14 October 2014

Tues 14 Oct 2014 survey

Tues 14 Oct 2014


   Wil Christenson joined me today for the Bulls Island waterfowl/shorebird survey. 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 Bulls Island 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

   Stay tuned.



Cape Romain NWR--Bulls Island, Charleston, US-SC
Oct 14, 2014 8:35 AM - 4:12 PM
Protocol: Traveling
17.999 mile(s)
Comments:     Conducting the ongoing waterfowl/shorebird survey. 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 in Bulls Bay 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 the island, 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 at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20236662

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