Birding observations from the ongoing USF&WS Cape Romain NWR Bulls Island waterfowl/shorebird survey, from Christmas and Spring Bird Counts, and from other surveys and outings.
22 November 2013
Fri 22 Nov 2013 survey
F 22 Nov 2013
Rich McCracken and I had a great day conducting today's waterfowl/shorebirdsurvey. Coastal Expedition's Captain Wil Christenson and First Mate Lonnie Ferguson hauled us over to the island along with several volunteer (Americorps?) workers (who spent the day clearing trails and roadways on the island). [Check out CEX's upcoming outings Sun 24 Nov 2013 10:00 AM and Sun 8 Dec 2013 10:30 AM leaving McClellanville to look for Long-billed Curlews. I've been on several of their curlew trips and all have been great--not to be missed!http://www.bullsislandferry.com/index.php?page=CurlewTour]
Today day started with a light rain on the ferry ride over. That rain ended shortly after our first survey stop at Jack's Creek. The rest of the day was overcast to partly cloudy.
Birding was good today. We tallied 48 target species for the survey, 74 species on the day. Our eBird report is appended below. Species of the day include first-of-survey observations (for me, at least) of American Avocet and Northern Pintail plus a late Black-necked Stilt still hanging around. There were good numbers of shorebirds, especially in the oceanfront marsh at Jack's Creek, and fairly good numbers of waterfowl. We were enjoying the target species so much that we left little other time for woodland birding; I feel that we could have easily had 80 species if we'd spent 30 min birding around the house and picnic grounds.
Looking ahead at the tide calendar suggests that favorable tides for the next survey will be on Friday 6 Dec 2013 (6.2 ft high tide at 10:11 AM). Stay tuned for final details.
Cape Romain NWR--BullsIsland, Charleston, US-SC Nov 22, 2013 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM Protocol: Traveling 17.15 mile(s) Comments: Conducting the ongoing BullsIslandwaterfowl/shorebirdsurvey with Richard McCracken. Effort: 11.0 mi and 2 hr by vehicle on the island plus 2.0 mi and 5 hr 10 min by foot plus 4.15 mi (one way) and 50 min by ferry. Weather: temps 60 °F to 68 °F; AM overcast and early light rain; AM winds calm to vary light; PM was bright overcast to partly cloudy to mostly cloudy as the afternoon progressed; PM winds were E 5 mph with gusts to 10 mph. 74 species American Black Duck 28 Very dark body, silvery underwings, no white margins along secondaries. Mallard 2 Blue-winged Teal 14 Northern Pintail 1 Redhead 3 Lesser Scaup 78 Black Scoter 1000 Est. from several distant flybys over the ocean. Bufflehead 56 Beautiful scope views of most. Hooded Merganser 44 In two main different groups. Ruddy Duck 105 Several clusters, mostly on Jack's Creek. Common Loon 3 Pied-billed Grebe 15 Horned Grebe 2 Wood Stork 18 Double-crested Cormorant 73 Anhinga 1 American White Pelican 33 Brown Pelican 17 Great Blue Heron 18 Great Egret 18 Snowy Egret 12 Little Blue Heron 9 Tricolored Heron 18 Black-crowned Night-Heron 12 White Ibis 251 Scattered all over the island. Many mature and many immature. Glossy Ibis 1 Turkey Vulture 7 Osprey 3 Cooper's Hawk 1 Bald Eagle 3 Red-shouldered Hawk 1 Clapper Rail 6 Sora 1 Common Gallinule 6 American Coot 7 American Avocet 1 American Oystercatcher 150 Est. from one main group along an oyster shell bank along ICWW. Grey Plover 18 Semipalmated Plover 52 Piping Plover 2 Killdeer 3 Greater Yellowlegs 33 Willet 56 In the marshes of Bulls Bay plus in the oceanfront marsh at Jack's Creek. Lesser Yellowlegs 4 Whimbrel 1 Marbled Godwit 3 Ruddy Turnstone 53 Scope views along the North Beach and oceanfront marsh at Jack's Creek. Sanderling 40 Mostly along North Beach. Dunlin 1025 Mostly in oceanfront marsh at Jack's Creek. Semipalmated Sandpiper 30 Scope views with comparisons to Western Sandpipers Western Sandpiper 30 Short-billed Dowitcher 257 Mostly in the oceanfront marsh at Jack's Creek. Wilson's Snipe 4 Bonaparte's Gull 12 Laughing Gull 7 Ring-billed Gull 9 Herring Gull 17 Forster's Tern 19 Belted Kingfisher 9 Red-bellied Woodpecker 1 Eastern Phoebe 3 Tree Swallow 6 Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1 Grey Catbird 1 Northern Mockingbird 2 Pine Warbler 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 6 Eastern Towhee 1 Song Sparrow 6 Swamp Sparrow 2 Northern Cardinal 2 Red-winged Blackbird 3 Common Grackle 70 Boat-tailed Grackle 2 View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S15737519 This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)