Saturday, October 23, 2010

South Carolina 10/15-16/10

10/15/10 Honey Hills Campground, Francis Marion National Forest, near McClellanville, South Carolina
The field trip with the Ohio University Ornithology class had begun bright and early Friday morning. The time was around 0730 and the sky was nice and clear. The temperature was chilly as the sun started to rise. During the morning the unique hooting of a Barred Owl accompanied the group around breakfast time. "Who cooks for you?" to put it anthropomorphically. Audible bird chirps made their presence as Miles suggested a Downey Woodpecker from the southern portion of the campgrounds. The area was populated by various scrubs, oaks, and pines. The ground was covered in fallen leaves, a warning of winter on its way. Calls from a Eastern Screech Owl and a White breasted nuthatch were heard.

0745 Downey Woodpecker flying and perching about the tree tops as the morning sun warmed the trees.
0759 Various warblers, peckers, and grackles flying among the oaks
0800 Gray Catbird makes its "meow" like call
0810 Northern Mockingbird appears with is dark stripe through its eye and generally gray body with some spotting, and a white belly
Conclusion of the campgrounds as we gathered and left for our next site

10/15/10 0837 Forest Road 211, Francis Marion National Fores, near McClellanville, South Carolina. Sparse trees with high grasses, dense tree tops, someone suggested it looked "Jurassic" with some ferns. 50 degrees F as the sun glared through the treetops.
0855 Red Cockaded Woodpecker (4) darting between the trees. Nests and holes on the specific trees they nest in.
0909 Blue Jay making calls
0911 Golden Crown Kinglets
0915 Pine Warbler

10/15/10 Highway 17, Shell Gas Station near Mcclellanville, South Carolina, roughly 0930. Turkey Vultures (3) perched and flying. Various Northern Mocking Bird calls.

10/15/10 South Tibwin, Francis Marion National Forest, McClellanville, South Carolina, 1010, warming up to 58 degrees F. The skies are still clear and beautiful. Highly forested area, tons of mosquitos pestering us. Occasional small bodies of water.
1007 Turkey Vulture accompanied by kinglet calls
1011 Two Blue Jays
1012 Grey Catbird Calls
1030 Northern Cardinals (2)
1048 Immature Bald Eagle flew above and Common Yellow Throat Warbler
1055 Reached a large pond flooded with bird activity! Bald Eagle, Anhinga, Great Egret (2) Great Blue Heron, Wood Storks (4), Brown Pelican, Pied Bill Grebes (2), Chimney Swifts (5), Belted Kingfishers (2), Fish Crow
Many birds swimming about and just hanging out. King Fishers chased each other. Some of the shore birds poked head into water to feed.
1115 Giant kettle of raptors overhead taking advantage of a thermal. Turkey Vultures, Osprey, Red-tailed Hawks (30)
Also Yellow Shafted Flicker spotted
1133 Headed towards the opposite of the pond where an alligator was spotted earlier, near a wooden structure. Observing a Red-Necked Grebe
1140 Chased after a Reddish Egret into a marsh

1500 Seewee Nature Visitor Center, McClellanville, South Carolina. Much warmer, about 70 degrees F with absolutely beautiful clear sky. The Nature Center is surrounded by wooded area and a pond. Slight wind.
1505 Yellow rumped warbler, Turkey Vulture, Northern Cardinal
1550 Start of point count exercise into the wooded area behind the visitor center. Low activity.
1620 Northern Mockingbird, Cliff Swallow (3) spotted. Turns out we may have also seen a Peregrine Falcon? Grey Catbird
1630 Eastern Phoebe
1635 Bald Eagle flew over the Nature Center. USA! USA! USA!

Gerris Landing near McClellanville, South Carolina. 1700, Still nice clear skies, sunny and 75 degrees F. Approaching a tidal area and marshy environment. Piers and boats around the area. Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. Merlin spotted! Snow Egret, Belted Kingfisher, Great Egret, lots of Sandpipers (20), Barn Swallows (20), Double Crested Cormorants, Osprey, Tree Swallows (20), White Ibis, Clapper Rail! Many gulls (20)
1726 Royal Tern, Boat-tailed Grackle
1740 American Oystercatchers (20)
1742 Willets (10)
1747 Wood Storks (8)

