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.
13 August 2014
Th 13 Aug 2014 survey
Th 14 Aug 2014
Susan Thompson and Brian Houghton joined me today on BullsIsland for the ongoing waterfowl/shorebirdsurvey. It was a "Chamber of Commerce" weather day! Captain Richard Stuhr and First Mate/Naturalist Olivia Wilson of Coastal Expeditions gave us their usual first rate service in getting us out to the island and back. Many thanks!
We tallied 46 species on the survey proper, 61 species on the day's outing. My eBird checklist is appended, below, FYI. Great finds on the day included Purple Gallinule (including 1 mature and 3 chicks!), Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Green-winged Teal, Reddish Egret (juvenile), Roseate Spoonbill, Cooper's Hawk, Bald Eagle, Piping Plover, Whimbrel, and American Avocet. Misses included Wilson's Plover, Marbled Godwit (recently present in high numbers), and American Oystercatcher (though Richard and Olivia saw one early that I missed).
Non avian wildlife sightings included Atlantic bottle-nosed dolphin, fox squirrel (1 along the road to the dock, 1 along Lighthouse Road at Beach Road), American alligator, spiders on webs, butterflies, and dragonflies. Once again the mosquitos and deer flies were mercifully very few.
After Sunday's perigee/full moon (aka "super moon") the tides were running high and were further aided by steady NE to E winds today. The trunk connecting Jack's Creek to Bulls Bay was open allowing a significant inflow of seawater into Jack's Creek thus raising the water level appreciably. Also the marsh oceanfront at Jack's Creek has recently been filled with the high tides yet continues to drain back into the ocean. The dunes continue to accrete on the North Beach--there was significant exposed beach even with these astronomical high tides.
Looking forward at the tidal calendar suggests the following dates for our next waterfowl/shorebirdsurvey:
Th 28 Aug 2014 high tide 5.2 ft at 10:09 AM
Fri 29 Aug 2014 high tide 5.2 ft at 10:44 AM
Sat 30 Aug 2014 high tide 5.2 ft at 11:21 AM
Stay tuned for further plans.
I am cross-posting this email to Carolinabirds in advance of the upcoming fall Carolina Bird Club (CBC) meeting in Charleston 26 to 28 Sept 2014 and the field trips to BullsIsland.
Cape Romain NWR--BullsIsland, Charleston, US-SC Aug 14, 2014 8:30 AM - 3:40 PM Protocol: Traveling 17.999 mile(s) Comments: Conducting the ongoingBullsIslandwaterfowl/shorebirdsurvey. Effort: 4.15 mi and 30 min by ferry plus 10.7 mi and 2 hr by truck plus 3.7 mi and 4 hr 40 min by foot. Weather: clear, sunny, and warm; temps 77 F to 85 F; winds NE early becoming E late AM, at 5 mph. High tide was forecast to be 5.9 ft at 11:24 AM but was higher due to the perigee/full moon (Super Moon) on Sun 10 Aug 2014 and due to the steady NE to E winds. It was a 'Chamber of Commerce' weather day! <br />Submitted from BirdLog NA for iOS, version 1.6.3 61 species Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 2 Wood Duck 2 Mottled Duck 1 Green-winged Teal 1 Female. Showed green speculum. Pied-billed Grebe 1 Wood Stork 3 Double-crested Cormorant 12 Fewer than expected. Anhinga 5 American White Pelican 7 Brown Pelican 127 Many on sandbar off North Beach, many more on beachfront at Jack's Creek. Least Bittern 2 Great Blue Heron 3 Great Egret 22 Snowy Egret 105 Many were resting together in Upper Summerhouse Pond. Little Blue Heron 3 3 immature Tricolored Heron 21 Reddish Egret 1 Juvenile Green Heron 10 Black-crowned Night-Heron 6 White Ibis 1 Glossy Ibis 6 Roseate Spoonbill 14 Very pink, spoon-shaped bills. A fairly accurate count. Turkey Vulture 5 Osprey 5 Cooper's Hawk 1 Bald Eagle 1 1 mature, along Intra-coastal waterway (ICWW). Purple Gallinule 4 1 mature, 3 chick/juveniles Common Gallinule 25 Black-necked Stilt 11 American Avocet 1 Grey Plover 30 Semipalmated Plover 260 On the beachfront and the beachfront marsh at Jack's Creek. Piping Plover 1 No apparent leg bands or flags. Spotted Sandpiper 4 Greater Yellowlegs 3 Willet 62 Most on private dock immediately north of Garris Landing as the tide rose. Lesser Yellowlegs 1 Whimbrel 2 Ruddy Turnstone 18 On the beachfront. Excellent, close binocular views. Sanderling 243 On the North Beach and many in the oceanfront marsh at Jack's Creek. Semipalmated Sandpiper 9 Short-billed Dowitcher 33 Laughing Gull 146 Ring-billed Gull 1 Least Tern 113 A conservative estimate. Gull-billed Tern 19 A conservative estimate. Black Tern 236 Most resting on the wet sands in the marsh oceanfront at Jack's Creek. Forster's Tern 25 A conservative estimate. Royal Tern 199 Resting beachfront and in the marsh oceanfront at Jack's. Several on the wing with small fish held in bills. Sandwich Tern 20 Black Skimmer 24 Mourning Dove 2 Belted Kingfisher 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker 1 American Crow 2 Barn Swallow 3 Marsh Wren 2 Northern Mockingbird 3 Northern Cardinal 12 Red-winged Blackbird 20 Boat-tailed Grackle 10 View this checklist online athttp://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19470712 This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)