SPRINGFEST April 1, 2015

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Bear Island Wildlife Management Area 2/10/15

Hello all,
Here's a short summary of the club's birding trip to Bear Island Wildlife Management Area last Wednesday. Seventeen of us made the trip, and we started off with a guided tour of Bear Island. The SC Department of Natural Resources took us on a loop through marshes and impoundments, and into a part of Bear Island that I had never seen before. It's a beautiful place. We saw lots of wading birds, including wood storks and even an American bittern that flushed briefly out of the marsh grasses. We also had several bald eagles fly overhead. For a time, we had American white pelicans soaring overhead in a flock.

After the guided tour was over, we went to another part of the wildlife area where I have frequently seen tundra swans. We found a flock of swans, including some young birds, which are darker than the adults. These tundra swans spend the winter here on the SC coast, and head north to the Canadian arctic in March to nest. We also saw more white pelicans, a freshwater species of pelican that nests in the prairie states.

Stay tuned for information on our next field trip, which will be in late March.

Doreen and Jim Cubie

Tybee Island, 1/20/15

Six of us participated and we had a beautiful day for birding. It was warm with lots of sun, which is all you can ask for in January.

We went to the north end of Tybee for a couple of hours. One of the best birds was an adult northern gannet that flew by very close to shore. And we saw a purple sandpiper on the jetty, which is a rare bird in SC/GA. There were also ruddy turnstones, sanderlings and a least sandpiper on the jetty. About a dozen white pelicans were roosting on the other side of the river. Other birds seen were brown pelicans, Forster's terns, and buffleheads.

We ended the day with lunch at a seafood/barbecue restaurant on Whitemarsh Island, always an important part of any birding trip.

Doreen and Jim Cubie

Skidaway Island State Park, Saturday, 1/10/15

Eighteen hardy birders met at Lake Somerset at 7am this morning and drove to Skidaway Island State Park, a beautiful park in Savannah. It was cold but not too uncomfortable when we started birding on the park's Sandpiper Trail that winds along a tidal marsh and into the woods.

The first birds we saw were 20+ bluebirds that were flying in a flock out over the marsh, and they were soon joined by a flock of cedar waxwings. Many of the bluebirds and waxwings perched in trees near the boardwalk, giving us great looks. When we moved into the woods, we saw multiple red-headed woodpeckers, which are striking birds and not very common. We also had good looks at red-bellied woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, and yellow-bellied sapsuckers. Over by a salt marsh, we heard a clapper rail but could not see it.

After we finished walking the trail, we went to the park's Interpretive Center, where we watched goldfinches, sparrows, and other birds at the feeders. Lots of bluebirds and waxwings came in to the bird baths, and Noah Rosenstein has some great photos of bluebirds that he will share with you later.

We'll have another field trip in February to Bear Island and Donnelly Wildlife Management Areas.

Doreen and Jim Cubie

Savannah NWR 11/14/14

On Friday, we had a very nice, although quite cold, Sun City Bird Club trip to Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. We drove the Wildlife Drive, and the first bird we saw was a beautiful northern harrier hunting over the marshes. There were also lots of wood ducks in the impoundments, and many of them were very close to the road, giving us good looks with the spotting scope. Other ducks we saw were northern shovelers, mallards, blue-winged teal, lesser scaup, and ring-necked ducks. Besides the harrier, we saw other raptors including a red-tailed hawk and a distant bald eagle. An American Kestrel put on quite a show, and John Burrack took some wonderful photos, including the one I've included with this email. Other birds we saw included great blue herons, little blue herons, cattle egrets, and white ibis.

There will not be a field trip in December, and we would like to encourage everyone to participate in the Christmas Bird Count on December 14. The monthly field trips will start up again in January. If you have any places you'd like to go, please let us know. And I'd like to encourage beginning birders to join us. It's not necessary to be an experienced birder to go on these trips.

