SIB September Activities

As the weather cools just a bit, along with the migrating birds, Seabrook Island Birders is becoming more active. 

SIB Backyard Birding at Boat Ramp – September 8, 2022

Join SIB members near the home of Melanie and Robert Jerome at the boat ramp on Creek Watch Trace on Seabrook Island on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, at 8:00 am – 10:00 am. Yes, we are starting that early. You will have views of the marsh and river, with many shore birds including Spotted Sandpipers, Egrets, Herons, marsh wrens, and many songbirds. There is a lot to see at the SIPOA boat ramp and crab dock. King High Tide will be at 6: 30 am in the morning. We could possibly see the otters that like to come out at high tide. The marsh by the fire station may have some additional birds. There will be seats available to sit and bird or a group can go walking. Bring binoculars and bug spray.

When: Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, 8:00 am – 10:00 am

Where: Boat ramp on Creek Watch Trace

Max: 12 – 15 people

Cost: Free for SIB members or $5 for non-members

Please register here no later than Tuesday, September 6. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Wednesday, September 7.  

Learning Together at North Beach – September 13, 2022

Join SIB Shorebird Steward leader Mark Andrews to bird at Seabrook Island’s North Beach. This three mile round trip walk travels from Boardwalk #1 to the tip of North Beach along Captain Sams Inlet as high tide approaches. Birders from beginners to advanced birders will enjoy the variety of birds found on North Beach. At this time, many different species of shorebirds rest and feed near the point or along the beach ridge near the beach’s pond. Along the way, we will explore the many different species that can be found in this unique area. Piping Plovers and other winter residents are beginning to return from their summer nesting areas.

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars/cameras, hats, and sunscreen. Bring a spotting scope if you have one. There should be spotting scopes available for viewing. Bring plenty to drink and a snack if desired. There are no facilities.  

When: Sept. 13, 2022, 8:30 am – 10:30 am

Where: Meet at Boardwalk #1 parking lot

Max: None

Cost: Free for SIB members or $5 for non-members

Please register here no later than September 11.  All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on September 12, 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.

Learning Together on Crooked Oaks Golf CourseSeptember 19, 2022

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 Crooked Oaks 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. 

When: Sept. 19, 2022, 8:30 am – 10:30 am

Where: Meet at The 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 SIB members or $5 for non-members – Priority will be given to prior waitlisted & members

Please register here 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.

Learning Together-Palmetto Lake – September 27, 2022

Celebrate Fall Migration by walking and bird watching around Palmetto Lake located behind The Lake House! Join the Seabrook Island Birders in search of some warblers who are short-term visitors on the island during the fall migration season. The path around Palmetto Lake is wheelchair navigable and for those who will be walking, it is flat and will be at a leisurely pace. We hope to see some of our resident warblers such as Yellow-throated Warbler, Pine Warbler, and the Black and White Warbler. In addition, it is highly likely that we will see a few Redstarts, Yellow Warblers, and possibly Black-throated Blue Warbler, and the  Common Yellow Throat. Naturally, there should be Bluebirds, Northern Cardinals, Carolina Wrens, Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse, different woodpeckers, and raptors in the area. 

If the “white birds” get the invitation, we hope to see Snowy Egrets, Tri-colored Herons, Great Egrets, and White Ibis roosting for the evening with possibly a couple Night Herons and Green Herons mixed in. Laughing Gulls and Terns often fly overhead. 

Bring your binoculars, hats, bug spray and a beverage of choice. You may also wish to bring a chair to sit and enjoy your beverage while watching the birds coming in for their evening roost.

When: Sept. 27, 2022, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Where: Meet at the equestrian end of The Lake House parking lot

Max: 15

Cost: Free for SIB members or $5 for non-members – Priority will be given to prior waitlisted & members

Please register here no later than Sunday, September 25. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Monday, the day prior to the trip.  

-Submitted by SIB

Seabrook Island Birders August Activities

While we are all enjoying the cool, air conditioned indoors, join SIB in the early morning and evening for some time with friends, both avian and human. 

Sit, Sip and See at Palmetto Lake

When: Monday, August 15 at 7:00 pm 
Location: Picnic table at the back of Palmetto Lake near the playground 
Max: 20
Cost: Free for members; $5 donation to SIB for guests

Please join Seabrook Island Birders for an evening of birding and socializing with your favorite beverage at Palmetto Lake. During the hot summer months birds are more active in the early morning and early evening. We thought that this would be a great location to gather and sit and let the birds come to us. At this location, near the playground, we can relax and watch the herons and egrets fly into their now favorite roosting area. It is mesmerizing to observe the different groups fly into the lake area and then maneuver into their spot. There are a few places to sit at the picnic table, but you will probably want to bring a chair in order to get the best view. There will be SIB members available to carry your chair to our location. Birds that we should see coming into the rookery are Green Heron, Little Blue Heron, Great Egret, Tricolored Heron, Cattle Egret, and White Ibis. We could additionally hear or see woodpeckers, hawks, and passerines.

This is a BYOB and BYO Snacks event. If you are not an experienced birder, this is the perfect opportunity to get some tips on using binoculars and phone apps, and identifying species and bird calls. 

As always bring your binoculars and hats. No sunscreen required at this event, but you might want to bring bug repellent, just in case. 

Register no later than Sunday, August 14 . All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Monday morning, August 15.

Register here.

Learning Together on Crooked Oaks Golf Course

When: Monday, August, 22, 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 Crooked Oaks 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 summer, we can also expect to see Eastern Kingbirds, Great-crested Flycatchers, Orchard Orioles, Summer Tanagers, Mississippi Kites and more!

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars/cameras, hats and sunscreen. Water will be provided. We ask that all participants wear a mask when unable to social distance if they are not vaccinated.

Please register no later than Friday prior to the trip.  All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on the 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.

Register here.

-Submitted by SIB

SIB Presents: The Secret and Swampy Lives of Wood Storks – July 12

Date: Tuesday July 12, 2022
Registration starts 7:00 pm. Program starts 7:30 pm
Location: Live Oak Hall, The Lake House
Program Fee: Members $0, Guests $5.00
Attendance: Maximum of 100 

There is no longer a mask requirement at the Seabrook Island Lake House, although you are welcome to wear one if you choose. Social distancing is recommended but also is not required. SIB will provide wine or bottled water at this event but feel free to bring your own beverage or snack of choice.

Watch on Zoom

With this event, SIB will be attempting its first “blended” presentation. If you are unable to attend in person, you may register here to see the event via Zoom.


– Register for either Zoom or in person (not both)
– Each Zoom registrant will receive their unique link to join the meeting
– Zoom attendees will be muted with their questions raised via the chat window
– Zoom attendees may see the speaker’s presentation but not the speaker
– If technical difficulties are experienced, the Zoom session may be terminated at any time to ensure a quality experience by in person participants.
– The Zoom presentation will be recorded and available for later viewing

Register here to attend in person.

