Enormous Flock of Whimbrel Discovered on Deveaux Bank

On June 15, 2021, an announcement concerning Deveaux Bank was so interesting that it was announced at a special event held at the Charleston Museum to an audience filled with some of the state’s most notable naturalists. After years of monitoring and documentation, our backyard barrier island was found to be a stopover for tens of thousands of Whimbrels.

The largest-known flock of whimbrels was discovered roosting in coastal South Carolina.

Read Post and Courier’s article  and the news release from SCDNR about the announcement.

One question from the audience last night was “Where do the Whimbrel’s go during the day?” The answer was they go to neighboring beaches and marshes to hunt and eat. Seabrook Island Birders can attest to that. During the April 21 International Shorebird Survey on North Beach, Bob Mercer recorded 34 Whimbrel. Then on May 8, Aija Konrad reported 157 Whimbrel in the mudflats at the curve at Jenkins Point. During the May 31 International Shorebird Survey on North Beach, Mark Andrews reported 1 on the lagoon on North Beach. Most of the Whimbrels have now moved on to their breeding grounds in the Arctic.

You’re Invited: On Tuesday, June 22 at 6:00 pm, join the team who made the discovery at Deveaux for a free virtual screening and panel discussion. Click here to learn more and register: http://bit.ly/WhimbrelDiscovery. As you watch the video, keep in mind the challenges the photographers, DNR personnel and ornithologists had to endure to capture the video and data.

You can learn more about Whimbrels here.

Deveaux Bank Seabird Sanctuary is closed year-round above the high-water line, apart from areas designated by signs for limited recreational use (beaches on the ends of the island, facing inland). From March 15 through October 15, some of the island’s beaches are closed for seasonal nesting of coastal birds and are demarcated by fencing. Dogs and camping are prohibited year-round. If you see violators to these rules, contact SCDNR at 1-800-922-5431.

-Submitted by SIB

(Image credit: Andy Johnson/Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

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