Doreen and Jim Cubie

American Kestrel - SNWR - 11/14/14 - John Burrack


Pinckney Island Pictures (7/11/14)

Port Royal Pictures (4/16/14)

Please click on the links below to see piactures taken by John Burrack at Port Royal:


Savannah NWR 2/4/14

There were 16 hardy birders on our trip which started out a little cold and looking like rain maybe. No rain and it warmed up some and we ended up having a great outing. We had 53 or 54 spices in all with a couple of birds that we don't see often at the refuge. I will not list them all,just a few of the nice things we saw. We had 7 spices of raptures, Red-tailed Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Osprey, Kestrel, and a some great looks at Merlin perched and in flight. We also had 9 Spices of Ducks including 2 that we don't see that often from the road, Northern Pintail and Canvasback Ducks. I have included just a few pictures of the group and Noah sent some photos of the birds we saw. Hope you can make one of our outings.
Rich Matheny,  Group Leader
Click on link for pictures:  SNWR 2/4/14
Also click on SNWR 4/12/14 for more pictures from Savannah NWR

Ft. Pulaski & Tybee Island 2/17/2014

Pictures from Noah Rosenstein from the outing to Ft. Pulaski & Tybee Island.

Click on the link:  Ft.Pulaski/Tybee Island

Donnelley WMA - 6/13/13

Group Leader - Rich Matheny

Birds seen:
1   Little Green Heron
2   Black-crowned Night-Heron
3   Juv. Black-crowned Night-Heron
3   Tri-colored heron
4   Black-bellied Whistling-duck
5   Great Egret
6   Snowy Egret
7   Common Moorhen, with babies
8   Woodstork
9   Summer Tanager (male & female)
10  Eastern Bluebird (male & female)
11  Painted Bunting (male & female)
12  Morning Dove
13  American Crow
14  Great Blue Heron
15  Barn Swallow
16  Red-bellied Woodpecker
17  Great Crested Flycatcher
18  White Ibis
19  Juv. White Ibis
20  Red-winged Black Bird (male & female)
21  Anhinga
22  Cormorant
23  Red-shouldered Hawk (heard)
24  Eastern Towhee
25  Brown Thrasher
26  Northern Cardinal (male & female)
27  Common Grackle
28  Browned-headed Cowbird
29  Eastern Kingbird
30  Purple Martins
31  Carolina Wren





Port Royal Cypress Swamp - 6/7/13

Group Leader:  Rich Matheny
Birds seen:
1.  Great Egret
2.  Snowy  Egret
3.  Little Blue Heron
4.  Black Crowned Night Heron
5.  Juvenal Black Crowned Heron
6.  Immature Little Blue Heron
7.  White Ibis
8.  Immature White Ibis
9.  Wood Stork
10. Immature Anhinga
11. Common Moorhen,Male & Female with 4 or 5 babies in tow and a Juvenal Moorhen as well.
12.Tri-coloed Herons
13. Immature Tri-colored Herons
14. Baby Snowy Egrets
15. Baby Great Egrets
16. Red-winged Black Birds (Male and Female)
17. American Crow

I think that was all we saw from the boardwalk that had feathers. We also saw some Gators, Yellow Bellied Sliders (turtles), a common Brown Water Snake, and several Swamp Bunnies.

Frank Balogh, John Cripps and I went down to the Sand Beach area and were able to call up a Clapper Rail. John and I were fortunate enough to see one of them but we heard several out in the marsh. Also saw Laughing Gulls, an Osprey and Mocking Bird

Port Royal Cypress Swamp Pictures by John Burrack




Fish Haul Creek 4/14/13

Group Leader - Rich Matheny

Birds seen:
1.  Bald Eagle
2.  Marbled Godwit
3.  Laughing Gull
4.  Willet
Painted Bunting
6.  Red-bellied Woodpecker
7.  Pileated Woodpecker
8.  Semipalmated Plover
11.  Doubled-crested Cormorant
12.  Great Egret
13.  American Crow
14.  Black Skimmer
15.  Tricolored Heron
16.  Boat-tailed Grackle
17.  Little Blue Heron
18.  Ruddy Turnstone
19.  Caspian Tern
20.  Brown Pelican
21.  Little Green Heron
22.  Blue Jay
23.  Yellow-rumped Warbler
24.  Cardinal
25.  Tufted Titmouse
26.  Mourning Dove
27.  Carolina Wren