Emerging technologies are providing windows into many unknown aspects of Wood Stork behavior and population dynamics. Dr. Kristina Ramstad, Associate Professor, Dept. of Biology & Geology at the University of South Carolina, will discuss research she and her students are doing at their USC Aiken lab – drones to estimate storks’ hatching success; genomics techniques to assess migratory behavior, mating system and population structure in storks. They’re also working to determine if Wood Storks are promiscuous or nest parasites, how populations are defined spatially, and what makes storks stay put versus migrate to new nesting colony locations. Outcomes of their work will inform conservation and management of storks, particularly under current climate change scenarios.

Meet the speaker: Kristina Ramstad Associate Professor, Vertebrate Biology Department of Biology & Geology University of South Carolina Aiken

Kristina is originally from Washington State and studied sockeye salmon in Alaska for both her MSC (University of Washington) and PhD (University of Montana) research. Her postdoc work took her to New Zealand, where she spent eight years studying conservation genetics of kiwi before returning to the States and taking up her current role at USCA.  Her work draws on genomic sequencing techniques and field based ecological studies to address fundamental questions in evolution, ecology and demography of at-risk species. Her current obsession is the wading birds of the steamy and mysterious swamps of the US South.

-Submitted by SIB

(Image credit: SIB)

Seabrook Island Birders July Activities

Seabrook Island Birders will be slowing down during the summer heat. However, there will still be opportunities to enjoy some birding. 

The Secret and Swampy Lives of Wood Storks!

When: Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Registration begins at 7:00 pm; Program begins at 7:30 pm

Where: Live Oak Hall at The Lake House

Register here

Sit, Sip and See at Hurd’s Garden

When: Thursday, July 14, 2022 at 7:00 pm 
Location: Hurd’s Garden & Dock at 2116 Loblolly Lane
Max: 20
Cost: Free for members; $5 donation to SIB for guests

Please join Seabrook Island Birders for an evening of birding and socializing with your favorite beverage in a beautiful garden with feeders and lagoon views. During the hot summer months birds are more active in the early morning and early evening. We thought that this would be a great location to gather and sit and let the birds come to us. There are places to sit in the garden and on the dock, but you can also bring your own chair. Birds that we might see or hear are Great-crested Flycatcher, Mississippi Kite, Green Heron, Great Blue Heron, Tufted Titmouse, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and more. 

This is a bring-your-own-beverage and bring-your-own-snacks event. If you are not an experienced birder, this is the perfect opportunity to get some tips on using binoculars and phone apps, and identifying species and bird calls. 

Lee and Doug Hurd acquired the adjoining lot next to their home many years ago and have been working on making it into a garden for all to enjoy. Just this spring, Lee removed some of the non-native invasive plants to convert the area into a pollinator garden. It is a beautiful place to spend an evening. 

As always, bring your binoculars and hats. You might want to bring bug repellent, just in case. 

Please register no later than Wednesday, July 13 . All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Thursday morning, July 14.

Register here

Learning Together on Crooked Oaks Golf Course – Sunday, July 17

When: Sunday, July 17, 2022  8:30 am – 10:30 am
Location:  Meet at The 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 will be closing Crooked Oaks Golf course for aeration, however the club is permitting 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 Crooked Oaks 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 summer, we can also expect to see Eastern Kingbirds, Great-crested Flycatchers, Orchard Orioles, Summer Tanagers, Mississippi Kites 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 Saturday, 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.

Register here

-Submitted by SIB

(Image credit: SIB)

SIB June Activities

During the heat of summer, we all slow down. Seabrook Island Birder activities are no different. However, we do still have some exciting and informative activities to offer.

***Save the date***

The Secret & Swampy Lives of Wood Storks! – July 12, 2022

When: Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Registration starts 7:00 pm; Program starts 7:30 pm

Location: Live Oak Hall at The Lake House

Dr. Kristina Ramstad, Associate Professor, Dept. of Biology & Geology at the University of South Carolina, will discuss how technologies are providing windows into many unknown aspects of Wood Stork behavior and population dynamics: hatching success, migration, mating system and population structure, and how outcomes of research influence the conservation and management of storks under current climate change scenarios.

Register here.

Learning Together on Bobcat and Six Ladies Trails – June 05, 2022

When: Sunday, June 05, 8:00 am – 11:00 am
Location: Bobcat and Six Ladies Trails
Max:  12
Cost: None for members; $5 donation for guests

Summer birding may be a little slower but an outing to Bobcat Trail with an extension to Six Ladies Trail allows 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 favorite Painted Bunting who likes to hang out at Boardwalk 1 at the end of Bobcat Trail. Great Crested Flycatchers, Eastern Towhee and Gulls and Egrets should also be seen. We also hope to see a Summer Tanager. While on Six Ladies Trail, we will stop at the picnic table looking over the marsh towards Creek Watch to look at some raptors and egrets.  

As always, bring binocular/camera, hat, sunscreen, bug spray, snacks and water.

Please register no later than Friday, June 3, 2022.  All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Saturday, June 4.

If you have additional questions about the program, please contact us by sending an email to: SeabrookIslandBirders@gmail.com

Register here.

Learning Together on Golf Course-Ocean Winds – June 12, 2022

When: Sunday, June, 12, 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

Ocean Winds Golf Course will be closed for aeration so the Seabrook Island Club allows Seabrook Island Birders to use golf carts to travel the course with our members to bird on this rare Sunday morning. 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 summer, we can also expect to see Eastern Kingbirds, Great-crested Flycatchers, Orchard Orioles, Summer Tanagers, Mississippi Kites 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 the Saturday, 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.

Register here.

June Movie – “Bird vs. Plane: Miracle on the Hudson” – June 14, 2022


When
: Tuesday, June 14, 2022, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Zoom & TBD In-person

US Airways Flight 1549 is about two minutes into its journey from LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2009 when bird strikes to both engines cripple the plane. What results is an emergency landing on the Hudson River that astonishes the world and shines a light on a growing problem affecting our increasingly busy skies. Follow a team of forensic ornithologists and discover the remarkable research being conducted to solve the bird strike problem. Watch the trailer.

Register here.

Learning Together-Palmetto Lake – June 23, 2022

When: Thursday, June 23, 2022, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location:  Meet at Equestrian end of The Lake House parking lot
Max:  15
Cost: Free for 2022 members, $5 for guests

Celebrate the official start of summer by bird watching! Join the Seabrook Island Birders for a leisurely walk around Palmetto Lake. We plan to walk part way along the path towards the Equestrian Center then hopefully see the “white birds” come in to roost for the evening. The path around Palmetto Lake is wheelchair navigable and for those walking it will be probably only a quarter of a mile.  As we walk along Seabrook Island Road, we hope to see some of our resident summer warblers such as Yellow-throated Warblers or Black and White Warblers.  We also expect to see a large variety of birds including Northern Cardinals, Carolina Wrens, Herons and birds of prey. If the “white birds” get the invitation, we hope to see Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets and White Ibis roosting for the evening. Laughing Gulls and Terns often fly overhead. Orchard Orioles, Summer Tanagers and Brown Thrashers are also possibilities.

Bring your binoculars, hats, bug spray and a beverage of choice. You may also wish to bring a chair to sit and enjoy your beverage while watching the birds coming in for their evening roost.

