30 May 2014

Fri 30 May 2014 survey

Fr 30 May 2014


   I had a great day on Bulls Island today conducting the waterfowl/shorebird survey. Captain Richard and First Mate Olivia of CEX's Bulls Island Ferry were gracious and helpful to haul me out there, set me up with a truck, and then to haul me all the way back at the end of the day. There was only 0.02 in of rain that fell from about 1 PM till about 2:30 PM--it was just barely enough to force me to put on a rain jacket, mostly because it was threatening to become steadier. Clouds and fairly moderate temperatures kept the day's weather otherwise very tolerable.

   I tallied 42 target species on the survey proper and 61 species overall (full eBird checklist is appended, below), though counts of total individuals was down somewhat (727 individuals) compared to most outings. In short, pretty good variety but overall numbers somewhat lower than recent. 

   I had advance word of both Reddish Egret (got it on the North Beach) and Purple Gallinule (missed it in its reported location in Lower Summerhouse Pond along Beach Road). I'll keep looking for the PUGA. (Interestingly a PUGA has also been recently reported from Caw Caw; perhaps there's a minor PUGA irruption ongoing.)

   Species of the day has to be a new one for the survey and perhaps a new species for the island: Black-bellied Whistling-Duck! I had 27 calmly sitting in the small impoundment wedged between the Boneyard, Moccasin Pond, and Jack's Creek (I can't recall the name of this impoundment--help me, Dan? It shares a trunk with Jack's where you take the "second" water quality data for Jack's.). Just outside of the survey area! Not to worry, as it happens, as I later had 5 more BBWD on the wing flying out of the Upper Summerhouse Pond! BBWD officially on the survey!

   Other notable avian sightings included: Red-breasted Merganser (in the saltwater marshes between landings), juvenile Common Gallinules, American Coot, Black Tern, Sandwich Tern, and Black Scoter. Shorebird numbers were overall down (1 Dunlin and no yellowlegs, Black-bellied Plover, or Red Knot, e.g.), though I had almost 70 peeps some of which I could ID as Western Sandpiper, some of which I couldn't distinguish Western Sandpiper versus Semipalmated Sandpiper. That's often a tough ID to make--I'm working hard on the peeps.

   Non avian sightings included fox squirrels (1 in the yard/picnic grounds plus 1 along Beach Road in the AM plus 2 in the yard about 3:30 PM), white-tailed deer, bottle-nosed dolphin, and several alligators.

   Looking forward at the tide chart suggests the following dates to consider for the next survey:

Sat 14 July 2014 high tide 5.1 ft at 9:12 AM
Mon 16 July 2014 high tide 5.2 ft at 11:04 AM
Tues 17 July 2014 high tide 5.2 ft at 12:03 PM

Stay tuned for further plans.



Cape Romain NWR--Bulls Island, Charleston, US-SC
May 30, 2014 8:45 AM - 4:03 PM
Protocol: Traveling
17.649 mile(s)
Comments:     Conducting the ongoing Bulls Island waterfowl/shorebird survey. Effort: 4.15 mi and 30 min by ferry plus 11.5 mi and 2 hr by vehicle plus 2 mi and 4 hr 48 min by foot. Weather: AM bright overcast, PM partly sunny to overcast with 0.02 in rain between 1300 and 1430; temps 73 F to 79 F; winds SE and light at < 19 mph with gusts to 15 mph.  <br />Submitted from BirdLog NA for iOS, version 1.6.3
61 species (+1 other taxa)

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck  32     An accurate count.
Mallard  2
Mottled Duck  20
Black Scoter  3     Scope views of 1 male (dark scoter with yellow-orange bill) in surf off North Beach plus a male-female pair on the main beachfront (male with yellow-orange bill, female with light cheek patch).
Red-breasted Merganser  2     In salt marsh. Serrated bill, white speculum.
Double-crested Cormorant  10
Anhinga  8
Brown Pelican  32
Least Bittern  2
Great Blue Heron  3
Great Egret  52
Snowy Egret  90
Little Blue Heron  1
Tricolored Heron  21
Reddish Egret  1
Cattle Egret  2
Green Heron  11
Black-crowned Night-Heron  4
White Ibis  24
Glossy Ibis  13
Turkey Vulture  2
Clapper Rail  1
Common Gallinule  27     Count includes 11 juveniles.
American Coot  2     Scope view. Dark rail with white bill.
Black-necked Stilt  46     Seen wading and flying, heard calling.
American Oystercatcher  2
Wilson's Plover  2
Semipalmated Plover  19
Killdeer  1
Spotted Sandpiper  1
Willet  6
Ruddy Turnstone  4
Dunlin  1     Breeding plumage-very dark belly.
Western Sandpiper  38     Many peeps, several IDed as WESA based on slightly decurved tip of bill.
peep sp.  30     Unable to distinguish between WESA and SESA. Many appeared NOT to have decurved tip of bill.
Short-billed Dowitcher  15
Laughing Gull  96
Ring-billed Gull  9
Least Tern  21
Gull-billed Tern  7
Black Tern  9
Forster's Tern  33
Royal Tern  85
Sandwich Tern  11
Black Skimmer  93
Mourning Dove  7
Yellow-billed Cuckoo  1
Pileated Woodpecker  1
Great Crested Flycatcher  3
White-eyed Vireo  1
Barn Swallow  6
Marsh Wren  5
Carolina Wren  3
Northern Mockingbird  10
Northern Parula  1
Pine Warbler  1
Summer Tanager  1
Northern Cardinal  4
Blue Grosbeak  1
Painted Bunting  3
Red-winged Blackbird  31
Boat-tailed Grackle  30

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S18627406

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

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