02 July 2014

Tues 1 July 2014 survey

Wed 2 July 2014


   Patrick Markham joined me yesterday for the Bulls Island waterfowl/shorebird survey. 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 Bulls Island and Bulls Bay weather Arthur's passing-by well.



Cape Romain NWR--Bulls Island, Charleston, US-SC
Jul 1, 2014 8:45 AM - 3:45 PM
Protocol: Traveling
18.499 mile(s)
Comments:     Conducting the ongoing Bulls Island waterfowl/shorebird survey. 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 the Bulls Bay island north 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 at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S18971762

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

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