Where Have All the Shorebirds Gone?

Red Knots on North Beach at Seabrook Island, SC – Ed Konrad

The Red Knots and other migrating shorebirds have already started to arrive on our beaches!  The article link below explains more than ever why we MUST give space and allow these fragile animals to rest and refuel after their long journey from South America while they prepare to travel to the Arctic Circle to breed.

“Aerial surveys in January 2018 of the rufa Red Knot (Calidris canutus) population wintering in Tierra del Fuego, South America, revealed a total of 9,840 birds. This is a 25% decrease on the number recorded in January 2017 (13,127), and marginally the lowest recorded since the surveys began (the previous low was 9,850 birds in 2011). “

Read the entire article here:  https://www.whsrn.org/red-knot-low

We hope you will join us next Wednesday night March 28, 2018, when a panel of experts will discuss birds like the Red Knot and others on our beach, their status and how we can help protect them and their habitat.

Register Now!

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Spring Birdwalk at Camp St. Christophers & Farewell to David Gardner

David Gardner (photo credit Ed Konrad)

David Gardner, Director of Environmental Education at St. Christopher and SIB Board member, has accepted a job in Washington state and will be leaving Seabrook effective this Friday March 23, 2018.  David will be leading one last walk with SIB at Camp St. Christopher on Thursday morning and there is still room for a couple more people.  The walk, one to two miles in distance, will be in search of spring migrants while exploring the lakes, lagoons, paths and slough.

  • Thursday March 22, 2018 8:00 – 11:00 am
  • Spring Migration @ St. Christopher Camp & Conference Center with David Gardner
  • Location: Meet at the Bus Parking Lot at St. Christopher
  • Max: 10
  • Cost $5 donation to St. Christopher Educational Outreach Program

If you are interested in attending, register now!

David will truly be missed by all who have interacted with him, but especially those of us who have enjoyed birding with him since the creation of SIB less than three years ago. We will never be able to replace his special combination of enthusiasm, knowledge and his English accent that endeared him to us!  Several of our members wanted to share a few stories about David so you too could learn what a special person he is and how we are sad to see him leave!

From Bob and Eileen Mercer:

David will be taking his talents to the North Cascade Institute (https://ncascades.org/) located in the North Cascades National Park in Washington State and is situated near the crest of the Cascade Mountains, a large lake and many square miles of wilderness. David’s enthusiasm and talents will serve him well. As a bonus, he will learn about a whole new ecology. He will need to get used to the higher altitudes and the exercise associated with a mountainous territory, as opposed to the coastal plain. One of the wonders of the area is that David will be able to get his coastal fix with a drive similar to going to Bear Island and will be able to visit the desert just by going over the ridge.

Unlike St. Christopher, the North Cascade Institute offers programming for children, a year-long graduate level study program, and a significant amount of adult programming. Anyone can sign up for any of the many adventures. Check out their offerings at https://ncascades.org/ and maybe plan a visit to see David (if nothing else, visit the website to see the stunning facility and views he will be forced to endure). Eileen and I spent 4 days there living in their luxurious dorms and enjoying the gourmet food provided by a professional chef and can highly recommend a visit. We wish David lots of wonderful experiences and a whole host of life birds!

From George Haskings:

One has to wonder a bit about the mind workings of a person who would voluntarily give up a seemingly good job (bird watching and working with kids in an outdoor environment) on Seabrook Island in order to take a position in the State of Washington where it likely rains many more days a year than the sun shines.  When I inquired of him on that matter, his
reply was “I’m from England.”

As I contemplated that, I recollected that most of my ancestors came from England and Scotland; that I grew up in New England; and (when seeking employment) I went to Rochester, NY, which has recorded snow every month except August.  You don’t have to shovel rain and we had snow in January.

David is an excellent birder – fabulous hearing and knowledge of bird calls. He has generously offered his talents to Seabrook Island Birders and his leadership on bird walks will be missed.  Best wishes to him and his family.

From Marcia Hider

SIB was lucky that David is so in love with birding. He has led some wonderful birding trips and his enthusiasm is absolutely infectious. He has said he’ll use any excuse to take a group out.  And the proof of that is what he leaves behind. I had to get something in his office once and I could hardly get the door open. There were piles of things everywhere awaiting his return. I just laughed.

