01 September 2015

1 Sept 2015 survey. Fall is coming to the salt marsh, and the bird of the day was a sparrow.

Tues 1 Sept 2015

   The Spartina alterniflora (saltmarsh cordgrass) is producing seed heads and turning the grass tips to an ever-so-slightly-golden color. The full-on-summer green grasses are beginning to change. Fall is coming to the salt marshes.

   Steve Moore and Irvin Pitts joined me today for the ongoing Bulls Island waterfowl/shorebird survey. And what a beautiful day it was after such a wet weekend. Coastal Expedition's Captain Chris Crolley gave us the royal treatment in getting us over to Bulls Island. As Chris said, "This boat stops for sparrows." We pulled over to chase a likely Seaside Sparrow into the grasses and drifted right up to a Clapper Rail trying to manage the king tides that were dominating it's world today.

   We tallied 67 species on the day, not counting Irvin's list from Garris Landing where he tallied Bobolinks and Yellow Warbler among other species. Our eBird checklist from the island is appended, below, FYI.

   Recent rains on the island (approximately 1.6 inches on 26 Aug 2015 and approximately 3.1 inches over the last two days) has raised the water in Jack's Creek a guesstimated 3 inches and greatly expanded the margins of the water to cover much of what had been uncovered and drying for several months. The water level is still low, however, and will likely stay low with continued high evaporation rates from the late summer heat. The birds didn't seem to mind the change in water level too much…hope it doesn't interfere with the ongoing dike construction. And the failed dike along Alligator Alley between Pool 3 and Jack's Creek has been repaired and reopened. Pool 3 is already beginning to fill up with the recent rains.

   The bird of the day was not one of the target species. The first bird that we flushed in front of the truck driving north on Old Fort Road was a sparrow that quickly revealed itself to be a Lark Sparrow. Turned out to be a county list species for Irvin and a life list species for Steve. What a great way to start the day's birding! Other species of note included Reddish Egret, American Avocet, first-of-season (FOS) Blue-winged Teal, White-rumped Sandpiper, Black Tern, Piping Plover, and Pectoral Sandpiper.

   Non-avian sightings included a glass lizard, a cottonmouth, a bottle-nosed dolphin, a queen (i.e., butterfly, 2 of them actually), and numerous other butterfly species. Oh…and many mosquitoes and deer flies too.

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

Wed 16 Sept 2015 5.4 ft high tide forecast at 10:19 AM
Thurs 17 Sept 2015 5.3 ft high tide forecast at 10:54 AM
Fri 18 Sept 2015 5.3 ft high tide forecast at 11:31 AM
Sat 19 Sept 20155.3 ft high tide forecast at 12:14 PM


Cape Romain NWR--Bulls Island, Charleston, South Carolina, US
Sep 1, 2015 10:05 AM - 3:15 PM
Protocol: Traveling
13.599 mile(s)
Comments:     Conducting the ongoing Bulls Island waterfowl/shorebird survey with Steve Moore and Irvin Pitts. Effort: 10.1 mi and 1 hr 30 min by truck plus 3.5 mi and 3 hr 35 min by foot. Weather: sunny, warm, and humid; temps 78 F to 88 F; AM winds NW at <= 6 mph, PM winds SE at 6 mph; barometer steady at 30.05 in Hg. Tide was forecast 6.3 ft high at 10:23 AM.  <br />Submitted from BirdLog NA for iOS, version 1.6.3
64 species (+2 other taxa)

Wood Duck  3
Mottled Duck  19
Blue-winged Teal  33
Pied-billed Grebe  1
Wood Stork  1
Double-crested Cormorant  3
Anhinga  2
Brown Pelican  106     Estimate.
Great Blue Heron  1
Great Egret  29
Snowy Egret  37
Little Blue Heron  3
Tricolored Heron  7
Reddish Egret  4
Green Heron  6
Black-crowned Night-Heron  10
White Ibis  10
Glossy Ibis  1
Turkey Vulture  5
Osprey  2
Red-shouldered Hawk  2
Common Gallinule  5
Black-necked Stilt  2
American Avocet  4
American Oystercatcher  15
Grey Plover  81     A fairly accurate count.
Wilson's Plover  2
Semipalmated Plover  92
Piping Plover  1     No obvious leg bands or flags.
Spotted Sandpiper  5
Greater Yellowlegs  4
Willet  45
Lesser Yellowlegs  1
Marbled Godwit  70     Estimate.
Ruddy Turnstone  10
Sanderling  45     A fairly accurate count.
Least Sandpiper  4
White-rumped Sandpiper  1     Distinct primary feather extension beyond tail feathers. Moderately long slightly decurved bill. ID independently agreed upon by 2 observers.
Pectoral Sandpiper  1
Semipalmated Sandpiper  13
Western Sandpiper  10
peep sp.  10     Too distant for ID to species.
Short-billed Dowitcher  5
Laughing Gull  104
Least Tern  3
Gull-billed Tern  3
Caspian Tern  6
Black Tern  32
Common Tern  12
Forster's Tern  19
Royal Tern  56
Sandwich Tern  6
Black Skimmer  55
Mourning Dove  8
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  1
Belted Kingfisher  3
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Eastern Kingbird  2
crow sp.  2
Barn Swallow  18
Northern Mockingbird  3
Lark Sparrow  1     Heavily streaked head plumage; distinct central breast spot on otherwise uniformly light gray breast plumage.
Northern Cardinal  6
Red-winged Blackbird  1
Boat-tailed Grackle  1

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (/content/iss)

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