Wil Christenson joined me today for the BullsIslandwaterfowl/shorebirdsurvey. Coastal Expeditions was eager to help us today as four ferry captains showed up to pilot the ferry over. Fortunately Captains Chris Crolley and Gates Roll were able to return to other mainland responsibilities and Captain Wil assisted Captain Richard Stuhr on our ride through the marshes. Many thanks to CEX.
Wil and I tallied 36 species on the survey proper, 64 on the whole day's outing. Our eBird checklist is appended below, FYI. Avian highlights of the day include: Piping Plover, Reddish Egret, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, Wood Stork, Peregrine Falcon, Great Black-backed Gull, Least Bittern, Prairie Warbler, and thousands of Tree Swallows.
Non-avian sightings included a buck white-tailed deer with a nice rack (flushed along Old Fort Road immediately after leaving the oak lawn at the Dominick House), two fox squirrels (one along Sheepshead Ridge Road, one along Summerhouse Pond Road), possible mink tracks on the North Beach, a sizable unidentified fish in the oceanfront marsh at Jack's Creek, and a large slipper shell on the North Beach (collected to add to my dashboard shell collection).
Wil and I had the good fortune to meet a fellow hiking around BullsIsland and planning to camp overnight on the north end of Capers Island. Scott Huler is retracing the track of John Lawson who paddled the barrier islands of S.C., up the Santee River into N.C. and back to the N.C. coast. Lawson made his trek in 1700-1701 and published his first-hand account in a book "A new voyage to Carolina." Both Wil and Scott educated me about Lawson's trek, the native populations that he encountered, and his published account (it's going on my "to buy" book list). Huler is very early in his retracing and will be blogging along the way. Checkout his web page and blog at http://www.lawsontrek.com. I know that Wil and I will be following Huler's progress. We hope that he had a quiet night on Capers with the weather that's just blown through.
Looking ahead at the tide calendar suggests the following date for our next survey:
Tues 28 Oct 2014 high tide forecast 5.9 ft at 11:25 AM
Cape Romain NWR--BullsIsland, Charleston, US-SC Oct 14, 2014 8:35 AM - 4:12 PM Protocol: Traveling 17.999 mile(s) Comments: Conducting the ongoingwaterfowl/shorebirdsurvey. Effort: 4.15 mi (one way) and 1 hr 30 min by ferry plus 11.2 mi and 2 hr by truck plus 2.6 mi and 5 hr 10 min by foot. Weather: mostly sunny, briefly brightly overcast, warm and humid; temps 78 F to 82 F; winds S at 10 mph. <br />Submitted from BirdLog NA for iOS, version 1.6.3 64 species (+1 other taxa) American Wigeon 2 Mottled Duck 7 Blue-winged Teal 32 Northern Shoveler 2 Pied-billed Grebe 41 Wood Stork 7 Double-crested Cormorant 12 Anhinga 1 American White Pelican 24 Brown Pelican 464 Most on sand bar N off the North Beach. Least Bittern 1 Clearly seen flying directly below us along the Alligator Alley dike between Jack's Creek and Pool 2. Small bittern, cinnamon plumage on back and back of extended wings. Great Blue Heron 10 Great Egret 20 Snowy Egret 44 Little Blue Heron 7 Tricolored Heron 26 Reddish Egret 7 An accurate count. Scope views in good light. In the oceanfront marsh at Jack's Creek. Reddish head plumage, several 'doing the Reddish Egret dance.' Black-crowned Night-Heron 13 White Ibis 48 Black Vulture 2 Turkey Vulture 6 Osprey 1 Northern Harrier 2 Red-shouldered Hawk 2 Clapper Rail 7 Sora 1 Common Gallinule 29 American Coot 10 American Oystercatcher 14 Grey Plover 70 In the oceanfront marsh at Jack's Creek. Some seen standing, most on the Wong showing black wing pits. Semipalmated Plover 400 In the oceanfront marsh at Jack's Creek. Piping Plover 4 One appeared to have a flag above R ankle, but further details were unobtainable due to distance from bird. Spotted Sandpiper 1 Greater Yellowlegs 23 Willet 45 Lesser Yellowlegs 2 Marbled Godwit 2 Ruddy Turnstone 8 Sanderling 100 Seen on the offshore sandbar inBullsBay N of the North Beach. Very pale shorebirds standing and walking. Very distant scope views under high magnification. A few seen on the wing showing wing stripes. Least Sandpiper 3 Western Sandpiper 100 peep sp. 3 Unable to distinguish between WESA and SESA. Short-billed Dowitcher 116 A fairly accurate count. Laughing Gull 41 Herring Gull 2 Great Black-backed Gull 1 Caspian Tern 3 Large tern, red bills. Forster's Tern 6 Royal Tern 75 Most seen at high scope magnification on the sandbar offshore of the North Beach. Tern with orange/yellow bill. Mourning Dove 2 Belted Kingfisher 16 Downy Woodpecker 1 Peregrine Falcon 2 We saw pairs of PEFA at least 3 times plus a couple of singleton observations, so a minimum count is reported here to be conservative. Eastern Phoebe 2 Blue Jay 2 American Crow 10 Tree Swallow 10000 Seen all over theisland, most in one massive stand over the North Beach. Many hundreds briefly resting on the sandy beach. Marsh Wren 1 Grey Catbird 1 Brown Thrasher 2 Northern Mockingbird 2 Prairie Warbler 1 Northern Cardinal 2 Red-winged Blackbird 200 Boat-tailed Grackle 15 View this checklist online athttp://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20236662 This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)