But his birding knowledge benefits from the time he puts in.  Once last spring, as we were walking on the St. Christopher boardwalk listening to and seeing numerous Green Herons, I heard a different call – kind of a squeaking sound. I asked David if maybe it was from Green Heron chicks. He smiled and said no, that he thought it was probably a frog being consumed by a snake. I was sure he was kidding until I focused in on the location, only to find a snake consuming a frog! Unbelievable.

He will definitely be missed.

 From Lydia McDonald
One of my first birding adventures was with David at Bear Island . I remember riding with David in his car, and his vehicle hitting the branches and low plants and he didn’t care because he was doing something he loved. I was wowed by his knowledge and expertise. He was persistent in making sure I found the bird and taught me so much about the birds. David has a gift for finding the birds and teaching others about them. It is fun to be around David ; he truly enjoys his job.
From Aija Konrad

A memorable and very fun day I had with David was when we did a route on the Breeding Bird Survey last June. The survey is done nationally as a long term monitoring program of birds at the height of breeding season. I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into, but I accepted his invite to do it. I knew that we would cover 24.5 miles of country roads and stop a half mile apart for a total of 3 min in each spot to listen for and count all birds we could ID.

Our route was in Colleton County, near Walterboro, and we started before sunrise! It was a hoot…practically all of it is birding by ear, since in 3 minutes, you barely have time to get your bins up. I was the scribe and timer,  David the driver and we both counted the birds. It was so much fun and I was amazed at what we could ID just by sound. After approximately 5 hours, I could barely get out of the car (50 stops, in and out…do the math…LOL!) We took our life in our hands at some stops, barely having a shoulder to pull off on, with cars whizzing by. I can’t remember how many species we got, but it sure was a great day and one I will always remember with David and his enthusiasm, sense of humor and most importantly, his infectious competitive spirit, always hoping for 1 more species!!! That’s David!

From Nancy Brown

It is hard to imagine SIB without David Gardner! David enthusiastically embraced leading many bird walks with our members in all corners of Seabrook Island and beyond.  One of the best things we started as a result of David’s suggestion was our Seabrook Island Patch competition! After the 2016-17 Christmas Bird Count, David thought it would be fun to see who could find the most bird species on Seabrook Island in a calendar year. Four of us took on the challenge, but it’s pretty hard to beat someone who lives at St. Christopher, is outdoors most of the day and their job is to be a naturalist! But then, I can’t complain, as David would be the first person to text the three of us to say he’d seen a new species with the specifics of where it was so each of us had a chance to see it as well! I’ve spent several hours trompsing in the wood or beach looking for elusive birds, including an American Woodcock this past winter, which I never did see!  In the end, he beat us all out for the 2017 Seabrook Island Patch win. Now that he is leaving, I told him I would finally have a chance to beat him! Although I sure wish he was sticking around, I want to wish he and his family the best of luck for the next chapter of their lives!

From all of us at SIB, thank you to David Gardner for his expertise and enthusiasm in finding and identifying birds!  You will be missed!

 

SIB Member Profile: Bob & Eileen Mercer

Bob & Eileen Mercer birding at Bear Island NWR

Silver Lake Park is a 465 acre wildlife and recreational property in Bucks County, PA. Bucks County is north of Philadelphia and across the river from New Jersey. The lake within the park was created as a man-made mill pond with the 1687 building of a dam on Otter Creek. Much of what was once open water has filled with silt over the 300 plus years and is now marsh. The Silver Lake Nature Center occupies about half of the Park and includes the State’s “best protected Coastal Plain Forest,” according to County’s publicity. The recently retired (2015) Robert Mercer was, for 40 plus years, the naturalist manager for this Center.