Please register no later than Tuesday, June 21. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Wednesday, the day prior to the trip.  

Register here.

Learning Together at Kiawah River – June 26, 2022

When: Sunday, June 26, 2022  8:00 am – 11:00 am
Location: Meet at the “bridge” entering the property
Cost: None for members; $5 donation for guests

Another chance to check out birds that can be found on this varied habitat property. We expect to see a large variety of birds including Anhingas, Egrets, Herons, Osprey and other birds of prey. The tide will be going out so hopefully we’ll see some shorebirds on the mud flats of Kiawah River.  If we are lucky, we will see an eagle and osprey duel over a fish. We should also see and hear some of the smaller birds like Tufted Titmice, Eastern Bluebirds, Northern Cardinals. We will drive to various locations on the property and then walk for better birding observations. Of course, this also gives us a chance to see this neighboring development.

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars, hats, water and sunscreen.  

Please register no later than Friday, June 24, 2022.  All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Saturday, June 25.  

Register here.

-Submitted by SIB

(Image credit: Primevideo.com)

Shorebird News from North Beach

April brings many shorebirds to Seabrook Island’s North Beach. Some are getting ready for long migrations and others are here to nest. That means that Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) Shorebird Stewards, while continuing to focus on educating beachgoers about Red Knots and assisting with Red Knot research, will now have another job of protecting the birds that nest in the area posted by yellow SCDNR signs.

About 4,000 Red Knots are now using the beaches of Seabrook Island and Kiawah to feed on Donax clams to bulk up for their journey to the Arctic to nest. Red Knots are listed as Federally Threatened and many research efforts are under way to measure Red Knot numbers and to identify habitats for protection. Recently, stewards from Seabrook Island and Kiawah assisted as biologists from SCDNR captured some of the knots roosting at Captain Sams Inlet. Most of the birds were banded with the usual lime green tags. A few were also fitted with satellite transmitters that will provide a much more complete picture of Red Knot migration than tracking devices used previously. These transmitters will also last longer than previous devices.

Another recent Red Knot research project was the first Coastal Coordinated Red Knot Count done in conjunction with Georgia DNR. A biologist flew in a helicopter to survey the Georgia islands and South Carolina up to Isle of Palms for flocks of Red Knots. At the same time, other biologists and stewards, like some from Seabrook Island, counted from the ground. Because Red Knots can easily travel from Seabrook Island to places like Harbor or Hunting Island in under an hour, they can also be double counted unless one can coordinate the count to get a snapshot of all the birds in essentially the same moment. The count will be repeated in May.

Please remember: When you walk along our shore and see Red Knots feeding in the surf, please “Share the Beach and Walk Around”.

Exciting news! U5 and his mate have again nested within the Yellow Nesting Signs! As you may remember from a series of Tidelines articles, U5 and mate are long-time Captain Sams Inlet residents who successfully raised two chicks in the Nesting Area last year. A few weeks ago, Janet Thibault, SCDNR Coastal Wildlife biologist, posted the area and found two eggs in the oystercatcher nest. Unfortunately, we saw gulls harass the oystercatchers and steal an egg! Afterwards, Janet confirmed that they only have one egg left to incubate. Disappointing news like this reminds us that North Beach can be a harsh environment. High winds and unusually high tides both erode the shoreline and bury nests in sand. Predators like crows and gulls steal eggs and chicks. The signs give the nesting American Oystercatchers, Wilson’s Plovers and Least Terns some protection from humans but please stay well back from the signs to give the birds the space they need to raise their chicks. If they nest like last year, some birds might have a nest right among the signs!

-Submitted by Mark Andrews, Co-chair SIB Shorebird Stewards.

(Image credit: Mark Andrews. All photos taken at a safe distance well-outside the signs with a long lens and then cropped significantly)

SIB May Activities

April showers brought May birding activities. Join us for opportunities to get out and enjoy nature before the summer heat sets in. 

May Movie

Hummingbirds”
Tuesday, May 10, 2022 from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Location: Zoom & TBD in-person

David Attenborough takes us into the remarkable lives of hummingbirds via stunning slow motion photography. Everything about these tiny birds is superb and extreme. They have the highest metabolism, fastest heart beat and most rapid wing beat in the avian world. They evolved to feed on flowering plants but are now a crucial part of wider ecosystems. How do they mate, raise their young, and live?

Register Here

Global Big Day – Learning Together

When: Saturday, May 14, 2022, 8:00 am – 5:30 pm 
Location:  
    8:00 am – 10:30 am Camp St. Christopher
  11:00 am – 12:00 pm BobCat Trail/Six Ladies Trail
    1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Jenkins Point
    3:00 pm – 3:30 pm Equestrian Center
    4:00 pm – 5:30 pm Palmetto Lake
Max:  12 for each location
Cost: None for members; $5 donation for guests

On May 14, Cornell Lab and eBird will sponsor Global Big Day. Will you join more than 30,000 others and become a part of Global Big Day? You don’t have to commit to birding for 24 hours—an hour or even 10 minutes of watching birds makes you part of the team. Visit your favorite spot or search out someplace new; enjoy a solo walk or get some friends to join in the Global Big Day fun. As part of this day, Seabrook Island Birders will conduct Learning Together activities at various locations plus offer you an opportunity to request someone to bird with you at your favorite location.  You can select which locations you wish to bird.

The morning will start at 8:00 am with a Learning Together at Camp St. Christopher. Explore the lakes, lagoons, paths and slough at St. Christopher. This event will have 1 – 2 miles of walking over uneven terrain. Spring should be in full swing, so we should see all the usual suspects, but will also hopefully get looks at some of our more elusive resident breeding songbirds…Yellow-throated Warbler, Pine Warbler, Northern Parula, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Painted Bunting. We may be lucky to see a few migrant warblers (Louisiana Waterthrush, Prothonotary Warbler, Common Yellowthroat), Scarlet Tanagers and Blue Grosbeaks. For this portion of the day, we ask people to make a voluntary contribution to Camp St. Christopher.

At 11:00 am we will continue our day at BobCat Trail with an extension to Six Ladies Trail. Along this trail we should see our local favorite Painted Bunting who likes to hang out at the end of BobCat Trail.  Great Crested Flycatchers, Eastern Towhee and Gulls and Egrets should also be seen. We are still hoping to see some migratory warblers.  

At 1:30 pm we will traverse (on bike or car) down Jenkins Point to hopefully see more Egrets, Herons and Anhingas. Low tide is 1:16 pm so hopefully we’ll have some shorebirds in the mud flats. Since this activity can be done primarily by car, it is a good opportunity for people with mobility issues.

At 3:00 pm we will visit the Equestrian Center where we can expect to see European Starlings, Eastern Bluebirds and likely a few of our resident hawks. We have scheduled only a brief time here as we likely won’t move far beyond the parking areas next to the pastures.

At 4:00 pm we will conclude our day with a walk around Palmetto Lake. This is less than one mile of flat, paved walk around the lake. Historically, in May at this location, we see Great Crested Flycatchers, Orchard Orioles and Mississippi Kites in addition to the “normal” Great Egrets, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadees, etc.

