A big thank you to Carole King for hosting our monthly SIB Backyard Birding on her back deck Saturday October 15. We had 13 SIB members who took a break from their clean-up work following Hurricane Matthew. What a beautiful location to watch for traditional backyard birds, shorebirds and seabirds with views of marsh, river, beach and ocean! Carole provided coffee, tea and snacks and Donna Lawrence brought muffins.
When we arrived, the Brown Pelicans were the most noticeable sitting at the end of two of the docks. Near the home we saw the typical passerines like Northern Cardinals and Northern Mockingbird, but many of us were excited to see the Brown Thrasher and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. We determined the small bird that would hop along Carole’s dock and then fly up into the Live Oak was a Palm Warbler.
In the distance, using the scope, we were able to identify a large group of American Oystercatchers, Willets, more than 100 White Ibis and even two Marbled Godwits. Using our binoculars, we could see hundreds of Tree Swallows flying over the end of Kiawah Island as well as over the river and beach on the Seabrook side.
Overall, we had a spectacular morning and I think we would all agree we are jealous of Carole for her backyard birding paradise. Below is the full list of birds we saw during the morning along with photos taken by Marnie and Judy.
If you are interested to join Judy Morr next Saturday, she’ll be taking a SIB group to the Center for Birds of Prey to volunteer as they count migrating Hawks. For more information and to sign up click here.
Double-crested Cormorant 12 Brown Pelican 37 Great Blue Heron 3 Great Egret 6 Snowy Egret 5 Little Blue Heron 1 Tricolored Heron 1 White Ibis 103 Osprey 4 Clapper Rail 1 American Oystercatcher 22 Marbled Godwit 2 Willet 12 Laughing Gull 3 Royal Tern 3 Black Skimmer 1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1 Belted Kingfisher 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1 American Crow 13 Fish Crow 1 Tree Swallow 122 Carolina Chickadee 1 Tufted Titmouse 3 Carolina Wren 1 Brown Thrasher 1 Northern Mockingbird 1 Palm Warbler 1 Northern Cardinal 5 Boat-tailed Grackle 1
Minutes of the First Quarterly Meeting of the Seabrook Island Birders
January 20, 2016 at the Lake House
This was the first meeting of those who had expressed an interest in birding on Seabrook Island. Originally 78 persons had signed up and nine (Charley Moore, Nancy Brown, Flo Foley, Marcia Hider, George Haskins, Donna Lawrence, Lyn Magee, Dean Morr, and Judy Morr) had volunteered to initiate the organization. Those organizational meetings were in November, December, and January and culminated in this initial gathering of the interested parties.
Registration of attendees started at 6:45 PM. It took 45 minutes to process those who opted to pay the $10 annual membership fee and receive their membership cards. According to Marcia, the paid up membership now stands at 99 — many of whom were not on the original list. Attendees filled the Live Oak Room at the Lake House — attendance was counted as 102. The turnout exceeded expectations of most of the organizers. Refreshments were provided under the guidance of Donna Lawrence.
The guest speakers, Christina Fifer Owner of Wild Birds Unlimited, along with one of her employees Adam Sherrill, described several birds who are likely to visit feeders in our backyards, with the appropriate food for each, and demonstrated a variety of feeders for the distribution of these foods. She also answered several birder questions and offered some bird seed freebies. SIB members will receive a 10 percent discount on food items purchased at her WBU store on Savannah Highway in West Ashley. (see earlier blog post for details on discount)
Nancy Brown demonstrated the SIB communications options which she has already established for the benefit of our members as well as some indication of additional enhancements. There are user friendly ways for members to know what activities in bird watching are scheduled, how to arrange other birding expeditions, what birds are being seen on the Island and in the vicinity, and what links are available to enhance each member’s birding experience.
Flo Foley provided a brief summary of projected activities for the membership and particularly focused on the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) taking place February 12-15, 2016. SIB members are invited to meet on February 14th at 8:30 AM, at the Lake House, for a guided walk around Palmetto Lake to participate in the Count. More information about the GBBC may be found on our website.
Dean Morr reported on 2015 bluebird monitoring. There are 75 bird nesting boxes on four trails around the golf douses and the Lake House which are monitored as to occupancy by a group of volunteers. While the emphasis is on observing Eastern Bluebirds, they found Carolina Chickadees were the early occupants in 39 boxes and 102 young ones were fledged. During the season, 76 bluebird nests were noted (numbers do not add because some boxes were used more than once) and 259 birds were fledged. They are nice additions to our local wildlife.
Three persons in the audience were recognized as representatives of other related organizations. Valerie Doane, of the SI Photography Club, offered our membership the opportunity to participate with them in learning about photographing birds. Lori Porwoll is a volunteer with the Birds of Prey facility as a transporter of injured birds to their clinic and she invited persons to join her in that effort. David Gardner, Program Director at St. Christopher and an ardent birder, invited members to visit their office for guidance in the use of their property for birding while not interfering with their programs.
In an effort to define interest, Charley Moore asked for a show of member interest in a proposed SIB program by the Birds of Prey personnel, with a live bird demonstration, which would likely require a participation fee of $5-10 to cover the cost. There was a favorable response. This will be pursued as the subject of the April program.
Charley Moore then presented a proposed slate of SIB officers for 2016. The slate:
Chair — Charley Moore
Program Co-Chairs — Judy Morr and Lyn Magee
Treasurer and Membership — Marcia Hider
Secretary — George Haskins
Communications and Web Master — Nancy Brown
Bluebird Trails Chair – Dean Morr
Activities Chair — Flo Foley
Social Chair — Donna Lawrence
It was moved, seconded, and approved that the slate be elected.
Six door prizes (three bags from WBU, two framed bird prints, and a bird book) were awarded in a random drawing.