Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Birdathon Results!

I finally got my Birdathon blog ready! Jen's group the Bloggerhead Shrikes invited any who wanted to join in on a virtual Birdathon, so I took the count I had on June 5th, at the Santee National Wildlife Refuge, which is around Lake Marion in the low Piedmont part of SC.   Its about an hour and a half south of could take I-95 but I drove local roads.

It was boiling hot that day the hottest day so far this year, 96 degrees, but the lake is huge and there is always a stiff lake breeze blowing.  There is a state park by the same name where you can camp, take lake tours to see nesting ospreys and bald eagles, so its really a nice spot to enjoy nature...did I say its HUGE?  I mean its not Lake Michigan, but i ts pretty darn big!

I got photos of some of the birds I saw on that day...I picked up a Bird Check list in the Visitors Center had a nice chat with the staff who were very helpful on directing me to some good spots!  The Bluff
Unit had a mile nature trail with some boardwalks through a swamp, then it comes to a view of the lake, and a large open field area, then back through swamp!

A Northern Parula  found me in front of a tree near the parking area, it was not a good photo but enough so I could ID the bird...

Saw a coon making off with something dead he snatched it and ran for the bushes!

Two birds in this area allowed some good photos...the Summer Tanager

and a Yellow Crowned Night Heron!

Both were very curious as to what I was!  Also saw lots of these...

An outrageous green color!!  And Egrets, I saw Cattle, and Great egrets, I wanted to make this one a Great 
White Heron, the white form of the Great Blue...but I dunno

Then the hike loop in the Bluff Unit was over so I drove to the Cuddo Unit, its about 10 miles away...

notice the clear no cracks windshield!! $209.00  One of the first birds to jump out onto the road was the Wild Turkey..

Then a little farther down the drive was the Anhinga! I think he was trying to look like a stick!

And the Carolina Wren looked over his shoulder at me...

And at the spot where I stopped for a break..I found this!


And right away this guy came to check me out... the Green Heron!

Back on the scenic drive I found a nice spot to park in the shade, saw a Wood duck jump out of a box, but didn't get her photo....but I got these 2 lovebirds! The male n female Blue Grosbeak!

And the Blue Gray Gnat-catcher

 I saw the Little Blue Heron here a couple of bad photos of it...after lunch I drove to Santee State Park to find Ospreys and I did find some..

as well as Eastern Bluebirds and of course I cut her out of the photo...because I didn't see her in time..her head is just barely visible.

the Blue Jay stopped for a moment..

And an entire family of mallards

I had one super day, I racked up 60 species all together for the day counting all the birds I saw along the way too! Below is my checklist card for the day...

                                  a bobolink was just leaving the open field as I walked out got it via my bins for the ID but dratt...NO photo.
ooops put my check by Black crowned strike that...yellow



  1. Wow, 60 species - that's really good. And with some beautiful pictures too. I see you even spotted the rare alligator bird.

  2. Hey Barb...YES i was quite pleased with the bird turn out and the Gator was a bonus!! LoL it was a fun day no matter, now we're in that thunderstorm everyday pattern, its hard to get out without getting SBL--(struck by lightening)

  3. Sondra, that camera has turned out some awesome pictures. All the beautiful birds you found now that was some adventure. All those birds and a gator too!

    At least you had enough good weather to get lots of traveling done. We're still waiting for the monsoons but I think they will be coming soon.

    1. Thanks Jo, I am enjoying the has some drawbacks but so far I'm sold on it for my type photography its just right...I dropped it about 4 ft onto leafy ground the day I took these photos so it survived the drop test!

  4. Wow you had great counts and some amazing pictures.

    1. Thank you it was a really fun day!

  5. Oh man, I can't believe I missed this! I think you posted the day I left for Yellowstone. You did so great! 60 species is awesome. I am super jealous of most of the birds you saw- so many I've never seen myself. Plus a gator! Thanks so much for taking part in my Birdathon!!!


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