No tricks, just treats, as SIB offers numerous birding opportunities in October. There is bound to be one that interests you. The trip to Kiawah’s Bird Banding Station filled up so quickly that we are offering a second trip. Be sure to check it out!
Beyond Our Backyard – Ft. Moultrie
When: Wednesday, October 05, 2022, 8 am -10 am
Location: Meet at SI Real Estate Office to carpool (7:00 am) or meet us at the Fort (1214 Middle St, Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482. Park at Poe Avenue in the sand parking lot between Battery Jasper and Battery McCorkle)
Cost: Free for members, $5 per guest
Join us for a trip to Ft. Moultrie. This is a well known birding hotspot among birders and fall migration will be in full swing. We may see many migrant birds passing through. It has many different habitats, including meadow/field, forest and shoreline. We are lucky enough to have Craig Watson lead this activity. Craig is a retired Migratory Bird Biologist at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and lives in Mt. Pleasant. He knows Ft. Moultrie very well when it comes to birding.
Ft. Moultrie is the first fort on Sullivan’s Island. It has been rebuilt three times since 1776 and played a significant role in the Civil War. Today, Fort Moultrie has been restored to portray the major periods of its history. A visitor to the fort moves steadily backwards in time from the World War II Harbor Entrance Control Post to the site of the Palmetto-log fort of 1776. A tour of Ft. Moultrie will not be part of our birding activity, but if you drive there yourself, you are welcome to stay and tour the fort. They are open 9 am-5 pm and you will need to go to the Visitor Center and purchase a $10 ticket. We will be birding the perimeter of the Fort before opening hours.
Be sure to bring sunblock, bug spray, a hat, binoculars, camera and a scope if you have one.
Please register no later than Monday, October 03, 2022. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter the day prior to the event.
October Big Day
When: Saturday, October 08, 2022, 7:30 am – 7:00 pm
Location: Various locations around Seabrook Island
Max: 10 Cost:No cost for members, $5 for non-members
Join us for eBird’s October Big Day. The eBird site describes the event as follows – “Wherever you are on October 8, take a few minutes to join the world of birding on October Big Day. Participate from anywhere—even home! By taking part in October Big Day, you’re also celebrating Global Bird Weekend and World Migratory Bird Day. Be a part of the global team and help set a new record for October birding.”
On Seabrook Island, the event will involve walks at various locations throughout the day. The schedule below allows for individuals to sign up for a portion of the day if the whole day is not of interest. We request you register for all sections you will be attending so we know if we should wait for you at any individual location. You can participate in the “Bird my Backyard” to record your observations even if you are not on Seabrook Island.
We have added a “virtual” activity this year where people can bird in the comfort of their own homes and share their findings with the group.
– Bird my backyard – Bird your own property for as long as you want, as many times as you want throughout the day. Keep a list (in eBird or in a form we will provide) and share your findings with SIB. “Your own property” can be a golf course, a camp ground or an interstate highway….wherever you happen to see birds, share your observations.
– Maintenance Area – 7:30 am – 9:30 am
Walk around the water treatment area to possibly see egrets, wood storks, and even fall migrating warblers. If time permits, we will also venture into the club boat / camper storage area in search of early arriving sparrows. This activity is limited to 10 people and requires signature of a release form to the water treatment facility.
– Camp St. Christopher – 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Explore the lakes, lagoons, paths and slough at St. Christopher. This event will have one to two miles of walking over uneven terrain. Due to its location on the end of Seabrook Island, we may see shorebirds on the beach, songbirds in the woods and waders in the marshes along Bohicket Creek. We ask participants for a voluntary donation to Camp St. Christopher.
– Jenkin’s Point – 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
We will be exploring the birds seen along Jenkins Point lagoons and streets, including ducks, wading birds and shorebirds. We will go from location to location via car or bike. Since this event can be primarily by car, it is appropriate for members with mobility issues. Meet at Jenkins Point Ct, the street after the first pond on the left.
