Date: Saturday September 22 8am-10am Activity: Backyard Birding on Kiawah Location: 85 Wax Myrtle Ct. Take the main road to the second gate. Turn right at the second gate. My street is on the left, just past where there are double lines across the road (which designates the bike path). Max: 12Cost: free for SIB Members, $5 fee for guests.
This is the home of Beverly Gholson, a SIB member and Kiawah Island resident. We will start out inside (2nd floor) to get a good view of her bird feeders. Bev also lives near the observation deck on Kiawah, where we can take a little walk and observe many shorebirds. Bev gets a large variety of birds near her home. Fall Migration will be in full swing.
Once you are a member, please REGISTER no later than Thursday September 20 , 2018. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter the day prior the event.
The Seabrook Island Bluebird Society was started on Seabrook Island to help the Eastern Bluebird (see our “Bird of the Week” blog from 2016 to learn more about the Eastern Bluebird). The 2018 nesting season has come to an end.
If you didn’t know, the Eastern Bluebird is a small member of the thrush family that inhabit fields and clearings. Although pesticides and competition from house sparrows in the early and mid-20th century negatively impacted bluebirds, they have recovered well in recent years and are stable or increasing both as breeding birds and wintering birds. Much of this recovery is thanks to concerned citizens who put up bluebird boxes in their fields for these birds to nest in.
Seventy-three bluebird boxes were installed and are located along Crooked Oaks and Ocean Winds golf courses, the Lake House and Sunset Pier. Melanie Jerome took over the leadership of the Bluebird Society in 2018 from Dean Morr. The main focus is to monitor nesting of bluebirds and any other bird species using the boxes. This is done from March through August by a group of 13 hard working volunteers. They check the boxes once a week, keeping track of activity of all birds documenting by box the number of eggs laid, hatched and fledged. Once fledged, the boxes are cleaned of all nesting material so they available for another brood of birds.
The 2018 statistics for our Seabrook Island Eastern Bluebirds are:
99 nests built
389 eggs laid
246 eggs hatched
This is a 58% fledge success. We also have had 21 nests from Carolina Chickadees, with 74 eggs laid, and 55 fledged. We had a predation problem from snakes and raccoons this year and the 2019 goal is to obtain baffle guards on some of the poles to prevent the predation issue.
To compare to results from previous years, see the chart below:
I would like to thank all of our volunteers for their help, we couldn’t do it without you. If you are interested in helping with the bluebirds, please contact Melanie at email@example.com.
Article submitted by: Melanie Jerome
Photos provided by: Nancy Brown
For those of you who know her, you might not be aware that Tori Langen is a birder. She’s better known as an avid and accomplished golfer and a darned good bridge player. But she also enjoys birding!
Tori says that it was probably her father who got her interested in our feathered friends. He used to call in cardinals with his whistle and Tori loved it. She was about 10 years old at the time. In fact, as it turned out, she has had several close friends through her life who were birders. Her mother-in-law and sister-in-law were avid birders and her husband, Bob, also was interested, mostly in backyard birds.
On Saturday September 8th, shortly before the onslaught of news of Hurricane Florence, five SIB members met to bike the 7-mile West Ashley Greenway from Johns Island to the Windermere Plaza. Two additional members where unable to catch up with us, but also spent a beautiful morning biking and birding.
The larger group documented 38 bird species along the way. One of the most exciting sightings for the group were a pair of female Summer Tanagers who chased each other near the “tree of shoes.” Our final new species of the day was a flyover pair of Roseate Spoonbills was spectacular!
The two additional SIB members who biked and birded the Greenway saw 36 species, but interestingly they saw at least six species not seen by the first group: three types of warblers, two types of vireos and a Loggerhead Shrike.
Below is the full list from the larger group. Let us know if this type of trip is of interest to you and we will try to plan another later in the fall.
Canada Goose 24
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 85
Mourning Dove 15
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1
Clapper Rail 3
Spotted Sandpiper 2
Laughing Gull 25
Wood Stork 10
Great Blue Heron 3
Great Egret 12
Snowy Egret 3
Little Blue Heron 4
Tricolored Heron 3
Roseate Spoonbill 2
Black Vulture 2
Turkey Vulture 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Belted Kingfisher 6
Downy Woodpecker 2
Great Crested Flycatcher 1
Blue Jay 14
American Crow 4
Fish Crow 1
swallow sp. 5
Carolina Chickadee 7 It
Tufted Titmouse 6
Carolina Wren 5
Eastern Bluebird 12
Gray Catbird 3
Northern Mockingbird 7
House Finch 3
Boat-tailed Grackle 5
Summer Tanager 2
Northern Cardinal 3
House Sparrow 2
We interrupt the regularly scheduled emails about Hurricane Florence to invite you to SIB’s next evening program, “A Pelican Briefing”, presented by Dr. Patrick Jodice, on Thursday, September 27, 2018! We hope by then, life after Florence will have returned to normal and you will enjoy this exciting discussion about our Brown Pelicans and several other seabirds and shorebirds.
Date: Monday September 17, 2018 8:30 am – 11:00 am Activity: Learning Together at Ocean Winds Golf Course Location: Meet at Island House (Golf Course Parking Lot next to Spinnaker Beach Houses) for “walk” along Ocean Winds Golf Course in golf carts. Max: 16 Cost: None for members; $5 donation for guest
Ocean Winds will be closed to golfers, 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, Osprey 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 some of our winter residents may also have arrived.
As always, be sure to bring your binoculars, hats and sunscreen. Water will be provided.
Please register no later than Saturday September 15, 2018. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter the day prior the event.
The Charleston County Parks & Recreation organization offers many bird watching opportunities in the area throughout the year. Some you need to pre-register and others you can just show up! Read the information below to learn more about their programs. You will also find each of their events on our SIB calendar with the label “CCPR.”
One park in particular, Caw Caw Interpretive Center, is noted for its rich bird life. Located in Ravenel, Caw Caw is a birding hotspot for coastal South Carolina. Over 250 species of birds (Download the checklist now) have been seen among the many habitats on the Caw Caw property. Prothonotary warblers flash brilliant yellow in the cypress swamp during spring and summer months, just as swallow-tailed kites soar overhead. Former rice fields provide year-round feeding grounds for egrets, herons, and ibises. In addition, a variety of waterfowl make Caw Caw their home in the winter.
They offer early morning bird walks:
Wednesdays and Saturdays
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Caw Caw Interpretive Center located off Savannah Highway Rte 17 South
Join them on one of these regular bird walks through many distinct habitats that allow participants to view and discuss a variety of birds, butterflies, and other organisms. The cost is only $10 (or FREE for Gold Pass and Move IT! Pass members) and no pre-registration is required!
In addition to Caw Caw, the CCPRC offers regular bird walks at Folly Beach:
Birding experts from CCPRC and the Audubon South Carolina explore Folly Beach in this partnership program. The walks start at either Folly Beach County Park or the entrance to Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve.
Finally, CCPR offers other bird walks at their property or other sites in the area. A fall migration walk will take place on Thursday, September 27, at the James Island County Park. You can learn more about this particular “Birding Jaunt” here.
If you are interested to attend and want to car pool, we suggest you join our Google Groups and then sending an email to the members of the group to see if anyone wants to join you.