When Bob and his wife, Eileen Mercer, were seeking a winter haven in retirement, they focused on the Charleston area which they had visited on vacations. They first spent time on the Isle of Palms. From that base, they visited other areas and stumbled onto Seabrook Island. In their research of the Island, they were attracted to the focus on its wildlife.  This is their second winter renting a Marsh Walk for three months or so. It is interesting to note that they had joined both Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) and SINHG before they set foot on our Island in early 2017. I first met Bob on a Yawkey Reserve SINHG trip that January and quickly realized he was an accomplished birder even though he was being very low key. Continue reading “SIB Member Profile: Bob & Eileen Mercer”

Register Now For “Where Have All the Shorebirds Gone?” on March 28th!

Event: Where Have All the Shorebirds Gone?
Date: Wednesday March 28, 2018
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
Join SIB for $10 and the event is Free!

Register Now!

Each year, thousands of shorebirds enjoy the beaches of Seabrook Island to rest and refuel as they migrate through or to spend a season living and even nesting on our dunes. And each year, the number of birds is decreasing. SIB is pleased to present a panel of experts to discuss questions such as:

  • What birds do we find on our beaches and when?
  • Which birds are of particular concern?
  • Why are birds banded?
  • What type of bird surveys are conducted on our beach and why?
  • What are the signs we see on the beach and why are they changed throughout the year?
  • What can Seabrook Island Residents do to help?Panel members will include:
  • Melissa Chaplin, Endangered Species Biologist with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services, SC Field Office
  • Felicia Sanders, Lead of South Carolina’s Shorebird and Seabird Projects with the SC Dept. of Natural Resources
  • Janet Thibault, Wildlife Biologist with the South Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources

Join SIB at the Lake House for another fun and informative evening. To set the stage for the panel discussion, Aija and Ed Konrad will lead a brief Shorebird Identification Slide Show of the birds found on Seabrook Island. Be sure to bring your questions about shorebirds too! The program will conclude with the drawing of raffle tickets with several great prizes! Be sure to bring cash to buy the raffle tickets: $2/ticket or $5/3 tickets.

To help us plan for the number of chairs, snacks and wine, please let us know you plan to attend by completing this easy registration form.

Seabrook Island Birders participated in Great Backyard Bird Count

As mentioned in an earlier blog, Seabrook Island Birders scheduled five “walks” to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC).  And the group truly did participate!  Over the course of two days, 53 individuals participated in at least one of the walks.  80 different species were identified over the two days on Seabrook Island.  The great weather, great friends and great birding on these two days has many of us looking forward to our Learning Together on March 1 in the fields behind Freshfields.   We also have a Backyard Birding on March 14 on Deer Point.  Of course all scheduled activities can be seen the Activity Page of the Seabrook Island Birders web site (seabrookislandbirders.org).

Birders at Maintenance Area – Charley Moore

The GBBC walks started at 8:00 AM Sunday with 8 people looking for ducks and other birds at the SIPOA Maintenance area and then on to the Equestrian Center.  35 species were identified at the Maintenance area including the ponds at the Waste Management area.

Yellow-rumped Warbler – Charley Moore

Yellow-rumped Warblers were greeting us everywhere but the Bufflehead and Hooded Mergansers and Ruddy Duck also were there for us.  A Downy Woodpecker also presented itself.  As we went on to the Equestrian Center, 14 species were identified there.

 

Eastern Bluebird – Dean Morr

European Starlings and a Black Vulture were the only species added to the day’s list but the Eastern Bluebirds were abundant along with the expected European Starlings, American Robins and Killdeer.

The second walk of the day took us to North Beach were we expected to see a vastly different species of birds.  In the 41 species seen on North Beach, 28 were new for the day.  Red-breasted Mergansers, Forster’s Terns and Sanderlings may have been the most frequent bird sees, it was the Northern Gannets diving out at sea and the ability to idenitify a Great Black-backed Gull were probably the highlights of the walk.

Preparing for Children’s Bird Walk – Dean Morr

The third walk was so much fun, an entire blog will be devoted to describe the walk around Palmetto Lake where the children of Seabrook joined us to learn more about birding.  The group was large enough we split in to two groups and went in opposite directions around the lake.  Each group identified 24 species but combined, 27 species were seen.  A highlight, besides seeing the enthusiastic children, was as the two groups met at the back side of the lake, an Osprey flew in and landed on a branch above our head.  All were able to observe it through the spotting scope and see it still held a fish in its right talon.