– Palmetto Lake – 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Join us to explore the birds around The Lake House and the walks of Palmetto Lake. This is less than one mile of flat, paved walk around the lake. Recently, White Ibis, Cattle Egret, Little Blue Herons and Snowy Egrets have come into roost in late afternoon so we hope they continue to provide a show. Meet at the Equestrian end of The Lake House parking lot.
– Equestrian Center – 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm (Sunset 6:55 pm)
Join us for happy hour at the Equestrian Center. Bring your drink / snacks of choice while we recap our day while observing the resident European Starlings, Eastern Bluebirds, plus many other species. Our plan is to bird from the comfort of our chairs with occasional “excursions” to a fence or tree to see a particular bird.
For all events, bring sunblock, bug spray, a hat, water, snacks and binoculars.
Please register to let us know which portions you plan to attend no later than Thursday, October 6, 2022. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Friday, October 7, 2022.
Visit the Kiawah Banding Station
When: Wednesday, October 12, 2022 7:30 am – 11:30 am
Location: Meet at Beachwalker Park Parking Area at 7:30 am
Cost: $20 donation (cash to be collected at Beachwalker)
When our October 7 visit quickly filled, Aaron agreed to schedule a second visit.
Join SIB for a visit to Kiawah Banding Station on Cap’n Sam Spit. Every August through November, Aaron Given of Kiawah Island sets up twenty-five 40’ mist nets on Cap’n Sam’s Spit where, over the next couple of months, he collects birds for banding, measuring, and weighing. We schedule our trip for October, the peak migration time for all sorts of songbirds including vireos, warblers, catbirds, chickadees, etc. In prior years, they netted all of the above and even a beautifully-colored flicker (large woodpecker). The plan is to leave our cars at Beachwalker Park, then walk about a half mile on the beach to the banding site. Tides should be favorable, so most walking will be on hard beach (moderate).
Wear boots or shoes you don’t mind getting wet, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt. Bring binoculars, bug spray, sun screen, water and of course your cell phone or camera to take photos.
This event is open to members only. If you are not yet a 2022 SIB member, you must first become a member for only $10 by following the instructions on our website. You may bring the form and your dues to the event. All participants are also requested to make a $20 donation.
Please register no later than October 10. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on October 11, the day prior to the trip. If you need to cancel, please let us know so we can invite people on the waitlist to attend.
Beyond Our Backyard – College of Charleston’s Stono Preserve
When: Saturday, October 15, 2022, 7:30 am – 2:30 pm
Location: Meet at Seabrook Island Real Estate to carpool at 6:30 am Meet at Publix on Main Road and Hwy 17 at 7:05 am to carpool to Stono Preserve
Cost: Free for members; $5 donation for guests
Join SIB to bird at the Stono Preserve of the College of Charleston. This beautiful 981-acre property along the Stono River and the Intracoastal Waterway provides a natural, outdoor laboratory for a variety of disciplines at the College of Charleston. For more information on this property, be sure to visit the link above. In the morning, we will enjoy a tour of this property led by Dr. Melissa Hughes, Professor in the Biology Department, in which she will take us birding through a variety of habitats. In the morning, we will walk along lowland forest bordering the Stono River, passing open marsh and both brackish and freshwater ponds; depending on time, we may also walk along open fields. We should see a variety of wading and shorebirds (depending on water depth in the brackish pond), raptors (Osprey and Bald Eagles both nest on the site; American Kestrels are also common and both Great-horned and Barred Owls have been spotted during the day by following the commotion of crow and jays), woodpeckers (the site hosts all SC species except the Red-cockaded) and wintering warblers and sparrows.
As always, be sure to bring your binoculars/cameras, hats, sunscreen and bug spray. Bring plenty to drink and a picnic lunch to eat on the property.