Fish Haul Creek Pictures by Frank Balogh

Black Skimmers

Bald Eagles

Pinckney Island 3/22/13

Group Leader:  Rich Matheny

Birds Seen:
1. Red Bellied Woodpecker
2. Mourning Dove
3. Carolina Wren
4. Palm Warbler
5. Buffelhead
6. Willet
7. Dunlin
8. Northern Waterthrush
9. Double-crested Cormorant.
10.Red-winged Blackbird
11.Northern Cardinal
12.Cedar Waxwing
13.American Coot
14.Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
15.Pied-billed Grebe
16.Blue jay
17.Common Moorhen
19.Yellow-billed Sapsucker
20.Blue Bird
21.Northern Flicker
22.White Ibis
23.Little Blue Heron

24.Great Egret
25.Chipping Sparrow
26.Red-shouldered Hawk
27.American Crow
28.Fish Crow (heard)
29.Great Blue Heron


Pinckney Island Pictures by Frank Balogh 3/22/13


SNWR Outing 12/20/12

Group Leader:  Rich Matheny

Birds seen:

  1. American Robin
  2. Marsh Wren
  3. Carolina Wren
  4. Yellow -Rumped Warbler
  5. Northern Cardinal (male & female)
  6. Red-Winged Black Bird (male & female)
  7. Eastern Meadowlark
  8. Loggerhead Shrike
  9. Eastern Phoebe
  10. Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
  11. Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
  12. Morning Dove
  13. Red-Shouldered Hawk
  14. Red-Tailed Hawk
  15. Coopers Hawk
  16. Sharp-Shinned Hawk
  17. American Kestrel
  18. Northern Harrier (male & female)
  19. Ring-Billed Gull
  20. Great Blue Heron
  21. Little Blue Heron
  22. Immature Little Blue Heron
  23. Glossy Ibus
  24. White Ibus
  25. Black-Crowned Night-Heron
  26. Belted Kingfisher
  27. Black Vulture
  28. Turkey Vulture
  29. American Coot
  30. Common Moorhen
  31. Blue-Winged Teal
  32. Green-Winged Teal
  33. Ring-Necked Duck
  34. Lesser Scaup
  35. Northern Shouvler
  36. Hooded Merganser
  37. Ruddy Duck
  38. Downy Woodpecker
  39. Song Sparrow
  40. Svannah Sparrow
  41. Swamp Sparrow


Pictures from SNWR 12/20/12




Fish Haul Creek Outing 10/19/12

Group Leader:  Rich Matheny

Birds Seen:
1.     Snowy Egret
2.       Sanderling
3.       Black-bellied Plover
4.       Western Sandpipers
5.       Marbled Godwit
6.       Royal Terns
7.       Sandwich Tern
8.       Laughing Gull
9.       Red Knots
10.    Tri-colored Heron
11.    Willet
12.    Little Blue Heron
13.    Palm Warbler
14.    Northern Mockingbird
15.    Great Egret
16.    White Ibis
17.    Tree Swallow
18.    Juvenal Little Blue Heron
19.    Red-bellied Woodpecker
20.    Ring-billed Gull

Harbor Island Birding Trip 10/4/12

"Hi folks, what a great trip up to Harbor Island on Thursday. We had a great leader in Sidney Gauthreaux and I hope everyone took advantage of his knowledge. A great host as always with a nice reception in the parking lot before our outing. We saw a lot of very cooperative shore birds that made our identification much easier. I have included a list of the birds that we saw but if I missed any please let me know and I will add them to our list."  Rich Matheny

1__Brown Pelican
2__Black Skimmer
3__Royal Tern
4__Caspian Tern
5__Forster's Tern
6__Sandwich Tern
7__Laughing Gull
8__Ring-billed Gull
9__Herring Gull
10_Wilson's Plover
11_Black-bellied Plover
12_Semipalmated Plover
14_Ruddy Turnstone
15_Red Knot
17_Western Sandpiper
19_Short-billed Dowitcher
20_Belted Kingfisher
22_Mocking Bird----parking lot
23_Carolina Wren--parking lot

