the Kiawah Island Parkway from Freshfields Village.  We had to wait to enter the field for 9 Wild Turkeys to clear the drive.  Watching them run and fly over the fence in to the plowed field was a treat.

Pond with Great Egrets, Snowy Egret, Little Blue and White Ibis – Ed Konrad

The day only got better when we reached the pond where there were Great Egrets, White Ibis and Wood Storks.   Hooded Mergansers and Buffleheads had also arrived for the winter.    Greater Yellowlegs, Lessor Yellowlegs and Willets shared a pond to allow easy comparison.

Loggerhead Shrike – Ed Konrad

When we crossed back to the “tomato fields” behind the car wash, my highlight of the day was seeing the Loggerhead Shrike perched atop a tree.  The day was not over, however, as we continued on to the brush piles behind Andell Inn where the House Wren and Carolina Wren shared a pile, again allowing comparison.  The final stop of the day was the fields behind the pond at Andell Inn.  From the fields, we looked in to the pond where a Common Gallimule was seen.

Our guide tagging Monarch Butterflies – Ed Konrad

The day ended as we observed Jake and Juliana capture Monarch Butterflies which they would tag for migration studies.  The number of butterflies was amazing and only expanded our love of beautiful area we call home.


Ocean Winds Golf Course

On November 27, Seabrook Island Birders were once again hosted by the Seabrook Island Club at the Ocean Winds golf course.  During this “walk” in golf carts, 32 species were identified.  The day started positively by the observation of numerous Double-crested Cormorants on the pond by the first tee.

Eastern Bluebird – Charlie Moore

The Eastern Bluebirds were not to let their larger friends outdo them so volumes greeted us further down the path.  As the day continued, many of the “normal” species were spotted.  A Green Heron missed the memo to migrate south so was seen on the sixth hole (and another was seen on the thirteenth).  On the back nine, a Pied-billed Grebe was seen and then the highlight of the day was the pond on the thirteenth hole.

This one pond had the Green Heron, a Common Gallinule, a Pied-billed Grebe and the highlight of an American Bittern.  As we headed back to the club house, a Northern Harrier soared overhead as well as a Bald Eagle.  The Eastern Phoebe, Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons and lowly Carolina Chickadees didn’t stand a chance in winning our hearts.

The species identified in the Fields of Freshfields included:

Bufflehead 2
Hooded Merganser 7
Wild Turkey 9
Wood Stork 15
Double-crested Cormorant 13
Anhinga 3
Brown Pelican 2
Great Blue Heron 2
Great Egret 45
Snowy Egret 13
Little Blue Heron 5
Tricolored Heron 4
White Ibis 1
Black Vulture 15
Turkey Vulture 8
Osprey 2
Cooper’s Hawk 2
Bald Eagle 3
Clapper Rail 3
Common Gallinule 1
American Oystercatcher 3
Killdeer 2
Dunlin 1
Greater Yellowlegs 6
Willet 2
Lesser Yellowlegs 3
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 1
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Eastern Phoebe 2
Loggerhead Shrike 1
White-eyed Vireo 1
Blue-headed Vireo 1
Blue Jay 2
American Crow 6
Fish Crow 2
crow sp. 10
Tree Swallow 8
Carolina Chickadee 4
Tufted Titmouse 1
House Wren 2
Carolina Wren 7
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4
Eastern Bluebird 3
Hermit Thrush 1
Gray Catbird 2
Northern Mockingbird 3
European Starling 1
Palm Warbler (Western) 4
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 45
Chipping Sparrow 20
Song Sparrow 6
Swamp Sparrow 2
Northern Cardinal 2
Red-winged Blackbird 12
Boat-tailed Grackle 3
House Finch 2
American Goldfinch 3

The species identified on Ocean Winds golf course included:

Pied-billed Grebe 2
Double-crested Cormorant 25
Anhinga 2
American Bittern 1
Great Blue Heron 2
Great Egret 3
Snowy Egret 1
Tricolored Heron 1
Green Heron 2
Turkey Vulture 2
Osprey 1
Northern Harrier 1
Cooper’s Hawk 1
Bald Eagle 1
Clapper Rail 2
Common Gallinule 1
Belted Kingfisher 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 3
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2
Downy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 2
Eastern Phoebe 2
Blue Jay 1
American Crow 6
Tree Swallow 2
Carolina Chickadee 5
Tufted Titmouse 6
Carolina Wren 1
Eastern Bluebird 50
Northern Mockingbird 2
Palm Warbler 15
Northern Cardinal 2

Submitted by: Judy Morr

Photoes by: Ed Konrad, Charley Moore, Valerie Doane

Attend SIB’s First Afternoon Seminar to Learn About Project FeederWatch


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.

Sign up to attend now!

