30 January 2016

First for the survey Eurasian Wigeon plus thousands of shorebirds

Sat 30 Jan 2016

   I had so much terrific help on yesterday's survey! Thanks to Ford Mauney (F&WS) for hauling some of us out to Bulls. Counting with me were Wil Christenson, Chris Snook, Kathy Greider, Grant Greider, and Trisha Midgett. 

   Both waterfowl and shorebirds were present in good numbers. We tallied 80 species on the island (see our eBird checklist, below, FYI). First sighting for the survey, I believe, was a male Eurasian Wigeon scoped in Jack's Creek. It was still present in almost the exact same location today according to Wil who chased it down again. Also of note was a female Long-tailed Duck in Upper Summerhouse Pond that, like the EUWI, was present again today in almost the exact same location as yesterday. 

   Chris Snook, known to many of you as a Brit, said of the Eurasian Wigeon for my field notes, "it quacked with a funny accent." The EUWI was, I believe, a state list species for Chris and a life list species for Trisha, Kathy, and Grant. 

   The water level in Jack's is noticeably higher than it has been for some weeks, but both ducks and shorebirds still abound there. (I think they are digging drainage ditches and still draining sections of Pool 1 into Jack's through the failed dike along Alligator Alley.) Nonetheless Jack's is still attracting good numbers of dabbling ducks, although many fewer Gadwall than recent. 

   The oceanfront saltwater marsh at Jack's Creek had a conservatively estimated 2000 shorebirds today, mostly Dunlin and Semipalmated Plover. We also tallied 7 Piping Plovers for the ISS Piping Plover survey.

   A few other sightings of note include Least Sandpiper, Great Horned Owl, Merlin, and Peregrine Falcon.

   I'll be back on Bulls tomorrow, Sunday 31 Jan 2016, for the Cape Romain NWR annual volunteer appreciation day, so I'll try to relocate both the Eurasian Wigeon and Long-tailed Duck. To all my fellow volunteers, Thank You for your time and service to help with the ongoing survey!


Cape Romain NWR--Bulls Island, Charleston, South Carolina, US
Jan 29, 2016 9:50 AM - 4:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
11.5 mile(s)
Comments:     Conducting the ongoing Bulls Island waterfowl/shorebird survey with Wil Christenson, Chris Snook, Trisha Midgett, Grant Greider, and Kathy Greider. Effort: 9.1 mi and 1 hr 30 min by vehicle plus 2.4 mi and 4 hr 40 min by foot. Weather: cool and sunny; temps 36 °F to 64 °F; winds WWS at 5.5 kt to 8.5 kt. Tide was forecast 4.6 ft high at 10:59 AM.
80 species

Gadwall  30
Eurasian Wigeon  1     Likely the first sighting for survey. Scope views by all at 400 m to 500 m. Field notes: distinctly red head, whiter/more white on side of body than AMWI, white mohawk pattern; seen with AMWI fem. and male; field sketch made. Chris Snook assured me that "it quacked with a funny accent." ;-)
American Wigeon  84
American Black Duck  2
Mottled Duck  8
Blue-winged Teal  9
Northern Shoveler  110     A fairly accurate count.
Green-winged Teal  134
Redhead  14     A fairly accurate count.
Lesser Scaup  161
Black Scoter  12
Long-tailed Duck  1     Upper Summerhouse Pond.
Bufflehead  166     A fairly accurate count.
Hooded Merganser  19
Ruddy Duck  23
Red-throated Loon  2
Pied-billed Grebe  15
Northern Gannet  5
Double-crested Cormorant  116
Anhinga  5
American White Pelican  15
Brown Pelican  8
Great Blue Heron  19
Great Egret  14
Snowy Egret  6
Little Blue Heron  3
Tricolored Heron  6
Green Heron  1
Black-crowned Night-Heron  6
White Ibis  1
Black Vulture  1
Turkey Vulture  4
Osprey  2
Bald Eagle  2
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Clapper Rail  9
Sora  2
Common Gallinule  15
American Coot  62
American Oystercatcher  1
Grey Plover  9
Semipalmated Plover  508     Estimated by counting subsets.
Piping Plover  7     1 Flagged on North Beach: upper L metal, upper R black flag "KK" in white, both lower L and lower R blank. This PIPL was seen before on 31 Dec 2015 and on 14 Jan 2016 and was banded in Quebec per email from Cheri Gratto-Trevor 12 Jan 2016. "David- this is one of our eastern Canada birds – band 93917, banded as an adult female on 10 June 2014, at Fatima Beach, Magdalen Islands, Quebec."
Killdeer  4
Greater Yellowlegs  4
Willet  13
Lesser Yellowlegs  1
Marbled Godwit  2
Ruddy Turnstone  37     A fairly accurate count.
Sanderling  43     A fairly accurate count.
Dunlin  1830     Estimated by counting subsets.
Least Sandpiper  6
Western Sandpiper  130     Estimated count.
Short-billed Dowitcher  115     A fairly accurate count.
Ring-billed Gull  10
Forster's Tern  2
Great Horned Owl  2
Belted Kingfisher  4
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  1
Pileated Woodpecker  1
Merlin  2
Peregrine Falcon  2
Eastern Phoebe  3
Tree Swallow  2
Carolina Chickadee  1
Carolina Wren  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
Grey Catbird  2
Northern Mockingbird  2
Common Yellowthroat  1
Pine Warbler  3
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  2
Savannah Sparrow  1
Eastern Towhee  1
Northern Cardinal  3
Red-winged Blackbird  4
Common Grackle  20

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

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