As always, bring binocular/camera, hat, sunscreen, snacks and water.

Please register no later than Thursday, May 12, 2022.  All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Friday, May 13. 

If you have additional questions about the program, please contact us by sending an email to: SeabrookIslandBirders@gmail.com.

Register Here  

Backyard Birding at the Haulover Rookery

When: Monday, May 16, 2022  6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Location:  2445 The Haulover
Max:  20
Cost: Free for members; $5 donation for guests 

We are heading back to the Rookery to see the babies this time. Come join us in Annalee Regenburg’s backyard. Her house backs up to the Great Egret Rookery. The females sit on their nests all day and the males come into the nests in the evenings. We visited in April to see this wonder and now we have babies to watch. We plan on observing this wonderful, sometimes noisy event. We are sure we will see some Snowy Egrets and Green Herons, plus some night herons and Wood Storks, all tucked in there too. As always, be sure to bring your water, binoculars, hats and sunscreen.

Register no later than Friday, May 13. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Sunday, May 15.

Register Here

Learning Together – Bike and Bird to Mingo Point, Kiawah

When: Wednesday, May 18, 2022  8:00 am – 11:00 am 
Location: Meet at The Lakehouse parking lot
Max: 12
Cost: None for members; $5 donation for guests

Meet at 8:00 am at The Lakehouse to bike from Seabrook Island’s Lake House through Freshfields to Mingo Point on Kiawah. Those not wishing to bike can choose to meet the bikers about an hour later at Mingo Point. The path is paved and borders wooded areas, marsh and fields. Along the way, we pass the Equestrian Center where we can expect to see European Starlings, Eastern Bluebirds and possibly Cattle Egrets. Further along, we will see and hear various songbirds. Of course, as we bike through Freshfields, we will see the resident Black Vultures and Boattail Grackles. Beyond Freshfields, we may see Roseate Spoonbills and other wading and shorebirds.

At Mingo Point, we’ll meet at the Kiawah parking lot to bird by the Kayak Ramp. There are many bird feeders placed to see feeder birds and we are also at the ramp right on the Kiawah River to enjoy shorebirds too. There are plenty of places to sit and bird or we can go for a stroll in the area for even more birds. Painted Buntings, House Finch and Carolina Chickadees are almost a sure thing!!  Sometimes the Naturalist, that mans the Hut, is free to help us search. 

Be sure to bring binoculars, camera, hats, sunscreen, bug repellant, snacks and water.  

Please register no later than Monday, May 16, 2022. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter the day prior to the event. 

If you have additional questions about the program, please contact us by sending an email to: SeabrookIslandBirders@seabrookislandblog

Register Here

Learning Together – Crooked Oaks Golf Course

When: Monday, May 23, 2022  8:30 am – 10:30 am
Location:  Meet at The 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 Crooked Oaks 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 spring, we can also expect to see Eastern Kingbirds, Great-crested Flycatchers, Orchard Orioles, Summer Tanagers, Mississippi Kites and more!

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars/cameras, hats and sunscreen. Water will be provided. We ask that all participants wear a mask when unable to social distance if they are not vaccinated.

Please register no later than May 21. 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.

Register Here

Beyond Our Backyard – Caw Caw County Park

When: May 26, 2022  9:00 am – 12:00 pm 
Location: Caw Caw Interpretive Center, 5200 Savannah Hwy., Ravenel  
Carpool:  Meet at Seabrook Island Real Estate Office at 8:15 am. The drive is approximately 40 minutes.  
Cost: Free to members, $5 for non- members (Park entrance fee is $2 per adult, or a gold pass)

Join SIB at Caw Caw county park as we search for late spring migrants and discover the resident nesting birds. The park comprises three colonial era rice fields, fresh, brackish, saltwater marshes, cypress-tupelo swamps, bottomland, and beech-holly forests. All told, these varied habitats comprise a total of 654 acres with six miles of trails. Over 250 bird species have been observed within the boundaries of Caw Caw.  

Some of the bird species we may find during this time of the year include Painted Bunting, Indigo Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, Prothonotary Warbler, Yellow Throated Warbler, Yellow Billed Cuckoo, Prairie Warbler, Pine Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Orchard Oriole, Northern Paula, Hooded Warbler, Black-Throated Blue Warbler, Yellow Throated Vireo, White-Eyed Vireo, Summer Tanager, Mississippi Kite, Swallow-Tailed Kite, American Bittern, Least Bittern, Osprey, Bald Eagle, and the wide variety of wading birds present in the park year round.  

Appropriate footwear is recommended, as a likely walking distance of two to three miles is expected, and even during dry spells, wet trail conditions may be encountered. Participants should also consider these other items to maximize their comfort and enjoyment: binoculars, bug spray, sunscreen, hats, layered clothing to adjust to the morning’s weather, field guides if print is your preference, eyeglass – lens cleaner, water, snacks, camera, and a pack or shoulder bag for your needs.    

Please register by May 23, 2022. You will receive a confirmation letter the day prior to the event.  

Register Here

-Submitted by SIB

(Image credit: SIB)


Seabrook Island Birders April Activities

Let’s hope April showers time themselves around our many birding activities. April will also bring the return, after a long absence, of our popular Backyard Birding events. 

Backyard Birding- The Haul Over

Thursday, April 7, 2022, 6:00 pm -7:30 pm, The Haul Over
Location: 2445 The Haul Over
Max: 20
Cost: None for 2021 members; $5 donation for guests

We are going back! Our visit last May to Annalee Regenburg’s backyard was a witness of a bumper crop of Egret and Heron nests. We lost count at 100 nests. Annalee’s house backs up to the Great White Egret Rookery. The females sit on their nests all day and the males come into the nests in the evenings. We plan on observing this wonderful, sometimes noisy event. We will most likely see some snowy egrets and green herons, plus some night herons and Wood Storks too. One year, we even saw Cattle Egrets. The first nest was March 1. Walk around back when you arrive.

As always, be sure to bring your water, binoculars, hats and sunscreen.

Please register no later than Tuesday, April 5. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Wednesday, April 6.

Register here

Learning Together on Ocean Winds Golf Course

When: Monday, April 11, 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 nine 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 spring, we can also expect to see Eastern Kingbirds, Great-crested Flycatchers, Orchard Orioles, Summer Tanagers, Mississippi Kites and more!

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars/cameras, hats and sunscreen. Water will be provided.

Please register no later than April 9. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on 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.

Register here  

April Movie, “Penguin Bloom”

When: Tuesday, April 12, 2022 from 4:00 pm – 5:45 pm
Location: Zoom & TBD in-person

Watch the trailer here.

As a mom copes with the aftermath of a harrowing accident, she finds inspiration from an injured magpie taken in by her family. The movie is based on a true story.

