09 September 2016

A record number of Reddish Egrets and a good look at a Common Ground-Dove

Fri 9 Sept 2016

   I had great help from Chris Snook and Jeff Kline on Tuesday's waterfowl/shorebird survey on Bulls Island. T.S. Hermine blew through the area late last week  leaving the island littered with leaves and twigs and with a resculpted dune line beachfront at Jack's Creek (see my blog from Sat 3 Sept 2016 for a more detailed report). Tuesday dawned cool (temperature along Bulls Island Road leading to Garris Landing was 59 °F) and sunny. Coastal Expeditions' Captain Wil Christenson and First Mate Nick Johnson graciously got us out to the island and back. Coastal Expeditions continues to provide superlative ferry service in support of the ongoing survey efforts. I am grateful for their service and dedication.

   We tallied 30 species on the ferry ride, 46 species on the survey proper, and 62 species on the island. Our eBird checklist from the island is appended below, FYI. Notable sightings included high numbers of Mottled Ducks, Brown Pelicans, Reddish Egret, Great Black-backed Gulls, and Caspian Terns. Other good sightings included Mallard, Piping Plover (banded), Marbled Godwit, Common Ground-Dove, and Yellow Warbler. 

   The Piping Plover was banded with plastic, colored bands above each ankle, nothing below either ankle, and no apparent metal band. We studied this one bird carefully and discussed the apparent discrepancies from expected banding practises, especially the apparent lack of a metal band. Hopefully I'll have something to report back once I hear from some of the Piping Plover banding folks. We also got very good, brief views of the Common Ground-Dove that we flushed from the dune line along the North Beach. And our count of 10 Reddish Egrets, all in the oceanfront saltwater marsh at Jack's Creek, sets a new (for me) record number of those birds seen on Bulls on one day. 

   Non-avian sightings of interest included Atlantic bottle-nose dolphin, fox squirrel, and Monarch and Gulf fritillary butterflies. 

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

Mon 19 Sept 2016 6.4 ft high tide forecast at 10:14 AM
Tues 20 Sept 2016 6.4 ft high tide forecast at 11:08 AM
Wed 21 Sept 2016 6.2 ft high tide forecast at 12:06 PM


Cape Romain NWR--Bulls Island, Charleston, South Carolina, US
Sep 6, 2016 9:58 AM - 3:20 PM
Protocol: Traveling
12.6 mile(s)
Comments:     Conducting the ongoing Bulls Island waterfowl/shorebird survey with Chris Snook and Jeff Kline. Effort: 9.8 mi and 1 hr 30 min by vehicle plus 2.75 mi and 4 hr 05 min by foot. Weather: sunny, clear, and warm; temps 71 °F to 86 °F; winds W at 5 mph; barometer steady at 30.23 in Hg. Tide was forecast 5.2 ft high at 11:51 AM.  <br />Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.6 Build 75
62 species

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck  9
Mallard  2
Mottled Duck  59     A fairly accurate count.
Blue-winged Teal  5
Pied-billed Grebe  2
Wood Stork  6
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Anhinga  1
Brown Pelican  152     A fairly accurate count.
Least Bittern  1
Great Blue Heron  6
Great Egret  13
Snowy Egret  23
Little Blue Heron  2
Tricolored Heron  8
Reddish Egret  10     An accurate count.
Green Heron  3
Black-crowned Night-Heron  2
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron  1
White Ibis  16
Glossy Ibis  9
Turkey Vulture  3
Osprey  4
Cooper's Hawk  1
Common Gallinule  16
American Oystercatcher  2
Grey Plover  36
Semipalmated Plover  122     A fairly accurate count.
Piping Plover  1     Banded: Blue over light blue UL; Green over yellow UR. No bands or flags at all below ankles. No metal band observed.
Marbled Godwit  2
Ruddy Turnstone  9
Red Knot  2
Sanderling  72     A fairly accurate count.
Least Sandpiper  2
Semipalmated Sandpiper  125     A fairly accurate count.
Western Sandpiper  62
Short-billed Dowitcher  16
Spotted Sandpiper  8
Willet  5
Lesser Yellowlegs  3
Laughing Gull  7
Ring-billed Gull  1
Herring Gull  2
Great Black-backed Gull  2
Least Tern  7
Caspian Tern  9
Black Tern  4
Royal Tern  50
Sandwich Tern  6
Black Skimmer  104     A fairly accurate count.
Common Ground-Dove  1     Flushed from the dunes at North Beach. Small dove; short, stubby tail; rounded wings.
Yellow-billed Cuckoo  1
Belted Kingfisher  6
American Kestrel  1
Eastern Kingbird  5
Barn Swallow  12
Northern Mockingbird  2
Common Yellowthroat  1
Yellow Warbler  2
Pine Warbler  1
Northern Cardinal  1
Red-winged Blackbird  6

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

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