Great Egret in Breeding Plumage – Dean Morr

Sunday’s activities were completed with a drive/walk along Jenkins Point where the Great Egrets were beginning to show their breeding plumage.  An amazing 11 Black-crowned Night Heron were also seen with the difference between a mature and immature easily able to be seen.  The most “unusual” sighting of this final activity was using the spotting scope from Nancy Island, Rock Pigeons could be seen over at Rockville.  A total of 24 species were seen on this segment with the Rock Pigeons, a Wild Turkey and a Fish Crow being “firsts” for the day.

Monday’s participation in GBBC took place on Ocean Winds Golf Course.  23 people split into 3 groups to traverse the golf course in different directions using golf carts.  46 species were identified between the 3 groups with the group that started on the back nine seeing 37 species.  That group was able to see a Northern Gannet from the 14th tee, next to the ocean.  From that location, they saw several other shore birds not normally considered “golf course” birds.  Only group saw the Wild Turkey and as the group going forward on the front nine met the group going backwards on the front nine, an Anhinga, Great Egrets in breeding plumage and a Cooper’s Hawk were seen.  Most of the group only had time to cover 9 holes of the course but a few from the front nine were able to continue on to the back where they also saw the Common Gallinule, the Bald Eagle perched on the tree near the practice facilities, and an Osprey checking out the nesting platform near the Oystercatcher bridge.  Earlier, the Bald Eagle was seen perched above the nest on Crooked Oaks 3rd hole although no reports of chicks have been reported.

Overall, it was a great weekend to contribute to citizen science.  Detail lists of the sightings are shown below.

Seabrook Island — SIPOA/Club Maintenance Area – 33 species

Bufflehead 16
Hooded Merganser 3
Ruddy Duck 1
Wood Stork 1
Double-crested Cormorant 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Killdeer 4
Spotted Sandpiper 1
Ring-billed Gull 6
Mourning Dove 3
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
Downy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 2
Eastern Phoebe 1
Blue Jay 8
American Crow 3
Carolina Chickadee 5
Tufted Titmouse 7
House Wren 2
Carolina Wren 7
Eastern Bluebird 7
American Robin 6
Gray Catbird 3
Brown Thrasher 2
Cedar Waxwing 9
Palm Warbler 3
Pine Warbler 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 15
White-throated Sparrow 5
Song Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 6
Boat-tailed Grackle 13

Seabrook Island-Equestrian Center – 14 species

Black Vulture 1
Killdeer 15
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2
Downy Woodpecker 2
Blue Jay 5
American Crow 2
Carolina Chickadee 3
Carolina Wren 3
Eastern Bluebird 18
American Robin 12
European Starling 8
Palm Warbler 6
Chipping Sparrow 5
Red-winged Blackbird 2

Seabrook Island–North Beach – 41 species (+1 other taxa)

Bufflehead 35
Red-breasted Merganser 52
Red-throated Loon 1
Northern Gannet 4
Double-crested Cormorant 65
Brown Pelican 19
Great Blue Heron 1
Great Egret 2
Osprey 1
Bald Eagle 2
American Oystercatcher 8
Black-bellied Plover 5
Ruddy Turnstone 3
Sanderling 50
Dunlin 120
Western Sandpiper 1
Greater Yellowlegs 1
Willet 18
Bonaparte’s Gull 5
Laughing Gull 83
Ring-billed Gull 10
Herring Gull 9
Great Black-backed Gull 3
Forster’s Tern 220
Royal Tern 4
Belted Kingfisher 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Blue Jay 3
American Crow 6
crow sp. 3
Tree Swallow 400
Carolina Chickadee 4
Tufted Titmouse 2
Carolina Wren 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
Eastern Bluebird 2
Northern Mockingbird 1
Pine Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 13
White-throated Sparrow 1
Eastern Towhee 2
Northern Cardinal 3