Port Royal Bird Outing 5/25/12

Well folks our trip turned out to be a good one. I will try and list the birds we saw and a few pictures of some of them.We had a strange red bird around that no one could ID and with good reason. I went back the next morning with my camera and got a shot of this guy. He turned out to be a Northern male Cardinal with some kind of medical problem. He did not have a feather on his head, red bird with black head. I am sending along a picture.I think someone else got a picture of it also.
List of birds sighted.
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Cattle Egret
Black Crowned Night Heron
Yellow Crowned Night Heron
Tricolored Heron
Little Blue Heron
Great Blue  Heron
Common Moorhen
American Coot
Female Wood Duck with 5 chicks
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Black Bird
Orchard Oriole
Carolina Wren
Common Grackle

Thanks to everyone.
Rich Matheny


Sick Northern Cardinal

Black Crowned Night Heron

Food, I Say, Food!                                                                                Wings Up!



Webb Wildlife Center, Garnett, SC, 5/15/12

Group Leader:  Rich Matheny

Birding list: 

1 Blue Bird
2 Great Crested Flycatcher
3 Wood Stork
4 Eastern Wood Pewee
5 Redheaded Woodpecker
6 Downey Woodpecker
7 American Crow
8 Morning Doves
9 Common Yellowthroat
10 Blue Grosbeak
11 Scarlet Tanager
12 Orchard Oriole
13 Baltimore Oriole
14 Tufted Titmouse
15 Chipping Sparrow
16 Turkey Vulture
17 Swallow-tailed Kite
18 Painted Bunting
19 White-breasted Nuthatch
20 Eastern Phoebe
21 Indigo Bunting
22 White-eyed Vireo
23 Yellow-breasted Chat
24 Bobwhite
25 Eastern Towhee


Group Leader:  John Burrack 

Birds seen:  31 species
Red-Headed Woodpecker
Painted Bunting
Red-Bellied Woodpecker
Pilieated Woodpecker
Brown Headed Nut-Hatch
House Finch
Mourning Doves
Great Blue Heron
White Ibis
Little Blue Heron (immature also)
Snowy Egret
American Oystercatcher
Semi Palmated Plover
Boat-Tail Grackle
Bluebird (Eastern)
Summer Tanager
Red-Winged Blackbird
Blue Jay
Laughing Gull
Wood Duck
Common Moorhen
Tri-colored Heron
Least Bittern
Great-crested Fly Catcher
Black-Crowned Night Heron
King Fisher


Group Leader:  Diane Rand

Birds seen:   34 species

Purple Gallinue
Least Bittern (heard)
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Marsh Wren
Tree Swallow
Black-necked Stilt
Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Orchard Oriole
Blue Grosbeak
Little Blue Heron
Cooper's Hawk
Least Tern
Gull-billed Tern
Wood Stork
Common Moorhen
American Coot
Glossy Ibis
White Ibis
Eastern Kingbird
Carolina Wren
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-winged Blackbird
Boat-tailed Grackle
Common Grackle
Double-crested Cormorant
Green Heron
Snowy Egret
Great Egret
Great Blue Heron
Northern Mockingbird


Common Yellowthroat, female

       American Redstart, female

Fish Haul Creek Outing 9/23/11

Group Leader:  Rich Matheny
Birds seen:
Marbled Godwit,Black-bellied Plover,Semipalmated Sandpiper,(Piping Plover,endangered),Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron,Snowy Egret,Ruddy Turnstone,Peregrine Falcon,Laughing Gull, Herring Gull,Great White Egret, Black Skimmer,Hawk (unidentified),Oyster Catcher,Sandwich Tern, Royal Tern,Caspian Tern,Sanderling,Purple Sandpiper,Spotted Sandpiper,Willet, Tricolored Heron,Cormarant,Blue-winged Teal,Black Vulture,Turkey Vulture,American Crow, Osprey,Brown Pelican and Whimbrel.  We also heard a Calpper Rail,Blue Jay,and Downy Woodpeck A good day on the beach. 33 birds seen or heard. We also had an American Alligator out on the salt water mud flat and that flock of Blue-winged Teal that are not very common this early in the year and they should be on fresh water ponds and not on the beach. Hope you can join us on the next trip  