Continue reading “Attend SIB’s First Afternoon Seminar to Learn About Project FeederWatch”

Shorebirds of Kiawah Island: The Symposium

Thursday, October 12, 2017
4:00pm at The Sandcastle 

Members of SIB are invited to register for the Take flight with us at the Kiawah Conservancy’s annual symposium. Learn about some of Kiawah’s most cherished visitors from a variety of expert speakers and see our newest film… Taking Wing!  Speakers include: 

  • Mary Alice Monroe
  • Larry Niles
  • Aaron Given
  • Janet Thibault
  • Melissa Chaplin
  • Felicia Sanders

Thank you to the symposium and documentary sponsors: Town of Kiawah Island and AV Connections. 


Backyard Birding at the Moore’s Home

Charley & Marty Moore hosted seven SIB members for a Backyard Birding event at their home on Saturday September 23, 2017.  Enjoy these photos, taken by Dean Morr during the event, of a few of the 15 species seen during the event.  If you are interested in hosting a SIB Backyard Birding event at your home please contact  If you are interest to learn more about the birds in your backyard, invite a SIB Ambassador to your home by signing up here.

Don’t Miss the Second Annual Zugunruhefest!

Zugunruhe (zu – gun – rue) is a German word derived from Zug (move, migration) and Unruhe (restlessness). This state of restlessness is commonly noted in migratory animals, especially birds.

As fall approaches and instincts prevail, birds are compelled by this silent call to take flight to their wintering grounds. As part of the Atlantic Flyway, the Lowcountry serves as a predictable thoroughfare for migrating raptors and shorebirds during fall migration passage. Exploiting the Center for Birds of Prey’s strategic location, Zugunruhefest will afford numerous opportunities for observers, both novice and advanced, to experience fall migration from an exceptional vantage point.

In addition to onsite vendors and activities, the festival will include three days filled with naturalists, ornithologists, and educators leading bird walks, flight demonstrations, informative lectures, programs, and more.


When: Thursday, September 28th – Saturday, September 30th

Where: Avian Conservation Center/Center for Birds of Prey, 4719 North Highway 17, Awendaw, SC 29429. Bird walks, field trips and excursions will take place in additional locations throughout the Lowcountry.

Admission: Fees vary depending on activities chosen. For a complete schedule of activities with pricing, please visit the Center for Birds of Prey website or call 843.971.7474 ext. 0 with questions.

Tickets are now available.

SIB Learning Together at Crooked Oaks Golf Course

On a warm Saturday morning on July 15th, sixteen Seabrook Island Birders enjoyed a Learning Together “Bird Walk” on Crooked Oaks Golf Course which was closed for annual summer maintenance.  The Club graciously gave us access to not only the course but also use of carts for the outing, which helped to beat the heat of the July morning.  Due to the size of the group, the Birders split in to two groups with one going forward on the course and the other going backwards.  Each group had members with cameras to capture some of the birds seen.

The two groups met on the eleventh green where the Red Headed Woodpeckers have a nest in a dead pine. Each of our photographers captured the birds for prosperity while Charley Moore was able to catch them in their mating dance.

Since both groups were on the course at the same time, it would be expected the sited species would be very similar.  The group starting on the first hole saw 21 species.  The group starting on 18 saw 25 species. Only 15 of these species were the same for a total of 31 species.  Even with seeing so many birds on a  warm morning, neither group saw some common birds such as Turkey Vultures, Painted Buntings or Mourning Doves.  It proves that birding is always an experience in being at the right place at the right time.

Mississippi Kite – Glen Cox

A highlight for both groups was the Mississippi Kites which perched for the group and continued to fly by so we could see their grace as they dove to catch insects while in flight.

It must have been breakfast time for the birds as in addition to the Kite, an Osprey was seen eating a fish and a proud Eastern Bluebird had a lizard.

It was a great morning to Learn Together and enjoy some of the wonders of Seabrook Island.  Thanks to the Seabrook Island Club for making this possible.

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Article Submitted by:  Judy Morr
Photos taken by:  Marie Wardell, Glen Cox and Charley Moore

Group starting on first hole:

1 Double-crested Cormorant
25 Brown Pelican
1 Great Egret
1 Tricolored Heron
4 Green Heron
3 Osprey
4 Mississippi Kite
2 Laughing Gull
1 Red-headed Woodpecker
2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
2 Great Crested Flycatcher
2 Blue Jay
3 American Crow
3 Fish Crow
1 Barn Swallow
3 Carolina Chickadee
2 Tufted Titmouse
2 Carolina Wren
4 Eastern Bluebird
1 Northern Mockingbird
2 Northern Cardinal

Group starting on eighteenth hole:

4 Wild Turkey
1 Anhinga
20 Brown Pelican
1 Great Blue Heron
2 Snowy Egret
3 Green Heron
2 Osprey
3 Mississippi Kite
1 Red-tailed Hawk
2 Laughing Gull
1 Belted Kingfisher
2 Red-headed Woodpecker
2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Pileated Woodpecker
10 American Crow
2 Fish Crow
3 Carolina Chickadee
3 Tufted Titmouse
4 Carolina Wren
11 Eastern Bluebird
6 Northern Mockingbird
7 Northern Cardinal
2 Red-winged Blackbird
2 House Finch