There is water on the property but we have been advised that it may not taste very good because the pipes are infrequently in use. We have also been warned that the Dixie Plantation Road leading to the site is a dirt road that may not be in great shape so drive with caution. We will have access to bathroom facilities and the beginning of our tour and during lunch. After our morning tour, we will picnic on site in the screened porch/classroom or on the outdoor deck. Following lunch, Melissa will suggest some areas where we can do additional birding.
Please register no later than Thursday, October 13, 2022. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter the day prior to the event.
Learning Together on Bobcat and Six Ladies Trails – October 18, 2022
When: Tuesday, October 18, 8:00 am – 10:00 am
Location: Bobcat and Six Ladies Trails
Cost: None for members; $5 donation for guests
As the weather cools and mosquitos diminish, it is a great time for an outing to BobCat Trail with an extension to Six Ladies Trail allowing for viewing of some the birds that hang out at the beach then continue on to the shade of Six Ladies Trail.
Along this trail we should see our local Eastern Towhee who likes to hang out at the Boardwalk 1 end of BobCat Trail. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Northern Cardinals and Gulls and Egrets should also be seen. We also hope to see a Northern Harrier. While on Six Ladies Trail, we may see some raptors and egrets at a stop at the picnic table looking over the marsh towards Creek Watch .
As always, bring binoculars/camera, hat, sunscreen, bug spray, snacks and water. Feel free to bring your coffee and a breakfast bar to enjoy at the picnic table.
Please register no later than Sunday, October 16, 2022. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Monday, October 17.
Learning Together on Ocean Winds Golf Course
When: Monday, October 24, 2022, 8:30 am – 10:30 am
Location: Meet at Island House (Golf Course Parking Lot next to Spinnaker Beach Houses) for ride along the golf course in golf carts
Max: 24 (If all seats in golf carts are used)
Cost: Free for members; $5 donation for guests – Priority will be given to prior waitlisted & members
The Seabrook Island Club closes one course a day each week and allows Seabrook Island Birders to use golf carts to travel the course with our members to bird. Join us for a morning of birding by riding in golf carts for at least 9-holes on Ocean Winds golf course. We expect to see a large variety of birds including Egrets, Herons and birds of prey. We will also see and hear some of the smaller birds like Tufted Titmice, Eastern Bluebirds, Northern Cardinals, Carolina Wrens and some of the many warbler species.
Since it is fall/winter, we can also expect to see Eastern Phoebes, Northern Flickers, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Belted Kingfishers, Double-crested Cormorants, Bald Eagles, and more!
As always, be sure to bring your binoculars/cameras, hats and sunscreen. Water will be provided.
Please register no later than Friday prior to the trip. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Sunday, the day prior to the trip. If you need to cancel, please let us know so we can invite people on the waitlist to attend.
Beyond Our Backyard-Bear Island and Donnelly WMA
When: Sunday, October 30, 2022, 6:00 am– 4:00 pm (sunrise 7:35 am)
Location: Meet at Seabrook Island Real Estate Office to carpool
Cost: Free for members, $5 per guest
If you have never been to Bear Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) or to Donnelly WMA, you won’t want to miss this opportunity – it’s well worth the 60-mile one-way trip! Part of the ACE Basin, this area is perfect habitat for birds with ponds, rivers, salt marsh, freshwater marsh, mudflats, mixed pine-hardwood forest and farmland. Most of the birding is done by car with stops to get out and take short walks for viewing. Bear Island closes for hunting from November 1 – February 9 each year, so this is the last chance to visit before spring. We hope the winter waterfowl will have returned, including the Tundra Swan.
Each person should bring their own lunch, snacks and beverages, as there are no restaurants in the area. Also be sure to bring sunblock, bug spray, a hat, binoculars, camera and a scope if you have one.
Please register no later than Thursday, October 27, 2022. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter the day prior to the event. If you need to cancel, please let us know so we can invite people on the waitlist to attend.
-Submitted by Seabrook Island Birders