Register here

Learning Together at Kiawah River Development

When: Saturday, April 16, 2022 8:00 am – 11:00 am
Location: Meet at the “bridge” entering the property
Cost: None for members; $5 donation for guests

We expect to see a large variety of birds including Double-crested Cormorants, Egrets, Herons, Osprey and other birds of prey. We hope to see the Little Blue Heron rookery in full habitation. If we are lucky, we will see an eagle and osprey duel over a fish. We should also see and hear some of the smaller birds like Tufted Titmice, Eastern Bluebirds, Northern Cardinals. We will drive to various locations on the property and then walk for better birding observations. Of course, this also gives us a chance to see this neighboring development.

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars, hats, water and sunscreen.

Please register no later than Thursday, April 14, 2022. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Friday, April 15.

Register here  

Beyond Our Backyard – McAlhany Nature Preserve Near St. George, SC

When: Sunday, April 24, 2022 with morning only (8:00 am – 11:00 am) and all day (8:00 am – 2:00 pm) options
Leave Seabrook Island Real Estate to carpool at 6:30 am (please be there before 6:30 am)
Meet trip leaders Cathy & Carl Miller at the truck stop in Jacksonboro (intersection of US Hwy 17 & SC 64) and at 7:15 am to caravan to site
Note: Cars with low ground clearance are not recommended for the drive into McAlhany
Max: 12
Cost: Free for members; $5 donation for guests

Join SIB to bird at the beautiful McAlhany Nature Preserve on the Edisto River near Saint George. This 367 acre preserve is under a conservation easement with the Lowcountry Open Land Trust and is owned and managed by the Charleston chapter (Charleston Natural History Society) of the Audubon Society. This property includes such habitats as one and a half miles of frontage on the Edisto River, a nine acre oxbow lake, bottomland hardwoods forest, a freshwater marsh, upland oak-hickory forest and a restored longleaf pine and native grasslands area. To get a feel for the types of habitats as well as the species that live and pass through, take a look at “Flora and Fauna of McAlhany Nature Preserve” All birding will be on foot so wear comfortable hiking shoes.

In the morning, we will cover about two miles of wooded trails birding the south side of Wire Road along the River Trail. This area includes the river frontage, the oxbow lake, the Cypress Forest and flood plain. We can expect to see a large variety of birds including Egrets, Herons, Anhinga and Wood Ducks as well as birds of prey like Barred Owl, Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawks. We will also see and hear our resident smaller birds like Tufted Titmice, Northern Cardinals, Carolina Wrens, hopefully three vireo species – Blue-headed, Red-eyed and White-eyed. A few sparrow species may still be present and we could also see several warbler species such as Black-throated Green and Black-throated Blue warblers, Northern Parula, Common Yellow-throat, Yellow-throated, Prothonotary and Hooded warblers. We will eat an early lunch around 11:00 am in the picnic area. Then, in the afternoon, we will explore the young longleaf pine and grassland areas on the north side of Wire Road covering about one and a half miles of sandy trail and fire breaks. We will hopefully see Sedge and House Wrens, Yellow, Prairie and Pine warblers, Eastern Bluebirds, Summer Tanager, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo and Painted Buntings, as well as Yellow-throated vireo and possibly Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Many of these species can be seen on either side of the road.

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars/cameras, bug spray, hats and sunscreen. Bring plenty to drink and a picnic lunch to eat on the property. We will make use of the picnic shelter however there are no facilities available to us on the property as the cabin will be locked.

Please register no later than Friday, April 22, 2022. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter the day prior to the event.

Register here

Beyond Our Backyard – Edisto Nature Trail

When: Saturday, April 30, 2022 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: 17038 Ace Basin Pkwy
Carpool: Meet at SI Real Estate Office to car pool at 7:00 am, the drive is approximately 50 minutes to the nature trail’s parking lot
Cost: Free for SIB member; $5 guest fee

Come join us for spring migration, Beyond Our Backyard, at the Edisto Nature Trail. This park, within the ACE Basin on Highway 17, is both a migrant hot spot and a known nesting area for a number of sought after bird species. The park, adjacent to the Edisto River, has a variety of habitats along its one and a half mile looped trail. As you walk the park in search of its birdlife, you will move through a pine and maritime forest habit into, adjacent the Edisto River, a cypress-tupelo swamp. In prior years, because of this varied habit, we have encountered a vast array of wildlife and plant life inside the park boundaries.

Some of the bird species we will hope to see, and have encountered in prior years, include such Warbler species as Prothonotary, Worm-Eating, Black and White, Swainson’s, Kentucky, Hooded, Black Throated Blue, Yellow-Throated, and Northern Parula. Other possible bird species include, but are not limited to, Veery, Scarlet Tanager, Blackburnian Warbler, Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, Blackpoll Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Blue-Winged Warbler, Warbling Vireos, and a variety of raptors.

This nature trail has a number of boardwalk crossovers to assist in traversing potentially wet areas. Appropriate footwear is recommended, even during dry spells, so that all participants are able to maximize the enjoyment of their experience. Participants should also consider these other items to maximize the comfort and enjoyment: binoculars, bug spray, sunscreen, hats, layered clothing to adjust to the morning’s weather, field guides if print is your preference, eyeglass – lens cleaner, water, snacks, camera, and a pack or shoulder bag for your needs.

Please register prior to April 27, 2022. You will receive a confirmation letter the day prior to the event.

Register here

-Submitted by SIB

(Image credit: SIB)

SIB March Activities

Beyond Our Backyard – Charles Towne Landing Historic Site

When: Wednesday, March 2, 2022, 8:00 am – 2:00 pm
Location: Meet at Seabrook Island Real Estate to carpool at 8:00 am
Meet at Charles Towne Landing at 9:00 am
Lunch option after birding: Ms. Rose’s Fine Food and Cocktails
Max: 16
Cost: Free for members; $5 donation for guests
Park Admission: $12 Adult; $7.50 SC Senior

Join SIB to bird at Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site. Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site sits on a marshy point, located off the Ashley River, where a group of English settlers landed in 1670 and established what would become the birthplace of the Carolina colony. The significant features of the site include river and marsh views, majestic oaks and magnolias and 80 acres of English park gardens. Wildlife you may see at the park include the threatened wood storks, alligators and various coastal wading birds in the wild.

We will bird along the trails and marshes. After the organized walk, you can visit the Animal Forest (included in admission) to see animals that once inhabited the Charleston area such as bison, puma, black bear, otters, various shore birds, wild turkey and more.

In 2021, some SIB members did this walk and enjoyed watching a Great Horned Owl with it’s branching offspring. eBird shows 134 species seen during the spring at this hot spot. The diverse environment provides for shorebirds, wading birds, raptors, and song birds.

For the end of our morning, for those interested, we plan to make a lunch stop at the nearby Ms. Rose’s Fine Food and Cocktails.

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars/cameras, hats, sunscreen and bug spray. We ask that all participants wear a mask when unable to social distance.

Register here

March Movie – “Migrating Birds: Scouts of Distant Worlds”

Scientists have long wondered, why do birds go through the hardships of migration year after year? Today, they face special challenges. Billions perish every year while migrating, dying of hunger, thirst, exhaustion and environmental poisons.