Seabrook Island — Palmetto Lake – 24 species

Double-crested Cormorant 2
Great Blue Heron 1
Great Egret 3
Snowy Egret 1
Black-crowned Night-Heron 2
Black Vulture 10
Turkey Vulture 1
Osprey 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Blue Jay 2
Tufted Titmouse 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
Eastern Bluebird 6
American Robin 75
Northern Mockingbird 1
Cedar Waxwing 8
Palm Warbler 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 13
Chipping Sparrow 4
White-throated Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 2

Seabrook Island — Palmetto Lake – 24 species

Double-crested Cormorant 2
Great Blue Heron 1
Great Egret 5
Snowy Egret 1
Black-crowned Night-Heron 2
Black Vulture 2
Turkey Vulture 3
Osprey 1
Ring-billed Gull 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Eastern Phoebe 1
Blue Jay 4
American Crow 2
Carolina Wren 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3
Eastern Bluebird 10
American Robin 65
Northern Mockingbird 1
Palm Warbler 8
Yellow-rumped Warbler 35
Chipping Sparrow 6
White-throated Sparrow 2
Song Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 3

Seabrook Island — Jenkins Point Rd – 24 species

Hooded Merganser 35
Wild Turkey 1
Wood Stork 1
Double-crested Cormorant 6
Brown Pelican 1
Great Egret 14
Snowy Egret 5
Tricolored Heron 6
Black-crowned Night-Heron 11
Turkey Vulture 4
Bald Eagle 2
Laughing Gull 1
Ring-billed Gull 1
Forster’s Tern 2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 6
Belted Kingfisher 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2
American Crow 3
Fish Crow 1
Tufted Titmouse 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 4
Northern Cardinal 1
Red-winged Blackbird 3
Boat-tailed Grackle 2

Seabrook Island — Ocean Winds Golf Course – Front Nine – 31 species
15 Hooded Merganser
5 Double-crested Cormorant
2 Anhinga
1 Brown Pelican
2 Great Blue Heron
7 Great Egret
1 Little Blue Heron
1 Black Vulture
1 Cooper’s Hawk
2 Bald Eagle
1 Red-shouldered Hawk
1 Mourning Dove
2 Belted Kingfisher
9 Red-bellied Woodpecker
2 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
7 Northern Flicker
1 Eastern Phoebe
4 Blue Jay
5 American Crow
2 Fish Crow
4 Carolina Chickadee
6 Tufted Titmouse
2 Carolina Wren
2 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
11 Eastern Bluebird
6 Pine Warbler
8 Yellow-rumped Warbler
4 Northern Cardinal
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
20 Boat-tailed Grackle

Seabrook Island — Ocean Winds Golf Course – Front Nine – 24 species

Hooded Merganser 23
Wild Turkey 1
Double-crested Cormorant 6
Anhinga 1
Brown Pelican 1
Great Blue Heron 2
Great Egret 5
Little Blue Heron 1
Cooper’s Hawk 1
Bald Eagle 1
Mourning Dove 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 3
Downy Woodpecker 2
American Crow 5
Fish Crow 2
Carolina Chickadee 3
Tufted Titmouse 2
Carolina Wren 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
Eastern Bluebird 6
American Robin 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 2
Northern Cardinal 3
Red-winged Blackbird 1

Seabrook Island — Ocean Winds Golf Course – Back Nine – 37 species

Hooded Merganser 5
Pied-billed Grebe 2
Wood Stork 2
Northern Gannet 3
Double-crested Cormorant 18
Brown Pelican 3
Great Blue Heron 1
Great Egret 4
Snowy Egret 1
Tricolored Heron 1
Green Heron 1
Black-crowned Night-Heron 3
Osprey 2
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Common Gallinule 1
Forster’s Tern 1
Royal Tern 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 3
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
Downy Woodpecker 2
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Blue Jay 5
American Crow 6
Fish Crow 13
Carolina Chickadee 11
Tufted Titmouse 7
Carolina Wren 5
Eastern Bluebird 11
Gray Catbird 2
Brown Thrasher 1
Northern Mockingbird 3
Pine Warbler 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 17
Northern Cardinal 11
Red-winged Blackbird 18
Boat-tailed Grackle 8
House Finch 3