Donnelly WMA 2/14/2011

From Frank Balogh:  "With members of the Birdclub, I spent a pleasant Monday morning at the Donnelly WMA.  Richard Matheny informed us that we saw 56 species
 of birds, including a Merlin, White Pelicans and Tundra Swans."  Here are Frank's great pictures:

Purple Finches 02/08/2011

From Frank Balogh:  "With the Birdclub we went to the Visitors Center of the SNWR.  We saw the attached male and female Purple Finches.  As you know,
they seldom show themselves in the Low country."

Nemours Wildlife Foundation Field trip 3/25/10

From Frank Balogh:  "We had a great day at Nemours Wildlife Foundation today.  I did not have my stand with me, so the attached pictures are not the best quality."
Black-necked Stilt:
Lesser Yellowlegs:
Part of the Group:

Bear Island Field Trip - 2/18/10

Group Leader:  Diane Rand 
Pictures from Tom Rea:  "
The first two photos were at the causeway at the entrance (Snowy Egrets and Ibis)
The following were photos taken at the Check Point (the Bald Eagle was taken at the end of our trip...what a nice finishing touch!)
                        Ibis and Glossy Ibis
Tri-Colored Heron


The following two photos are the Avocets

Below: Buffleheads

Below... An Island of Coots..very impressive

Below: White Pelicans in flight (They were some distance away, but this is the best I could get standing in a wagon)
Below: Immature Black Crowned Night Heron
Below are two photos of the Black Crowned Night Herons
Great Egret

Below: First Spring Ibis
Below: Northern Harrier


Below: Great White Egret at the Check Point
After the field trip was over Diane, Don, Rich, and I stopped near the observation point and observed these Tundra Swans.
Also I got a shot (poor photo) of a distant bird flying far overhead we believe is a Peregine
BadaBadaBada....that's all folks !!
Cheers,  Tom Rea

Honey Horn Outing 11/20/09

Group Leader:  Paul Padula

Birds seen:
Red Bellied Woodpecker
Yellow Rumped Warbler
Eastern Phoebe
Tufted Titmouse
Hooded Merganser
Belted Kingfisher
Tricolored Heron
Great Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron
Snowy Egret
Eurasian Collared Dove
Blue Jay (heard)
American Crow

Parris Island Outing, 3/19/09

Group Leader:  Martha Spencer

Birds seen:

Rock Dove                                         Cow Bird                                            Red Breasted Merganser                Brown Pelican
Mourning Dove                                  Bluebird                                              Black Bellied Plover                         Blufflehead Duck
Kingfisher                                           Great Blue Heron                              Red Winged Blackbird                      DblCrested Cormorant
Yellow Throated Warbler                  American Crow                                 European Starling                             Willet
Boat Tailed Grackle                          Fish Crow                                          Wilsons Snipe                                    Red Tailed Hawk
Cardinal                                             Chipping Sparrow                             Forsters Tern                                     Blue  Jay
Laughing Gull                                     Brown Thrasher                                 Great Egret                                        Brown Headed Nuthatch
Yellow Rumped Warbler                   Red Bellied Woodpecker                Greater Yellowlegs                            Pileated Woodpecker
Ruby Crowned Kinglet                      Downey Woodpecker                       Mockingbird                                       House Finch
Osprey (10)                                        Eagle (immature & mature) (20)     Blue Gray Gnatcatcher (30)             Cedar Waxwing (40)

Towhee                                              Wood Stork                                       Turkey Vulture (61)
Pine Warbler                                     House Sparrow
Northern Parula                                 Coopers Hawk
Tufted Titmouse                                Red Headed Woodpecker
Carolina Wren                                   Moorhen
Northern Flicker                                 Black Skimmers
Yellow Bellied Sapsucker                Dowitchers
Chickadee                                         Ring Billed Gull
Tricolored Heron                               Snowy Egret
Tree Swallow (50)                             Rudy Turnstone (60)


Prothonotary Warbler - picture from Helen Chatterton: