Sunday, October 20, 2019

3rd day is a charm...

I know you're wondering what the heck Im talking about it was Friday morning I got up and that was the 3rd day of a rare bird being reported in the exact same spot...I had slept in and having coffee when I read it on the ebird rare sightings for SC.  Only 2hrs and 15 mins drive..hmmmm by the time I arrived it was 1 PM! BUT sunny breezy the prefect day to go on a Twitch.  

In the Eastern corner of Charleston County is where the Santee River empties into the Atlantic Ocean...there's several places here I've been hoping to go check out but just never have gotten around to doing so this summer was SO HOT.  As  you can see it is chock full of mature old growth trees, since it was once part of 2 plantations! Eldorado, and Ormond Hall.  The Nature Conservancy acquired the land in 1974, its 24,000 acres of Coastal plain, flood plain, and contains Carolina Bays, odd small depressions filled with water!

I arrived so late in the day I only explored one area and not very thoroughly either! There's a boardwalk I really wanted to explore, but I was dead tired when I finished walking around about 5 pm sat down to eat my sandwich and began my drive home...if the weather was not going to turn sour I would have stayed over they have a Fabulous campground FREE!

each site is huge and nestled under the moss covered live oaks! All primitive so you're on your own if you stay here..beware of generators in hot weather.  MY Interest was in the 3 large impounds East of the visitors center and museum.  

Right away there was heron to greet me Little, Tri Color,  and Great Blue...all busy hunting for a meal some having success.  

And there's reptiles...
check out those golden eyes...

The Golden Rod and other plants still in full bloom was a treat 

Monarch butterfly

Double Crested Coromorant

Pied Billed Grebe 

The Big Well Trail was where the rare bird had been showing up so I took the trail.  It circles around the 3 impoundments.  

Parking is close to the trail so I drove over and parked by the boat launch area..right away small birds were darting in and out of the sedge and rushes.

If you're familiar with the Sharp Tailed Sparrow "Nelson's" you will recognize this guy...he didn't come out fully in the open I got 3 shots and each one filled in a piece of the puzzle.  It's been so long since I am seeing sparrows that it's like starting over!  We also had the Swamp, and Field come out for photo opts.

One of my fellow birders felt this could be a clay colored sparrow but no black outlines of the check patch so I called it Field Sparrow but then ebird reviewer saw it and said it's an Immature White Crowned...a state bird for me so yeah! 

                                                                     Gr Yellow Legs

We had Gr and Lesser Yellow Legs, Dunlins, Stilt Sandpiper, Least and Western Sandpiper, Short Billed Dowitchers,

Maybe some long thrown in too...couldn't tell you the difference!

Egrets, Night Herons, Semi-P Plovers,

Black Bellied Plovers,

Had Prairie and Palm Warblers peeking in and out of the tall flora along the trail edges...

Prairie Warbler 

Palm Warbler 

Wilson's Snipe

Fly Over Wood Storks 

I hoped for a Sedge Wren...couldn't nail one down but found my favorite the Marsh Wren 

And although we found our target right away I saved it for last wish my photos could have been better but he stayed just out of good range,

Hudsonian Godwit!  
That link takes you to the range map so you can see how far out of his normal range he was!

I had the place to my self for a while but then these other nice people joined in the search, everyone went home happy! 

The 2 people with their back to us in this photo run an Adventure Guide Service.  They will soon be taking a group to Costa Rica.  That's Paul on the left and his lovely wife Amanda on the right.  We spent a couple hours birding together and what a pleasant meeting it was.  If you want to check them out look for them here..

Epic Nature Tours 

... these young people give me HOPE.


Every day is a new Adventure.


  1. A good day out and I bet you're pleased you went. Its interesting to see that there have been some sightings not far from here. I use the Cornell Lab app on my phone. its good.

    1. Hi Dave, yes I get rare bird alerts on my email for South Carolina, and the USA as a whole just to see whats out there...I feel I need to take a chance and try for these rare birds it may be my only opt to see them, since normally they are far out of their normal range. Hope you have a great week!

  2. It's great to have a successful twitch :) and even better when you get to see so much else too!

    1. HI Pam, that is so true although I was fairly confident same spot for 3 days running, that I would find the bird and it was so refreshing to not be birding in trees! home it's all about the woodland and forest birds with the exceptions of what I find at the lake my one 5 mile rad nice to see birds just all over the place in the mud, open water, and in the air.

  3. Hello, congrats on your Hudsonian Godwit sighting. It feels good to see your bird after traveling a distance. All the bird sightings are great to me, I would love seeing all of them. This reserve sounds like a great place. Great post and photos. Enjoy your day, have a great new week!

    1. Thanks Eileen...I was thrilled to go there and walk in the steps of the ones who discovered the bird 3 days before...and enjoy the same thrill they must have had! And to see the wonderful people who also came on their own journey to enjoy this, maybe once in a life time moment, was epic also...I have made one discovery the true to heart birder does not walk out of an LL Bean catalog! :o) I fit right in with my cut off pants and my Star Wars tee shirt... even the 2 lovely guides were dressed in their fav everyday attire.

  4. Wow, congrats on the lifer /rare bird and what a nice one it was. I would be thrilled with all those birds, what a fabulous day and could qualify as a birding guide, in my opinion! wish I could have been there!

    1. Well thank you Sallie! I really enjoyed my day and hope for more days like this one to keep myself grounded in what gives me happiness...getting out there and trying and doing.

  5. I bet that made you happy! So glad you made it out there to find the little guy. Well looks like a nice camping spot for you. Hope you can get back out there for a few days. I was going to head out in the morning I'm already to go but I need to put my trash out for tue. I'm going to see if I can get someone to bring the can back up if not I'll just put out the bags Tue. morning an drive straight out.

    1. Awesome Jo, I hope all goes according to your plan and you have a wonderful time!

  6. Great new place you discovered. That looks like a Field Sparrow to me.

    1. And thats what I thought I just edited this post because I got an email from a reviewer who said at first he agreed but then he said the incomplete eye ring, the rufous on the back and the grey of the chest drew him to an Immature White Im going with that, new state bird for me...I've only seen them out west!

  7. Wow! Congratulations :)

    This looks a great place. What a fabulous post and lovely selection of photographs.

    All the best Jan

    1. Thanks Jan, I really want to get back there soon!


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