Seabrook Island — Ocean Winds Golf Course – Back Nine – 24 species

Hooded Merganser 6
Double-crested Cormorant 19
Brown Pelican 1
Great Blue Heron 2
Great Egret 1
Tricolored Heron 1
Osprey 1
Bald Eagle 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Common Gallinule 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Eastern Phoebe 1
Blue Jay 1
American Crow 7
Carolina Chickadee 2
Tufted Titmouse 2
Carolina Wren 1
Eastern Bluebird 8
American Robin 25
Northern Mockingbird 3
Yellow-rumped Warbler 2
Northern Cardinal 2
Red-winged Blackbird 4
House Finch 1

Submitted by: Judy Morr

Photos by: Charlie Moore and Dean Morr

Bear Island is a big back yard

Audabon’s Great Backyard Birdcount didn’t officially begin until Friday February 16, but 10 Seabrook Island Birders started the long holiday weekend early with a visit to a very large ( 12,000 acre) backyard of the Bear Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and then Donnelly WMA (another 8,000 acre).  Both of these WMA are closed from the end of October through February 10 for duck hunting.  It was hoped that a lot of ducks would still be there when the group visited shortly after the season reopened.

The group met while still dark with hopes to reach Bear Island before the Tundra Swans left for the day.  The weather forecast was promising and the group had an indication it may be a good birding day when a gas stop in Jacksonboro was the first massive sighting of the day.  A conservative estimate of 25 Black Vultures and 15 Fish Crows were hovering in and around a tree behind the station.  On to Bear Island for some ducks!

Tundra Swan – Charley Moore
American Avocet – Charley Moore

David Gardner (our fearless leader) recommended we make our first stop at Bennetts Point, just outside the gate to Bear Island.  He had seen reports a Eurasion Wigeon was a recurring resident of that pond.  Shortly after setting up his spotting scope, he saw the red head of the Eurasion Wideon among the 540 American Wigeon.  While counting the ducks, a flock of Tundra Swans gracefully flew in from Bear Island and glided in to the same pond.  Not to be outdone, our first flock of American Avocets also flew in to the area.  In less than a half hour, 26 species were seen.  As we left the area to turn in to Bear Island, a Bald Eagle was seen perched in a tree, as if to assure us we’d only just begun a great day.

The rest of the morning was spent going from impoundment to impoundment of old rice fields along dirt roads.  Minimal walking was required to see the 68 species.  The number of ducks became almost overwhelming with over a dozen species being seen with many in high quantities.  Ducks obviously were not the only species seen with White Pelicans providing an arial show as well as Northern Harrier.  The beautiful American Avocets were seen again in greater numbers.

The final stop of the day was at Donnelly WMA which is between Bear Island and Highway 17.  A good view of Eastern Meadowlarks and Vesper Sparrows may have been the highlight of this stop after seeing so many ducks earlier.  Purple Martins surprised us by going in to their boxes (It’s breeding season already?).

Brown-headed Nuthatch – Charley Moore

A Rusty Blackbird, 4 White-breasted Nuthatch and 7 Brown-headed Nuthatch were also seen.

The final specie sighting of the day were Rock Pigeons on a wire along Highway 17, between CawCaw and the turn on Main Road.  The tired birders were pleased with their day and looking forward to participating in the Great Backyard BirdCount on the weekend.

 

Jacksonboro Gas Station – 2 species

Black Vulture 25
Fish Crow 15

Bennetts Point – 26 species

Tundra Swan 25
Gadwall 40
Eurasian Wigeon 1
American Wigeon 540
Mallard 4
American Black Duck
Mottled Duck 6
Pied-billed Grebe 6
Tricolored Heron 16
Bald Eagle 1
American Avocet 12
Greater/Lesser Yellowlegs 1
Mourning Dove 3
Downy Woodpecker 1
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Blue Jay 3
Tree Swallow 2
Carolina Chickadee 2
Carolina Wren 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
Eastern Bluebird 2
Northern Mockingbird 1
Pine Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 11
Red-winged Blackbird 5
Common Grackle 2
Boat-tailed Grackle 1

