18 April 2014

Fri 18 Apr 2014 survey

Fri 18 Apr 2014


   Rob Dillon and I conducted today's waterfowl/shorebird survey on Bulls Island. The winds were howling out of the NE keeping the tides high and making me glad that I was wearing my winter coat. Coastal Expeditions owner (and Captain, today) Chris Crolley, Captain Richard, and Naturalist/First Mate Olivia graciously hauled us out to the island and back. We had a FULL ferry on the ride out, the maximum number of bodies that the ferry was licensed to carry! Very glad that we were able to legally catch our ride out. Many thanks, CEX!

   The bird of the day has to have been a Pectoral Sandpiper seen on the Upper Summerhouse Pond. I've never recorded a Pectoral Sandpiper on Bulls before. eBird lists three reports for "Cape Romain NWR -- Bull Island:" 10 from 30 July 2001, 1 from 29 April 2002, and 3 from 25 August 2003, all reported by Jim Cubie. I suspect that these reports predate this survey, so possibly a new species for the survey

   Ducks that remain included 1 Green-winged Teal and 2 Red-breasted Mergansers (both seen just outside of the official count area), Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck, Blue-winged Teal, and Black Scoter (including one on Jack's Creek). We had 2 Horned Grebes in the Bulls Bay marshes (1 HOGR in winter plumage and 1 well into breeding plumage).

   Shorebirds included many Black-necked Stilt, American Oystercatcher, Whimbrel(just outside of the count area), and Red Knot. We also had a pair of Caspian Terns, a Sandwich Tern, Bonaparte's Gulls, and Gull-billed Terns (again, just outside of the count area).

   Notable misses included: Northern Shoveler, Pied-billed Grebe, Wood Stork, American White Pelican, Great Blue Heron, Wilson's Plover, and Piping Plover. Our eBird checklist is appended, below. 42 target species, 69 species on the whole day.

   Non avian sightings included bottle-nosed dolphin, the caterpillar stage of a Black Swallowtail butterfly (I think), and 2 fox squirrels (Mill Road just S of Beach Road). Since Rob is a malacologist, he went looking for fresh water snails (his main interest). He was very pleased to find a tiny little limpet (Ferrissia fragile), and a tiny snail called Physa carolinae(Wethington, Wise, and Dillon 2009). That means that he found the snail species that he and his colleagues first described and, thus, named! Pretty cool!

   Looking at the tidal calendar suggests the following favorable date for our next survey:

Fri 2 May 2014 (high tide of 4.7 ft at 10:47 AM)

Stay tuned for further plans.



Cape Romain NWR--Bulls Island, Charleston, US-SC
Apr 18, 2014 8:30 AM - 4:15 PM
Protocol: Traveling
17.5 mile(s)
Comments:     Conducting the ongoing Bulls Island waterfowl/shorebird survey. Effort: 4.15 mi (one way) and 60 min by ferry plus 11.6 mi and 2 hr by truck plus 1.75 mi and 4 hr 45 min by foot. Weather: overcast, cool, and windy; temps 55 F to 62 F; strong and steady winds NE at 10 mph to 20 mph with PM gusts to 25 mph.  <br />Submitted from BirdLog NA for iOS, version 1.6.3
69 species (+2 other taxa)

Canada Goose  5
Mottled Duck  9
Blue-winged Teal  80
Green-winged Teal  1     Scope view.
Lesser Scaup  4
Black Scoter  3     1 female on Jack's Creek (compared directly and side by side with a Ruddy Duck) plus 2 (1 male plus 1 female) in the breakers off the North Beach.
Bufflehead  6     Scope views on Jack's Creek.
Red-breasted Merganser  2
Ruddy Duck  2     One side by side comparison with a female Black Scoter.
duck sp.  13
Horned Grebe  2     In Bulls Bay marshes. One still in winter plumage, one well into breeding plumage.
Double-crested Cormorant  90     One large flock in ICWW plus many scattered across Jack's Creek.
Anhinga  1
Brown Pelican  19
Great Egret  4
Snowy Egret  19
Little Blue Heron  1
Tricolored Heron  17
Green Heron  2
Black-crowned Night-Heron  5
White Ibis  50
Glossy Ibis  23
Turkey Vulture  5
Osprey  2
Northern Harrier  1     1 fem
Bald Eagle  1     1 mat
Sora  1
Common Gallinule  11
American Coot  3
Black-necked Stilt  28     Most in Upper Summerhouse Pond.
American Oystercatcher  21     In Bulls Bay marshes and around Jack's Creek.
Grey Plover  21
Semipalmated Plover  28
Killdeer  1
Spotted Sandpiper  1
Greater Yellowlegs  1
Willet  18
Lesser Yellowlegs  46
Whimbrel  16
Ruddy Turnstone  28     In beachfront marsh and beachfront.
Red Knot  12
Sanderling  119
Dunlin  326
Pectoral Sandpiper  1     Scope view.
Western Sandpiper  1
peep sp.  5     Peeps at great distance.
Short-billed Dowitcher  88
Bonaparte's Gull  2
Laughing Gull  24
Ring-billed Gull  23
Herring Gull  4
Gull-billed Tern  2
Caspian Tern  2
Forster's Tern  35
Royal Tern  64
Sandwich Tern  1
Mourning Dove  2
Belted Kingfisher  3
Great Crested Flycatcher  1
Eastern Kingbird  1
Tree Swallow  400     Widely scattered across all impoundments, most across Upper Summerhouse Pond.
Barn Swallow  2
Marsh Wren  2
Northern Mockingbird  1
Northern Parula  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  4     Molting into breeding plumage.
Savannah Sparrow  2
Northern Cardinal  1
Indigo Bunting  2
Red-winged Blackbird  100
Boat-tailed Grackle  20

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S17952604

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

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