When:
Tuesday, March 8, 2022 from 4:00 pm – 5:45 pm
Location: Zoom & TBD In-person

Watch the Trailer here

Register here

Beyond our Backyard – Botany Bay and Roxbury Park

When: Saturday, March 12, 2022, 7:30 am – 4:00 pm (roundtrip from Seabrook Island)
Leave Seabrook Real Estate: 7:30 am
Botany Bay: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Lunch: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Bird Roxbury Park: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Location: Meet at Seabrook Island Real Estate parking lot at 7:30 am to carpool to Botany Bay with start time at 9:00 am with low tide approximately at 9:30 am.
Max: 12 
Cost: Free for members; $5 donation for guests

Enjoy the diverse bird population of Botany Bay Wildlife Management Area (WMA). We will meet at the kiosk at the entrance to Botany Bay then caravan around the area. We will stop at various locations and walk to see birds not visible from the dirt roads. The event is timed to allow a walk on the boardwalk across the marsh then on to the boneyard beach near low tide. From the beach, we will be able to see shorebirds as well as Deveaux Bank and Seabrook Island across the river. Scoters and loons may be seen in this location. Please note that this is a very remote area as it is a WMA and there are no facilities such as restrooms.

You may pack a lunch to eat at either Botany Bay or Roxbury Park or you can join the group and eat at Roxbury Mercantile (http://roxburymercantile.com/). It now has both inside and outside dining offering “Lowcountry cuisine”.

In the afternoon, we will make the short trip from Roxbury Mercantile to Roxbury Park. Roxbury Park is owned and managed by the Town of Meggett, SC. What makes Roxbury Park such a special place is the diversity of it’s ecosystem. Visitors to the park can see and experience eight distinctively unique habitats that attract and support an amazing variety of wildlife. The park is open year round but only on Saturdays and Sundays. There is a portable restroom located in the parking area.

Participants may opt for only the morning at Botany Bay or both. If you wish to only do Botany Bay, we ask you just let us know and provide your own transportation.

Be sure to bring binoculars, camera, hats, sunscreen, bug repellant, snacks and water.  

Register here

Learning Together at North Beach

When: Sunday, March 13, 2022, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Meet at boardwalk # 1 parking lot
Max: none 
Cost: Free for members; $5 donation for guests 

Join SIB to bird at Seabrook Island’s North Beach. This three mile round trip walk travels from Board Walk #1 to the tip of North Beach along Captain Sams Inlet as high tide approaches. Birders from beginners to advanced birders will enjoy the variety of birds found on North Beach. At this time, many different species of shorebirds rest and feed near the point or along the beach ridge near the beach’s pond. Along the way, we will explore the many different species that can be found in this unique area.

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars/cameras, hats and sunscreen. Bring a spotting scope if you have one. There should be spotting scopes available for viewing. Bring plenty to drink and a snack if desired. There are no facilities. We ask that all participants wear a mask when unable to social distance if they are not vaccinated.

Register here

Learning Together-Palmetto Lake

When: Thursday, March 17, 2022, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Location: Meet at equestrian end of The Lake House parking lot
Max: 15
Cost: Free for members, $5 for guests 

Celebrate St. Partrick’s Day by participating in a green event of bird watching! Join the Seabrook Island Birders for a leisurely walk around Palmetto Lake. We plan to walk part way along the path towards the Equestrian Center then hopefully see the “white birds” come in to roost for the evening. The path around Palmetto Lake is wheelchair navigable and for those walking, it will be approximately a quarter of a mile. As we walk along Seabrook Island Road, we hope to see some of our resident winter warblers such as Yellow-rumped Warblers, Palm Warblers and Black and White Warblers. We also expect to see a large variety of birds including Northern Cardinals, Carolina Wrens, Herons and birds of prey. If the “white birds” get the invitation, we hope to see Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets and White Ibis roosting for the evening. Hooded Mergansers, Pie-billed Grebes and Buffleheads may be seen swimming in the lake.

Dress in layers and bring your binoculars, hats, and a beverage of choice. You may also wish to bring a chair to sit and enjoy your beverage while watching the birds coming in for their evening roost.

Register here 

In-person Evening Program

Rescheduled – March 22, 2022

SIB Presents the Center for Birds of Prey

When: Tuesday March 22, 2022
Registration starts 7:00 pm; Program starts 7:30 pm
Location: Live Oak Hall, The Lake House
Cost: Members $5.00
Max: Limited to 100 members

Stephen Schabel, Center for Birds of Prey Director of Education, once again brings the Center’s amazing raptors to The Lake House. We’ll witness the interesting and important world of raptors through this unique indoor program. Stephen’s engaging discussion, along with watching the birds in action, will give us a wonderful education of these majestic creatures and the significant role they play as apex avian predators. 

The program is limited to 100 SIB members. SIPOA COVID protocol will be followed – masks required in Live Oak Hall, masks and physical distancing recommended while traversing other indoor space. No refreshments will be served.

Meet the speaker: Stephen Schabel, Director of Education 

A native of South Carolina, Stephen joined the Center in 2003 after completing his M.S. degree in Environmental Policy at the College of Charleston. Prior to graduate school, he spent several years exploring various teaching opportunities outside the traditional classroom, as well as a career as an accomplished mandolin player and vocalist for a variety of groups in the Charleston area. Stephen’s background in education and environmental policy along with his lifelong passion for the outdoors -especially birds – offers a unique and relevant foundation for his role as Director of Education. Stephen oversees the care, husbandry, and training of the Center’s educational resident bird collection as well as the design and implementation of conservation education programs offered by the Center throughout South Carolina and beyond. Stephen particularly enjoys the aspects of “lure flying” falcons and conversing one on one with visitors about issues related to the conservation of birds and other wildlife.

Register here

Learning Together on Ocean Winds Golf Course

When: Monday Monday, March 28, 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 every Monday 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 spring/summer, we can also expect to see Eastern Kingbirds, Great-crested Flycatchers, Orchard Orioles, Summer Tanagers, Mississippi Kites and more!

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars/cameras, hats and sunscreen. Water will be provided. We ask that all participants wear a mask when unable to social distance if they are not vaccinated.

Register here

Learning Together-Biking and Birding on Seabrook Island

When: Thursday, March 31, 2022, 8:30 am – 12:00 pm (with optional lunch at Bohicket Marina)
Location: Meet at The Lake House pool parking lot
Max: 12
Cost: Free for members; $5 donation for guests

Join Seabrook Island Birders for a morning of Learning Together while Biking and Birding on Seabrook Island. This will be a slow six plus mile bike ride around the north part of the island with frequent stops as we see or hear the many and varied birds on the island. We will meet at the outdoor pool end of the parking lot at the The Lake House and leisurely ride through the more quiet roads in the center of the island where there are many trees and ponds. Then, continue over to the areas around the Crab Dock to Marsh Haven Drive to check out areas around the marsh. We will then ride the Old Drake Drive loop and back to the center roads to return to The Lake House. On this route we can hope to see warblers, woodpeckers, hawks, wading birds, and hopefully ducks.

