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.
02 July 2014
Tues 1 July 2014 survey
Wed 2 July 2014
Patrick Markham joined me yesterday for the BullsIslandwaterfowl/shorebirdsurvey. The Coastal Expeditions ferry folks graciously hauled us out and back for a beautiful, sunny, and warm day's birding.
Traditionally the slowest time of the year for both waterfowl and shorebird species here in coastal S.C., we nonetheless tallied 37 species on the survey proper, 51 species on the whole day's outing. My eBird checklist is appended below FYI. Several shorebird species, as well as gull and tern species, were on the island including Black-bellied Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Forster's Tern, Marbled Godwit, American Oystercatcher, and Black Scoter.
Summer resident Least Terns and Black Skimmers were present in good numbers. There was one Back-bellied Whistling Duck seen on Upper Summerhouse Pond, but the recently reported Ruff was not seen (darn, that would have been a life species sighting for me).
Juveniles of several species were evident including Mottled Duck, Common Gallinule, and Black-necked Stilt.
Other avian species seen included a Great-horned Owl and a Swallow-tailed Kite.
Misses included Wilson's Plover, Reddish Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, Black Tern, and the recently seen Purple Gallinule.
Non-avian wildlife sightings included Atlantic bottle-nosed dolphin, fox squirrel (1 on Lighthouse Rd at Beach Rd, 2 along Mills Rd, and 1 on Summerhouse Pond Rd near the overlook bench at Upper Summerhouse Pond), alligators (including one hanging out in the salt water boat landing on the back of the island), general butterflies and dragonflies, and putative coyote tracks on the North Beach. Wonderfully absent were both mosquitoes and biting flies.
Looking ahead at the tide calendar suggests the following dates favorable for our next survey:
Mon 14 July 2014, 5.5 ft high tide at 9:52 AM
Tues 15 July 2014, 5.5 ft high tide at 10:49 AM
Wed 16 July 2014, 5.5 ft high tide at 11:47 AM
Stay tuned for final plans.
I'm hoping that BullsIsland and Bulls Bay weather Arthur's passing-by well.
Cape Romain NWR--BullsIsland, Charleston, US-SC Jul 1, 2014 8:45 AM - 3:45 PM Protocol: Traveling 18.499 mile(s) Comments: Conducting the ongoingBullsIslandwaterfowl/shorebirdsurvey. Effort: 4.15 mi (one way) and 35 min by ferry plus 10.8 mi and 2 hr by vehicle plus 3.5 mi and 4 hr 25 min by foot. Weather: sunny and very warm; essentially 0 % cloud cover; temps 80 F to 86 F; AM winds calm to < 5 mph, PM winds variable at 10 mph with gusts to 15 mph. Predicted high tide: 4.4 ft at 11:16 AM. <br />Submitted from BirdLog NA for iOS, version 1.6.3 51 species Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 1 Mottled Duck 40 Black Scoter 5 2 males (dark sea duck with yellow-orange bill) plus 3 females (medium gray sea duck with light cheek patch). Wood Stork 6 Double-crested Cormorant 17 A reasonably accurate count. Anhinga 14 American White Pelican 10 Brown Pelican 89 Least Bittern 1 Great Blue Heron 5 Great Egret 31 Snowy Egret 38 Little Blue Heron 1 Tricolored Heron 16 Green Heron 18 Black-crowned Night-Heron 9 White Ibis 22 Glossy Ibis 18 Black Vulture 1 Turkey Vulture 2 Osprey 2 Swallow-tailed Kite 1 Common Gallinule 41 Includes several juveniles. Black-necked Stilt 78 Very noisy and obvious. All over the impoundments. American Oystercatcher 10 Grey Plover 32 A couple in breeding plumage, most not in breeding plumage. Semipalmated Plover 39 Ocean-front marsh at Jack's Creek. A reasonably accurate count. Killdeer 1 Greater Yellowlegs 5 Upper Summerhouse Pond. Scope views. Yellow legs, bill longer than head dimension. Willet 25 Marbled Godwit 80 Each studied carefully to rule out Long-billed Curlew. Jack's Creek, North Beach, and in the ocean-front marsh at Jack's Creek. Ruddy Turnstone 2 Semipalmated Sandpiper 4 Scope views. Dark legs, bills relatively straight and blunt. Each studied closely to rule out Western Sandpiper. Short-billed Dowitcher 91 Few showing the reddish breeding plumage. Long bills, sewing machine like probing motion. Light supercillium. Estimated number tallied from several locations. Laughing Gull 74 Least Tern 110 Seen both in light, buoyant flight and resting on the sands. Gull-billed Tern 8 Forster's Tern 86 Larger than nearby Least Terns, black patch behind eye, forked tail. Royal Tern 72 Sandwich Tern 7 Black Skimmer 244 The majority spotted on theBullsBayislandnorth of the North Beach. Mourning Dove 5 Great Horned Owl 1 Common Nighthawk 1 Purple Martin 7 Marsh Wren 7 Northern Mockingbird 2 Northern Cardinal 7 Painted Bunting 6 Red-winged Blackbird 70 Boat-tailed Grackle 40 View this checklist online athttp://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S18971762 This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)