10/16/10 Huntington Beach State PArk, South Carolina, 0900, clear skies, bit chilly at 58 degrees F, Georgetown county.
Mudflats juxtaposed with freshwater as road divid the two areas. Tall grasses and reeds with various barnacle clusters on the mud flat side. So many Tree Swallows flying around (30) the parking lot and the water areas. Great Egret (5) hanging out with neck tucked in.
0919 Semipalmated Sandpipers (10)
0920 Boat-tailed Grackle perched atop wood dike
0921 Great Blue Heron (2)
0922 Harrier?
0923 Double Crested Cormorant (2), preening juvenile Great Blue Heron, gull overhead
0936 A whoel bunch of Wood Storks (30) flew near the gazebo and started feeding with some White Ibises (5)
0937 Pied Billed Grebe (5) swimming and ducking into the water
0938 Turkey Vulture and several Hawks overhead
0944 Northern Harrier!
0945 Fish Crow (2) Boat Tailed Grackle male and female morphs!
0946 Tricolored heron, juvenile (3)
0947 White Ibis (10) poking head into water/mud for food
0950 more Wood Storks (20) fly over and feed by skimming bills in water and clamping shut when encountering a fish, also snapping at competitors
1000 Sandpipers (10) flew onto mud in the distance, feeding
1005 Northern Harrier rears its head again overt the freshwater side
1013 Two Belted Kingfishers darting overhead
1030 American Coot!
1036 Boat-Tailed Grackle (2) landed across the road
1050 Osprey and Bald Eagle
1055 Savannah Sparrow among the bush by the freshwater side
1100 Semipalmated plover
1113 Bald Eagle flew over in the parking lot during the snack break
1117 Blue Jay
1125 King Rail darted out of a sewage drain en route to visitor center

1136 Education Center, Huntington Beach State Park, adjacent enclosure with feeders. Windy, warm, sunny and clear skies. Male and female Northern Mockingbirds, Song Sparrow, Mourning Dove,female Painted Bunting, Carolina Chickadee, House Finch, Tufted Titmouse, Blue Jay
1155 Boardwalk near Education Center, into the mudflats. 67 degrees F, perfect day.Black Billed Plovers (5), Semipalmated Plovers (5), Wilson's Plovers, Snowy Egret, Black Vulture
1204 Calls of Clapper Rails, Great Blue Heron
1214 Red Tailed Hawks (2)
1221 Boat Tailed Grackle

1412 Beach Entrance close to jetty, Huntington Beach State Park, South Carolina, sunny, windy, warm 70 degrees F. So many Tree Swallows flying all around. Sanderling poking head in sand and running away/to the waves. Eating presumably, invertebrates. Many Osprey (10) flying over the ocean circling and some diving and attempting to capture fish. One Osprey had an epic fail. Caspian Terns, Double Crested Cormorants, many indet. Swallows, Brown Pelicans (8), indet. Gulls.
1457 30 Double Crested Cormorants flying in V formation, Osprey diving for the kill. 3 more Sanderlings
1530 Arriving on the Jetty. Royal Terns (3), Caspian Tern, Another V formation of Double Crested Cormorants (15), juvenile Herring Gull. Huge flock of Black Skimmers (30) skimming the water towards distant sandbar. Possible Nelson Sharp tailed Sparrows (2) or possibly Seaside Sparrows (5), More Black Skimmers (10) flying and skimming the water, Marsh Wren (2), Great Blue Heron, Great Egret.
Upon the proximal portion of the jetty, many different birds congregated on the sandbar. American Oystercatchers, Willets, Sanderlings, Royal Terns, Herring Gulls, Black-bellied Plover, approx.. 100 total.

~Bird Counts~
Barred Owl (Heard)
Downey Woodpecker
Eastern Screech Owl (Heard)
White Breasted Nuthatch
Grey Catbird (2)
Northern Mockingbird (8)
Red Cockaded Woodpecker (4)
Blue Jay (5)
Golden Crown Kinglet
Pine Warbler
Turkey Vulture (27)
Bald Eagle (5)
Common Yellow Throat Warbler
Great Egret (9)
Great Blue Heron (6)
Wood Storks (62)
Brown Pelican (9)
Pied Billed Grebe (7)
Chimney Swifts (5)
Belted Kingfishers (5)
Fish Crow (3)
Osprey (13)
Red-Tailed Hawk (7)
Yellow Shafted Flicker
Red-Necked Grebe
Reddish Egret
Yellow Rumped Warbler
Northern Cardinal (2)
Cliff Swallows
Peregrine Falcon
Eastern Phoebe
Snow Egret (2)
Sandpipers (35)
Barn Swallows (20)
Tree Swallows (45)
Double Crested Cormorant (49)
White Ibis (11)
Clapper Rail
Royal Tern (14)
Boat-Tailed Grackle (7)
American Osytercatchers (30)
Willets (20)
Tricolored Heron (4)
Semipalmated Sandpipers (10)
Northern Harrier
American Coot
Savannah Sparrow
Semipalmated Plover (5)
King Rail
Song Sparrow
Mourning Dove
Painted Bunting
Carolina Chickadee
House Finch
Tufted Titmouse
Black Billed Plovers (11)
Wilson's Plover
Black Vulture
Sanderling (14)
Caspian Tern (2)
Herring Gull (11)
Black Skimmers (40)
Nelson Sharp Tailed Sparrow (2)
Seaside Sparrow (5)
Marsh Wren

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