Join us for “Beautiful Imagery” with Benjamin Clock

RSVP for SIB’s Beautiful Imagery with Benjamin Clock

Event: Benjamin Clock – Beautiful Imagery
Date: Wednesday March 25, 2020
Time: 7:00 pm Registration & Social
7:30 pm Program Starts
Location: Live Oak Hall, Lake House, Seabrook Island, SC
Max: 140
Cost: Free for members; $5 for guests

Beautiful imagery… a powerful tool to educate, inspire, & change the conservation of birds & habitat!

Join SIB at the Lake House for an up close and personal informative evening with Benjamin Clock, a field biologist, nature photographer & videographer, who has a passion for documenting the wonders of wildlife & their habitats to help conserve wild places. Benjamin will share his worldwide adventures & stunning images, plus highlight his work to protect Red Knots that feed & rest on SC beaches on their long spring migration from South America to the Arctic.

Don’t delay and sign up today by completing this easy sign up form in order to help us plan for the number of chairs, snacks and wine.

If you are not already a member of SIB, you may join at the door for $10 or come as a guest for $5.


Benjamin Clock is a field biologist, nature photographer, videographer and audio recordist with a passion for documenting organisms and their habitats in effort to help conserve wild places. He believes that beautiful imagery of nature can be a powerful tool to educate, inspire and make a positive change for conservation of habitat and biodiversity. Ben worked for 14 years as Videographer and Assistant Curator at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library of Natural Sound and Video. His work takes him all over the world in search of birds to film and photograph. He has been a passionate naturalist and birdwatcher since the age of ten. He is currently working on a short film documenting the importance of the beachfront and marsh of South Carolina’s coast as a Spring stopover for Red Knot on their migration between southern South America and the Arctic. To view some of his work, visit

2020 03 25 Benjamin Clock Poster

RSVP for SIB’s Beautiful Imagery with Benjamin Clock

Off Island Birding at Bear Island WMA-February 29,2020

Early morning birding at Bear Island.

Saturday, February 29, 2020 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 2020 SIB member, you must first become a member by following the instructions on our website: 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 26,2020. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Friday, February 27,2020.

Great Backyard Bird Count-Ocean Winds Golf Course

Viewing the Rookery at Hole #4 on Ocean Winds (Jackie Brooks)

Monday Monday, February 17,2020 9:00-11:00 am
Birding on Ocean Winds 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: 20
Cost: None for members; $5 donation for guests

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 Ocean Winds 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. 

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: or we request a $5 donation to SIB. 

Once you are a member, please register no later than Saturday, February 15, 2020. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Sunday, February 16th.

Join SIB for 2020 Great Backyard Bird Count

Sunday February 16, 2020 8:00am – 5:00 pm
Great Backyard Bird Count
Location: Various locations around Seabrook Island
Max: 20 No cost to members, $5 to non-members

Join us in participating in Audubon’s Great Backyard Bird Count. The day will involve walks at various locations throughout the day. The schedule below allows for individuals to sign up for a portion of the day if the whole day is not of interest. We request you register for all sections you will be attending so we know if we should wait for you at any individual location.

  • Maintenance Area /Equestrian Center 8:00-9:30 am
    We’ll start at the Garden Parking Lot and explore the retension 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 10:00 – 11:30 am
    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/grandparents to bring their children to this walk with no charge for parent or child.
  • North Beach – (High Tide 2:17 pm) – 1:00-3:00 pm
    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 sited. The walk is scheduled around the high tide when the birds will be consolidated on a narrower beach.
  • Jenkin’s Point 4:00-5:00 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.

For all events, bring sun block, bug spray, a hat, water, snacks and binoculars and/or camera.

If you are not yet a SIB member, you must first become a member for $10 by following the instructions on our website:, or you may join each session for a Guest Fee of $5.

Once you are a member, please register to let us know which portions you plan to attend no later than Thursday, February 13, 2020. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Friday, February 14, 2020.

Join SIB for Valentine Backyard Birding at Live Oak Park

Bufflehead – Ed Konrad

Friday , February 14th at 4:00-6:00pm –
Location: 1729 Live Oak Park
Max: 12
Cost: None for 2019 members; $5 donation for guests

Come join us in Jerry and Diana’s Cohen’s back yard on Valentine’s Day. We won’t see love birds, but their yard faces the marsh at Horseshoe Creek. They also have a dock for additional bird viewing. Sunset will be at 6:05pm that evening. Many birds will be heading home to roost for the day. Our ducks will still be hanging around and so will the Robins, cedar waxwings and many other species.

As always, be sure to bring your water, binoculars, hats and sunscreen.

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: If you were a 2018 member but have yet to renew for 2019, you may renew following the instructions above or renew the day of the walk. Or you may pay the Guest Fee of $5.