There is an option for the group to continue our ride to Bohicket Marina for lunch at Salty Dog or the Salty Dog Ice Cream shop or bring-your-own-lunch to enjoy while looking for more birds at the marina.

Bike helmets are strongly encouraged. Be sure to bring binoculars, camera, hats, sunscreen, bug repellant, snacks and water.

Register here

-Submitted by SIB

(Image credit; SIB)

Seabrook Island Shorebird Stewards Return to the Beach!

Beginning March 1, 2022, Seabrook Island beach-goers may see Shorebird Stewards like Seabrook Island resident Tim Finan on North Beach on a daily basis. Shorebird Stewards educate people about the various shorebirds that use the Seabrook Island Beaches. All shorebird species are in decline and need help. Shorebird Stewards explain why shorebirds use the Seabrook Island beach and why beach-goers should “Share the Beach – Give Them Space”.

The Seabrook Island Shorebird Steward program is looking for more volunteers. Starting in March until July, stewards spend two hour shifts on the beach. The schedule is flexible and a scheduling website makes it easy to find times to fit anyone’s schedule.

Stewards don’t have to be skilled birders. During the training program, participants learn shorebird identification, how to use our optics, and how to be a good steward. The training consists of a two hour classroom session plus on-beach field training.

The public is invited to enjoy a zoom presentation by Felicia Sanders on “Hemispheric Flights of Migratory Shorebirds” on February 16, 2022, at 7:00 pm. Felicia has been active in shorebird conservation and research for over thirty years. Her talk draws on her many years of banding and tracking shorebirds including her five trips to the Arctic. She will also focus on the technology that allows scientists to track the migrations of many shorebirds that stop to rest or refuel on Seabrook: Red Knots, Whimbrel, Dunlin and others. 

Register for Felicia’s Zoom talk here.

People interested in becoming a Shorebird Steward can register here.

All new Stewards should attend an SC Audubon led training on February 19, 2022, starting at 9:00 am in the Oystercatcher Community Room or watch a recording of the presentation. All Stewards new or returning, need to participate in one of the many scheduled field training dates (details to be provided to those who register). For more information or to join us for a North Beach bird walk, please contact: sibstewards@gmail.com

–Submitted by SIB

(Image credit: SIB)

Seabrook Island Shorebird Steward Program

Mark Andrews from the Seabrook Island Birders recently made a presentation to the Town Council that provided an overview of the Seabrook Island Shorebird Steward Program. The presentation explained the purpose and scope of the program, the approaches they use to educate the public, as well as the research they have done in 2021. The presentation ended with a brief discussion of their preparations for 2022 which include recruitment and training to start in February.

Click here to read the Seabrook Island Shorebird Steward Program Presentation.

Click here to watch a fourteen-minute video of Mark Andrews’s Seabrook Island Shorebird Steward Program Presentation.

Click here to access the Shorebird Stewards Program page on the Seabrook Island Birders website.

-Submitted by the Town of Seabrook Island

(Image credit: Shorebird Stewards Program Presentation)

SIB February Activities

There are two bird walks on North Beach this month. The timing is perfect for you to work on identifying and observing our many varied shorebirds – just in time for you to become a part of the Shorebird Stewardship Program. In addition to our popular golf course outing, we have the Great Backyard Bird Count and two off- island trips. 

Learning Together at North Beach

Sunday, February 6, 2022, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: Meet at Boardwalk # 1 parking lot
Max: none
Cost: Free for members; $5 donation for guests

Join SIB to bird at Seabrook Island’s North Beach. This three mile round trip walk travels from Board Walk #1 to the tip of North Beach along Captain Sams Inlet as high tide approaches. Birders from beginners to advanced birders will enjoy the variety of birds found on North Beach. At this time, many different species of shorebirds rest and feed near the point or along the beach ridge near the beach’s pond. Along the way, we will explore the many different species that can be found in this unique area.

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars/cameras, hats and sunscreen. Bring a spotting scope if you have one. Bring plenty to drink and a snack if desired. There are no facilities. We ask that all participants wear a mask when unable to social distance if you are not vaccinated.

Please register no later than February 4. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on 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.

Register here

Learning Together at North Beach

Sunday, February 13, 2022, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Meet at Boardwalk # 1 parking lot
Max: none
Cost: Free for members; $5 donation for guests

Please register no later than February 11. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on 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.

Register here

February Movie  

David Attenborough: “Life on our Planet”
Tuesday, February 8, 2022, 4:00 pm – 5:45 pm
via Zoom

A broadcaster recounts his life, and the evolutionary history of life on earth, to grieve the loss of wild places and offer a vision for the future.

Watch the trailer here.  

Register here

Beyond Our Backyard – Santee Coastal-Wildlife Management Area

Saturday, February 12, 2022, 7:00 am – 4:00 pm
Birding at Santee Coastal Reserve Wildlife Management Area (WMA) at 220 Santee Gun Club Road, McClellanville, SC
Location: Meet at Seabrook Island Real Estate to carpool at 5:45 am
Meet at Sewee Outpost at 4853 Hwy 17, Awendaw, SC to buy breakfast, lunch and to use restrooms before proceeding to the Reserve
Dinner option after birding: Seewee Restaurant, 4808 N Hwy 17, Awendaw, SC
Max: 16 for the morning half-day portion; 8 for the whole-day afternoon option
Cost: Free for members; $5 donation for guests

Join SIB to bird at Santee Coastal Reserve Wildlife Management Area (WMA), a 24,000 acre tract, operated by the SC Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), rich in different habitats including long-leaf pine, bottomland swamp, upland hardwoods and former rice impoundments. The area was originally inhabited by the Sewee and the Winyah tribes. Then, several rice plantations were established here in the 1700s. Today, you can still see the brick ruins of the Eldorado plantation house on a hike through the upland hardwoods. In 1898, Captain Hugh Garden established the Santee Gun Club upon his acquisition of these rice plantations. Finally in 1974, the Santee Gun Club donated the property to TNC who then transferred most of it to the state of SC for management by DNR.

Of course, a variety of habitats translates to a variety of birdlife. On this trip, we will focus our efforts on two habitats primarily. First, in the morning, we will bird the long-leaf pine forest to find the federally-listed endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker (RCW) and, hopefully, Northern Bobwhite. In the afternoon, we will bird the impoundments to observe multiple duck species.

The long entrance road runs through the middle of the long-leaf pine forest in which we will find the RCWs. Our birding here will be roadside. In addition to the RCWs, we will listen for owls and Northern Bobwhite. Other species of at this time of year to see are the Blue-headed vireo, Brown-headed Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, raptors, Pine Warbler, Eastern Bluebird, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Eastern Towhee, and possibly all of the other seven species of woodpeckers in SC. Other possibilities include Yellow-throated Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Black-and-white Warbler, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Fox Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Cedar Waxwing, House Wren, Sedge Wren, Red-breasted Nuthatch, if we are lucky.