Bear Island WMA – 68 species

Tundra Swan 31
Blue-winged Teal 4
Northern Shoveler 65
Gadwall 380
American Wigeon 180
Mallard 13
American Black Duck
Mottled Duck 8
Mallard/Mottled Duck 3
Northern Pintail 1
Green-winged Teal 136
Bufflehead 1
Hooded Merganser 7
Pied-billed Grebe 15
Wood Stork 2
Double-crested Cormorant 6
American White Pelican 3
Great Blue Heron 5
Great Egret 11
Snowy Egret 5
Little Blue Heron 5
Tricolored Heron 16
Black-crowned Night-Heron 1
White Ibis 3
Glossy Ibis 2
Black Vulture 6
Turkey Vulture 5
Northern Harrier 1
Cooper’s Hawk 1
Bald Eagle 3
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Common Gallinule 5
American Avocet
Killdeer 2
Wilson’s Snipe 6
Greater Yellowlegs 3
Lesser Yellowlegs 2
Caspian Tern 3
Forster’s Tern 1
Mourning Dove 4
Belted Kingfisher 3
Red-bellied Woodpecker 3
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
Downy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 2
American Kestrel 1
Eastern Phoebe 2
Blue Jay 10
American Crow 3
Tree Swallow 115
Carolina Chickadee 5
Tufted Titmouse 3
Carolina Wren 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
Eastern Bluebird 12
Gray Catbird 1
Brown Thrasher 2
Northern Mockingbird 2
Pine Warbler 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 7
Savannah Sparrow 5
Song Sparrow 5
Swamp Sparrow 2
Eastern Towhee 2
Northern Cardinal 7
Eastern Meadowlark 1
Red-winged Blackbird 120
Common Grackle 80

Donnelly WMA – 58 species

Blue-winged Teal 4
Gadwall 6
Ruddy Duck 1
Pied-billed Grebe 2
Double-crested Cormorant 3
Great Blue Heron 1
Great Egret 2
Snowy Egret 3
Little Blue Heron 2
Tricolored Heron 1
Black-crowned Night-Heron 3
White Ibis 1
Black Vulture 2
Turkey Vulture 3
Osprey 1
Bald Eagle 2
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Clapper Rail 1
Sora 1
Common Gallinule 12
American Coot 1
Killdeer 25
Greater Yellowlegs 1
Mourning Dove 3
Belted Kingfisher 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 5
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
Downy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 2
Pileated Woodpecker 2
American Kestrel 1
Eastern Phoebe 3
Blue Jay 12
American Crow 6
Purple Martin 2
Tree Swallow 10
Carolina Chickadee 7
Tufted Titmouse 3
White-breasted Nuthatch 4
Brown-headed Nuthatch 7
Marsh Wren 1
Carolina Wren 5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3
Eastern Bluebird 22
American Robin 9
Northern Mockingbird 1
Pine Warbler 11
Yellow-rumped Warbler 7
Chipping Sparrow 28
White-throated Sparrow 1
Vesper Sparrow 30
Swamp Sparrow 4
Eastern Towhee 6
Northern Cardinal 8
Eastern Meadowlark 120
Red-winged Blackbird 47
Rusty Blackbird 1
Common Grackle 2

Submitted by: Judy Morr

Photos by: Charley Moore

SIB Member Profile: Melanie & Rob Jerome

Rob & Melanie Jerome

Before Match.com, eHarmony and okCupid there were blind dates, and that’s how Melanie and Bob Jerome met more than thirty years ago. Both are Buckeyes and raised their two sons in Ohio. Rob had a career in data processing and programming. Melanie’s nursing and business degrees coalesced into a fulfilling position as a case management supervisor which she still does remotely from home.

Rob’s father was an outdoors man and imparted that avocation to him along with a familiarity of birds. Being the only boy in the family no doubt helped to build their bond. Melanie was self-taught when she wanted to learn more about the birds that visited the couple’s backyard in Ohio.

They share their love of nature and chose the best of Lowcountry living with their villa at Creek Watch. They look out over Sam’s Creek and the bountiful marsh leading up to the Atlantic; wildlife abounds. Continue reading “SIB Member Profile: Melanie & Rob Jerome”