Please register no later than February 12th at 10am. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Thursday , February 13th.

SIB Excursion to Santee Coastal

On Tuesday, February 4, eleven Seabrook Island Birders set off at 7:00 AM for Santee Coastal Reserve. After negotiating the traffic on Maybank Highway and the misdirection of the GPS, the group finally arrived at the gate where Felicia, a SC Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) employee, met us. At the gate, we strolled into a beautiful open longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) forest. White paint bands circles some of the trees indicating trees that Red-cockaded Woodpeckers use for nesting. Mark Andrews quickly spied a Red-cockaded Woodpecker. The bird cooperated and stayed perched for most of the group to see through Mark’s scope. Felicia regaled the group with information about the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, an endangered species, and the efforts of the SCDNR to assist in this bird’s survival. Chittering away, sounding like a rubber duck, the Brown-headed Nuthatches were often audible, but rarely visible while we explored the longleaf pine forest.

Felicia announced that the next stop would be a walk on a boardwalk in to the Washo Reserve. People got in their cars and took off, but poor Mark’s car would not start. Thankfully, Dave and Ginna had not set off yet and were able to give Mark a jump. Mark decided that he needed a new battery and it would be best if he went right away. Bob and Eileen moved into Dave and Ginna’s car for the next leg.

The trail to the boardwalk offered views of other woodpeckers and four White Pelicans. The boardwalk, prominently marked to no more than 10 people, was a thin walk requiring single file travel for the eleven of us. It traversed a cypress/tupelo swamp that the SCDNR recently drained with plans to use fire as a management tool on portions of the swamp. As we approached the observation deck that overlooked open water, a mass of 25 duck rose up and vanished into the woods. Those in the front were able to identify the Gadwall. Felicia explained the uniqueness of the swamp and how the department maintained the whole preserve with an emphasis on waterfowl and access to hunters. The Nature Conservancy worked with the Santee Rod and Gun Club to preserve the more than 24,000 acres with the proviso that hunting be allowed in season. Certainly a fair compromise since the hunter’s license fees paid for the purchase. The Nature Conservancy still owns the 1,040 acre Washo Reserve, recognized as the oldest wading bird rookery in continuous use in North America!

We moved onto the headquarters, the old hunting lodge, as a restroom stop. Around the headquarters, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Hermit Thrush provided the nicest views. Dave and Ginna needed to leave early. If they wanted to stay, Bob and Eileen would need to squeeze into Judy’s already full car. Dave implored Bob and Eileen to travel with them, but Bob (if you know him, you will understand) was not done birding such a beautiful spot. When he looked at the pile of coats and gear in Judy’s car, he could see a soft bed, so agreed to ride in the boot for the return trip.

A short walk between some impoundments enabled everyone to enjoy a study of a female Belted Kingfisher, Blue-winged Teal, and Green-winged Teal. A river otter made a brief show, popping it head up to check us out as we checked it out.

Towards the end of the short walk, Cedar Waxwings poured out of the cedar trees, Red-winged Blackbirds called and displayed, giving everyone a great view.

With stomach’s growling, the group set off for T. W. Graham & Co., a seafood restaurant in McClellanville, SC, we all highly recommend now.

A total of 46 bird species were seen:

Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Green-winged Teal
Pied-billed Grebe
Mourning Dove
Ring-billed Gull
Double-crested Cormorant
American White Pelican
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Little Blue Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Red-shouldered Hawk
Belted Kingfisher
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Red-cockaded Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
White-eyed Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Blue Jay
Fish Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Tree Swallow
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Northern Mockingbird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Cedar Waxwing
American Goldfinch
Chipping Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Eastern Towhee
Red-winged Blackbird
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Northern Cardinal

Articles and photos submitted by: Bob Mercer

Join SIB for Birding Beyond our Backyard-Santee Coastal Reserve

Join SIB for a bird outing at Santee Coastal Reserve(located above McClellanville). We will be joined by Felicia Sanders of South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.  She will show us where the Red-cockaded Woodpeckers are located and also give us a tour of their facilities. Afterwards we will be able to do independent birding on their property. Birds that have been seen there: White Pelicans, Sharp-shinned Hawk,Red-headed woodpecker, Cinnamon Teal, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall and numerous other ducks as well. On the return trip home, those who are interested may stop at SeeWee Diner for lunch.
Be sure to bring binoculars, camera, hats, sunscreen, bug repellant, snacks and water.

Tuesday February 4, 2020
Beyond our Backyard -Santee Coastal
Location: Meet at Parking area Amenities Office, 7:00 am to carpool
Cost None for members; $5 donation for guests

If you are not yet a 2020 SIB member, you must first become a member by following the instructions on our website: or we request a $5 donation to SIB.

Once you are a member, please register