In the afternoon, we will hike the Cape Trail to arrive at the impoundments where we will observe many species of duck. The impoundments in this area are closed to the public from November 1 to February 9 every year. Just after these areas reopen, the waterfowl begin to fly north to their nesting grounds. Thus, we are taking advantage of this narrow window of opportunity to see many species. Be prepared to hike about four to five miles. Since these ducks are very flighty, we need to keep a small group size for the afternoon portion. We will approach the impoundments stealthily, keeping our profiles low and speaking in hushed tones, in order to see the ducks before they flush. Likely species include Blue- and Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, American Wigeon (and possibly Eurasian Wigeon), Mottled Duck, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck, and Hooded Merganser species. Some other possibilities include Redhead, Canvasback and American Black Duck as well as Snow Goose. In the Big Well impoundment area (an area open year-round), a large group of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks have over-wintered and we expect to see them. In all of the impoundments, we will see a large number of waders including Egrets, Herons, Ibis, and maybe American Bittern. Several different species of shorebirds and rails such as Clapper Rail, Sora, Black-bellied plover, Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs, Short-billed Dowitcher and American Avocet inhabit the impoundments in the winter.

For the end of our day, for those interested, we plan to make a dinner stop at the Sewee Restaurant for a lowcountry dinner.

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars/cameras, hats, sunscreen and bug spray. If you have a scope, you should definitely bring it for the afternoon hike to the impoundments. Bring plenty to drink and a picnic lunch to eat on the property and money for dinner if you decide to take that option. There are no facilities on the property, so be prepared for that. We ask that all participants wear a mask when unable to social distance if you are not vaccinated. Please do not use someone else’s scope without their permission.

Please register no later than February 10. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on the February 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.

Register here

Virtual Evening Program, February 16, “Hemispheric Flights of Migratory Shorebirds”

Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Program starts 7:00 pm via Zoom
Cost: Free
Attendance: 500

Each year, millions of shorebirds migrate to Arctic breeding grounds from wintering sites in South & Central America and southern North America. SC beaches are important sites for these long-distance migratory birds. Many know the Red Knot’s journey – Arctic tundra to nest, southern South America for winter, and a stop in SC to refuel. But what about Whimbrels, Dunlin, Sanderlings, and Semipalmated Plovers that also nest on the northern Arctic shores?

What are migration routes of Seabrook’s shorebirds? Where do the birds spend the rest of the year? How do banding, innovative tagging & tracking technology, and peoples’ reporting help identify birds’ exact movements and locations? Join us for Felicia Sanders’, SCDNR partner and SIB’s good friend, for a fascinating look at the diverse countries & habitats shorebirds encounter on their global journeys!

Felicia Sanders has been working 30 years on conservation efforts for a wide diversity of bird species. Felicia joined the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in 2001, and leads South Carolina’s Seabird and Shorebird Projects. Her primary tasks are promoting conservation of important sites for nesting and migrating coastal birds, surveying seabirds and shorebirds, and partnering with universities to research life histories. She is a coauthor on numerous scientific publications, and has traveled to the Arctic five times to participate in shorebird research projects. Felicia went to graduate school at Clemson University, majoring in biology. Last year, she was awarded the Biologist of the Year by the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, whose members include 15 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Register here

Beyond Our Backyard – Bear Island/Donnelly WMA

Thursday, Feb. 17, 5:30 am – 4:00 pm
Location: Meet at Seabrook Island Real Estate Office to Carpool at 5:30 am
(Meet at Mary’s Pond at 7:00 am) Max: 10 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 a 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 an early chance to visit for spring. We hope the winter waterfowl will still be present including the Tundra Swan. Each person should bring their own lunch, snacks and beverages, as there are no restaurants (nor restrooms) in the area. Also be sure to bring sun block, bug spray, a hat, binoculars, camera and a scope if you have one.

Please register no later than February 15, 2022. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter the day prior to the event.

Register here

Great Backyard Bird Count

Connect to birds, to nature, and with each other! Birds are everywhere, all the time, doing fascinating things. Join Audubon and SIB, February 18–21, 2022, when the world comes together for the love of birds.

Check SeabrookIslandBirders.org/bird-walks/ to also register for:


– Shorebird Steward Training Seminar – Saturday, February 19, 2022
– Learning Together on Ocean Winds Golf Course – Monday, February 21, 2022

You can also do your own birding and submit your findings. This birding can be any time (and as many times) between 12:01 am, February 18 through 11:59 pm, February 21. Audubon provides the following steps:


Step 1 – Decide where you will watch birds.
Step 2 – Watch birds for 15 minutes or more, at least once over the four days, February 18-21, 2022.
Step 3 – Count all the birds you see or hear within your planned time/location and use the best tool for sharing your bird sightings (either Merlin or eBird). If you use eBird, “share” your eBird list with SIBeBird so we can compile a list for all of Seabrook. If you don’t use eBird, please answer the question below requesting a form you can write into, deliver to SIB and SIB will enter into eBird.

SIB’s organized GBBC activities are on Sunday:

Sunday, February 20, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Various locations around Seabrook Island
Max: 20 Cost: Free for members, $5 for non-members

Join us in participating in Audubon’s Great Backyard Bird Count. The day 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 to you. We request you register for all sections you will be attending so we know if we should wait for you at any individual location.

– Maintenance Area /Equestrian Center 8:00 am – 9:30 am
We’ll start at the Garden Parking Lot. We will walk through the Club Maintenance area and look over the fence to the retention ponds of the Water Treatment Facility. In this area we hope to see Hooded Mergansers, Buffleheads, Ruddy Ducks and songbirds and sparrows. From there, we will walk along the horse trail (or drive) to the Equestrian Center to see Starlings and Cowbirds plus numerous other birds that can be expected there.

– Palmetto Lake 10:00 am – 11:30 am
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.

– Bobcat Trail and Six Ladies Trail – 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The group will meet at the owners beach access parking lot at Boardwalk 1, then walk along Boardwalk 1 to Bobcat Trail then on to Six Ladies Trail, then returning via the road to the parking lot. Six Ladies Trail is an uneven and at times, steep walk through the maritime forest. This is an inaugural walk at this time of year so it is unknown what to expect other than the typical winter residents of Yellow-rumped Warblers, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers and of course Northern Cardinals, Carolina Wrens, Tufted Titmouse and Carolina Chickadees. While on the boardwalk we can expect to see Brown Pelicans, Ring-Billed Gulls and White Egrets. As we approach the marsh on Six Ladies Trail we also hope to see a Northern Harrier and hopefully see (or at least hear) a Clapper Rail.

– Jenkin’s Point 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
We will be exploring the birds seen along Jenkins Point lagoons and streets, including ducks, wading birds and shorebirds. Since this event will be primarily by car, it is appropriate for members with mobility issues.

For all events, bring sun block, bug spray, a hat, water, snacks and binoculars.

Please let us know which portions you plan to attend no later than Thursday, February 17, 2022. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Friday, February 18, 2022.

Register here

Learning Together on Ocean Winds Golf Course

When: Monday February 21, 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, one 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. We ask that all participants wear a mask when unable to social distance if you are not vaccinated.

Please register no later than February 19. 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.

Register here

-Submitted by SIB

(Image credit: Youtube.com; SIB)