06 December 2013

Fri 6 Dec 2013 survey

F 6 Dec 2013


   Dan Ashworth (UF&WS biologist) got me out and back to Bulls Island today and helped me perform thewaterfowl/shorebird survey. We had beautiful, shirt-sleeve weather all day. Thanks much, Dan, for all your help today.

   My eBird report for the whole day's outing is appended, below, FYI. We tallied 42 target species on thesurvey proper, 67 species overall. Interesting sightings, at least to me, included Northern Pintails, Greater Scaup, high numbers of Ruddy Ducks, a pair of mature Bald Eagles, Piping Plover (one, no bands or flags), Black-necked Stilts (two in Jack's Creek), Bonapart's Gulls, and a large flock (est. 700) of Common Grackles. We also tallied more American White Pelicans than Brown Pelicans. I also had brief views of both Seaside Sparrows and Saltmarsh Sparrows.

   Duck species NOT seen included Gadwall, American Wigeon, Blue-winged Teal, and Green-winged Teal. I'm also still looking for my first-of-season (FOS) Northern Gannets.

   Non-avian species seen included fox squirrels, a yellow-bellied slider turtle, a not-yet-identified frog, monarch butterflies, gulf fritillary butterflies, zebra longwing butterfly, sulfur butterflies, and (of course) alligators.

   Looking forward to the next survey, the most favorable tides appear to fall on Monday 23 Dec 2013 (4.8 ft high tide forecast at 11:01 AM) and Tuesday 24 Dec 2013 (4.7 ft high tide forecast at 11:45 AM). That may prove to be a bit too close to Christmas to get out to the island (even the USF&WS folks have limits to their gracious efforts in hauling me out to the island), so don't count on that survey yet. 

   Beyond that, the next favorable tides appear to fall on Sun 5 Jan 2014 (5.7 ft high tide forecast at 1047 AM) and Mon 6 Jan 2014 (5.4 ft high tide forecast at 11:41 AM). The annual Charleston Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is scheduled for Sun 5 Jan 2014. For that CBC I will be leading one group on the south end of Bulls and there will be another group counting on the north end of the island. If I can recruit my fellow CBC counters, I may try to overlay our waterfowl/shorebird survey on the CBC count.

   As a brief promo announcement, check out the Coastal Expeditions special charter tour into the north end ofBulls Bay and the Cape Romain NWR to look for Long-billed Curlews this Sunday 8 Dec 2013 from 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM and leaving out of McClellanville. (See: http://www.bullsislandferry.com/index.php?page=CurlewTour.) On this same outing on Sun 27 Oct 2013 we tallied 5 Long-billed Curlews! If you want to see LBCUs, this is the place to look for them. There's also very high likelihood of seeing several other interesting avian species on this tour.

   Go out and participate in some of the upcoming CBCs! (I'm planning on counting in eight.) Good birding!



Cape Romain NWR--Bulls Island, Charleston, US-SC
Dec 6, 2013 8:20 AM - 4:50 PM
Protocol: Traveling
18.15 mile(s)
Comments:     Conducting the ongoing Bulls Island waterfowl/shorebird survey with USF&WS biologist Dan Ashworth. Effort: 4.15 mi (one way) and 45 min by boat plus 10.7 mi and 2 hr by vehicle plus 3.3 mi and 5 hr 45 min by foot. Weather: mostly clear, sunny, and warm; temps 65 °F to 73 °F; winds were SW at 10 mph to 20 mph with gusts to 25 mph.
67 species
American Black Duck  7
Mallard  2
Northern Pintail  4
Redhead  1
Greater Scaup  1     Scope views in good light. Seen in the company of many Lesser Scaup. Head was strikingly green, especially compared to Lesser Scaup; head shape was distinctly rounded compared to Lesser Scaup.
Lesser Scaup  175
Bufflehead  126     Scope views.
Hooded Merganser  218     Scope views. Several large flocks in differing locations.
Ruddy Duck  217     Scope views. Several large flocks in differing locations.
Pied-billed Grebe  6
Horned Grebe  10
Wood Stork  5
Double-crested Cormorant  24
American White Pelican  8
Brown Pelican  1
Great Blue Heron  7
Great Egret  13
Snowy Egret  32
Little Blue Heron  4
Tricolored Heron  18
Black-crowned Night-Heron  1
White Ibis  123     Many mature and many immature in multiple locations.
Turkey Vulture  7
Osprey  2
Northern Harrier  1
Bald Eagle  2
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Clapper Rail  6
Common Gallinule  4
American Coot  40
Black-necked Stilt  1     Scope views of two BNST in Jack's Creek. Unmistakable.
American Oystercatcher  70
Grey Plover  43
Semipalmated Plover  12
Piping Plover  1     No leg bands or flags.
Killdeer  3
Greater Yellowlegs  8
Willet  14
Lesser Yellowlegs  6
Marbled Godwit  2
Ruddy Turnstone  28     Scope views on the beach and in the ocean-front marsh at Jack's Creek.
Sanderling  21     Mostly seen on the north beach.
Dunlin  1407     A conservative estimation.
Western Sandpiper  104     Most in large mixed flock of shorebirds.
Short-billed Dowitcher  5
Wilson's Snipe  8
Bonaparte's Gull  7
Laughing Gull  7
Ring-billed Gull  2
Herring Gull  1
Forster's Tern  20
Mourning Dove  13
Belted Kingfisher  7
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  2
Grey Catbird  1
Northern Mockingbird  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  3
Eastern Towhee  1
Savannah Sparrow  1
Saltmarsh Sparrow  1
Seaside Sparrow  4
Song Sparrow  2
Swamp Sparrow  4
Northern Cardinal  1
Red-winged Blackbird  21
Common Grackle  700
Boat-tailed Grackle  1
View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S15880167
This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

No comments:

Post a Comment