20 February 2014

Th 20 Feb 2014 survey

Th 20 Feb 2014


   It was a beautiful day on Bulls today, even with the fog that just wouldn't go away even in high wind. Sarah carted me out there and Greg brought me back--thanks to both. 

   Both waterfowl and shorebirds continue in good numbers: 47 target species, 80 species overall; eBird report appended, below. I had good counts of Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Redhead, Greater Scaup, Ruddy Duck, Piping Plover, Sanderling, Dunlin, and Short-billed Dowitcher. Also Canvasback and American White Pelican continue. Of particular note otherwise, I had a Great Black-backed Gull (in Bulls Bay, not on the island), an Orange-crowned Warbler, and my best ever view of a Sedge Wren posing and calling just feet away in perfect light.

   Gulls and terns were few and far between compared to many surveys. Misses included Bald Eagle. The north beach continues to disappoint this winter. I was almost skunked on avian species there; several small flocks of Dunlin flew by, otherwise there was one American Oystercatcher, three Black-bellied Plover, six Ruddy Turnstone, and five Sanderling. Today's tide was very moderate, but I'm still trying to figure out why the last two winters were so productive there and this one so poor.

   The water level at Jack's Creek has dropped just a bit (it's a big pond to drain through one trunk!) and the water at Upper Summerhouse Pond (USP) has dropped below the water level gauge! This (USP) was by design to expose mudflats and attract shorebirds, and it worked! There was a large mixed flock of shorebirds at Upper Summerhouse Pond and the waterfowl continue as well. Greg put one riser board back into the trunk draining USP to stop the draining and to collect some of the rain forecast for tomorrow (they're still trying to lower the salinity there).

   I saw three fox squirrels (Dan, one was immediately behind the Dominick House, one was on Beach Road immediately beyond House Pond, and one was on Summerhouse Road between the cemetery and USP). I also photographed some canine tracks (clearly showing toenails) in the dunes at the north beach; the prints were approximately 60 mm long and 45 mm wide. Don't know if that suggests fox or coyote. 

   Looking ahead at the tide calendar, favorable tides for the next survey appear to fall on Wednesday 5 March 2014 (5.0 ft tide at 10:44 AM). Stay tuned.



Cape Romain NWR--Bulls Island, Charleston, US-SC
Feb 20, 2014 7:45 AM - 4:22 PM
Protocol: Traveling
19.0 mile(s)
Comments:     Conducting the ongoing Bulls Island waterfowl/shorebird survey. Effort: 4.15 mi (one way) and 30 min by boat plus 11.0 mi and 2 hr by vehicle plus 3.8 mi and 6 hr by foot. Weather: heavy fog in early AM that variously cleared then returned through the day; otherwise mostly sunny; temps 58 F to 73 F; early AM winds calm; late AM and PM winds SW at 10 mph to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph.  <br />Submitted from BirdLog NA for iOS, version 1.6.3
80 species (+2 other taxa)
Gadwall  22
American Wigeon  39
American Black Duck  6
Mallard  2
Mottled Duck  4
American Black/Mottled Duck  6     Large dark ducks seen in silhouette. Unable to distinguish between American Black Duck and Mottled Duck.
Blue-winged Teal  3
Northern Shoveler  18
Northern Pintail  10
Green-winged Teal  64
Canvasback  2
Redhead  70     In mixed flocks with Lesser Scaup, American Coot, Canvasback, and others.
Greater Scaup  6     Round green head, bright white sides, fat cheeks. Seen in good light in the company of Lesser Scaup for direct comparison.
Lesser Scaup  200     A conservative estimate.
Bufflehead  32
Hooded Merganser  7
Red-breasted Merganser  6
Ruddy Duck  255     A conservative estimate.
duck sp.  100     Large flock that flushed as I drove up and before I could focus optics on them.
Pied-billed Grebe  42
Horned Grebe  6
Double-crested Cormorant  16
Anhinga  1
American White Pelican  21
Brown Pelican  3
Great Blue Heron  7
Great Egret  47
Snowy Egret  30
Little Blue Heron  6
Tricolored Heron  3
Black-crowned Night-Heron  4
White Ibis  32
Turkey Vulture  11
Northern Harrier  1
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Common Gallinule  30
American Coot  230
American Oystercatcher  7
Grey Plover  29
Semipalmated Plover  24
Piping Plover  4     None appeared to be banded
Killdeer  19
Greater Yellowlegs  22
Willet  16
Lesser Yellowlegs  10
Marbled Godwit  1
Ruddy Turnstone  28     Mostly on the beach.
Sanderling  405     Two large groupings.
Dunlin  1736     A conservative estimate.
Western Sandpiper  33
Short-billed Dowitcher  106     A conservative estimate.
Bonaparte's Gull  1
Laughing Gull  1
Ring-billed Gull  7
Herring Gull  1
Great Black-backed Gull  1
Forster's Tern  14
Mourning Dove  3
Belted Kingfisher  4
Red-bellied Woodpecker  2
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1
Pileated Woodpecker  1
Eastern Phoebe  4
Tree Swallow  1
Sedge Wren  1
Carolina Wren  2
Golden-crowned Kinglet  1
Northern Mockingbird  2
Cedar Waxwing  4
Orange-crowned Warbler  1
Common Yellowthroat  1
Pine Warbler  7
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  40
Eastern Towhee  2
Savannah Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  1
Swamp Sparrow  1
White-throated Sparrow  1
Northern Cardinal  2
Red-winged Blackbird  46
Eastern Meadowlark  7
Boat-tailed Grackle  31
View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S17120568
This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

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