27 December 2014

Sat 27 Dec 2014 survey

Sat 27 Dec 2014


   I was fortunate today to be joined by three great birders for the waterfowl/shorebird survey on Bulls Island: Wil Christenson, Cathy Miller, and Carl Miller. Carl's original plans changed late thus allowing him to make his own reservation with Coastal Expeditions for the ferry and, thus, join us for the day. 

   As I had silently predicted, there were many folks showing signs of cabin fever between the holidays, extended families present, and the recent rains; a terrific cure for such ills is a trip to Bulls Island on the CEX ferry. There were about 70 people who showed up for the ferry, including us. Captain Wil, currently on sabbatical from CEX, was conscripted back into service to pilot a second boat over to Bulls and back. Thanks, CEX, for your continued enthusiastic services in hauling us out to Bulls and back. 

   Our time on Bulls was more restricted than usual because I had forgotten that CEX's winter schedule departs at 10:00 AM (not 9:00 AM) and returns at 3:00 PM (not 4:00 PM). Nonetheless, on our foreshortened survey we tallied 45 species on the survey proper and 84 on the whole day's outing. Cathy graciously and conscientiously kept then shared eBird lists on the day; our shared checklist for the island is appended below, FYI. There were no particularly outstanding sightings, but birds of some interest included good numbers of Gadwall, Ruddy Duck, Dunlin, American White Pelicans, Red-breasted Merganser, Redhead, and Peregrine Falcon along with small numbers of Sora, Piping Plover, and Least Sandpiper. In smaller-than-expected numbers were Lesser Scaup, Black Duck, American Wigeon, and Green-winged Teal.

   Upper Summerhouse Pond was, again, very ducky with about 700 waterfowl. The water level there has risen, I assume due to the recent rains, and as a possible result there were fewer shorebirds there than seen recently. I'm sure that when they put in a new trunk to replace the one lost they will also put in a new water level gauge. The salinity there was 29 ppt--not too bad since it was fully tidal for some weeks back in the early fall. Jack's Creek, however, remains particularly salty at 35 ppt (full seawater is 35 ppt).

   Non avian sightings were limited to the expected American alligators, a few Monarch butterflies, and deer tracks. 

   Looking ahead at the tide calendar suggests the following dates to consider for our next survey:

Th 8 Jan 2015 high tide 5.1 ft at 9:27 AM
Fri 9 Jan 2015 high tide 4.9 ft at 10:03 AM
Sat 10 Jan 2015 high tide 4.7 ft at 10:40 AM
Mon 12 Jan 2015 high tide 4.3 ft at 12:05 PM

Stay tuned for further plans.



Cape Romain NWR--Bulls Island, Charleston, US-SC
Dec 27, 2014 10:43 AM - 4:13 PM
Protocol: Traveling
19.999 mile(s)
Comments:     Participants:  David McLean, Wil Christenson, Carl Miller & myself.  This was part of theshorebird/waterfowl survey that David McLean conducts for the Fish & Wildlife Service.  This list represents birds sent from boat to & from Bulls Island as well as birds seen on island in & near Jack s Creek and near & on Upper Summerhouse Pond.   Submitted from  BirdLog NA for Android v1.9.6
77 species

Gadwall  540
American Wigeon  8
American Black Duck  2
Northern Shoveler  42
Green-winged Teal  25
Redhead  64
Lesser Scaup  53
Bufflehead  70
Hooded Merganser  7
Red-breasted Merganser  10
Ruddy Duck  300
Common Loon  3
Pied-billed Grebe  27
Horned Grebe  11
Wood Stork  1
Northern Gannet  2
Double-crested Cormorant  83
Anhinga  1
American White Pelican  50
Brown Pelican  7
Great Blue Heron  10
Great Egret  12
Snowy Egret  37
Little Blue Heron  9
Tricolored Heron  11
Black-crowned Night-Heron  19
White Ibis  28
Black Vulture  4
Turkey Vulture  4
Osprey  1
Northern Harrier  2
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Clapper Rail  3
Sora  2
Common Gallinule  15
American Coot  420
American Oystercatcher  48
Grey Plover  23
Semipalmated Plover  110
Piping Plover  2
Spotted Sandpiper  2
Greater Yellowlegs  3
Willet  31
Ruddy Turnstone  13
Sanderling  30
Dunlin  1150
Least Sandpiper  2
Western Sandpiper  4
Short-billed Dowitcher  40
Ring-billed Gull  10
Herring Gull  6
Forster's Tern  16
Belted Kingfisher  7
Red-bellied Woodpecker  3
Northern Flicker  2
Merlin  1
Peregrine Falcon  2
Eastern Phoebe  3
Blue Jay  8
Tree Swallow  24
Carolina Chickadee  3
Tufted Titmouse  1
Marsh Wren  1
Carolina Wren  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  5
Eastern Bluebird  3
Northern Mockingbird  5
Pine Warbler  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler  20
Eastern Towhee  8
Savannah Sparrow  3
Song Sparrow  1
White-throated Sparrow  1
Northern Cardinal  1
Red-winged Blackbird  25
Boat-tailed Grackle  20

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21050371

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

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