Friday, January 28, 2022

Historic bits...

Our State was one of the original 13 colonies...

and it had some failures  trying to gain Independence from the British Empire, the Revolutionary War.  The history is lengthy today I want to share this little bit.  

Unfortunately the stately tree fell down about 10 yrs ago during a bad storm.....these plaques stand on this site and are written as if the Old Oak was a witness to the history that took place all around it, so have a quick read of these plaques...

Our town grew from a Catawba Tribe foot  path and was founded in 1733.  Joseph Kershaw a local merchant had a trade route from the nearby Wateree River,  to the ports in Charleston, named for King Charles II the path became  the Kings Road.  Now it's called US Highway 1. 

German national Baron Johann de Kalb had come to the colonies to spy for the French against the British and he returned to the colonies with the Marquis Lafayette help the Americans with their fight for freedom.  He was made a Major General in the Continental Army and  was unfortunately killed at the battle of Camden here in our town  after having success in Maryland and Delaware.

The Hero  Baron DeKalb was originally buried on this spot...when the Old Oak was 10 yrs old...after he was and most of the Patriots led by Horatio Gates were killed.   Gen Cornwallis,  whopped us good and then he moved on down to Charleston!    I found it interesting to learn the name of the White Stallion we always see George Washington riding, was named Prescott!  He came thru the town feeling obliged to do so due to the huge loss suffered by the Continental Army and he stopped here to pay tribute to the Baron de Kalb. His remains were later moved to the Presbyterian Church in town which was designed by the famous Robert Mills....who also designed the town's Court House and  the Washington Monument..

And if you look to the east of this spot and across the highway up on the hill is  a replica of the Joseph Kershaw - Cornwallis House which was built on the original foundation of the building. 
 British General Charles Cornwallis used this as his command center when he had siege of the town from 1780-81.  Cornwallis had the Baron brought to his surgery in this mansion that had belong to the merchant Joseph Kershaw...but he passed away. 

 Gen Cornwallis moved south about one year after he took control of the town with his roughly 4000 redcoats.....and left the town in shambles.
  all this history is just outside the gates of the Quaker Cemetery where I go birding sometimes, and its only yards away from this historic grounds.  

There is a new HQ building under way one day when it's all done I will go photograph it. 


The cemetery is full of old Live Oaks, and other nice trees..

the birds I found after  my little history tour....

White throated Sparrow

The rest are some yard birds from over the weekend...

Hermit Thrush

And the large Pileated Woodpecker, these birds are  crow sized and quite striking and have a  loud piercing call. 

The Northern Cardinal 

the  snow over the was pretty but it was COLD,.

And now it's gone, Im happy to report! 
BUT we may get more on the 28th which is Today!! So I hope to include more town history in some future posts and you can get a feel of how our town has kept some of the history alive. 


Every day is a new Adventure.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Winter visits us...

This  week started and will end with an ice storm it was nasty cold and took my electricity away for most of last Sunday...during that time I just sat by the fireplace feeding it the last of my chopped wood...

No fun what so ever...The days prior to that had been sunny but had an icy cold wind ...made the best of it, by getting outside...and finding a Savannah Sparrow at the McBee WMA. 

This little cloud obscured the sun for a few minutes.  Amazing how dark it got! 

Its hard enough trying to pick these Chipping Sparrows out the twigs without taking the light away too...LoL

I ran into some interesting birds in Quaker Cemetery, this young Yellow Bellied Sapsucker was busy drilling holes in this tree.

On the open grassy area is perfect the Killdeer they froze in place 

There was a keen eyed Cooper's Hawk near the exit, he spotted me....

My Peach Tree was in full flower...

But after the deep freezing it got I have little hope for it...

Tuesday was a nice day on this week so I hit some of my "patches" and I had a good day out...and these are some of the birds I found!  This guy was in a tree on a shortcut road I take to get from one area of Lake Wateree to the State Park. 

 I had to stop and snap a photo of this young Red Tailed Hawk, 

This Pied-Billed Grebe was diving but popping up pretty fast out of the cold water...

Meanwhile in the forest....
 birds were searching for goodies on the ground...they recently cut some trees and I think berries fell out of those trees and the birds were on the ground and having a lot of luck too. 

The Red Bellied Woodpecker found what looks like a Cedar Berry 

The Tufted Titmouse found a bigger berry..

The Pine Warbler looked for insects under the cones on the ground 

A Great Blue Heron hunkered down on the lakes edge...

The shadows grew long so I headed home...

This Loggerheaded Shrike, was the last bird of the day just a couple blocks from home..

 by the posting time of this blog,  we expect more ICE! BOOOooooo. 

This little video of the water is just 42 seconds of relaxation...enjoy!

Every day is a new Adventure.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Trash to treasure..

I did very little of anything the first week of the year, we had weather issues, a wind storm blew a tree on my fence I had to saw that off and have been burning it in the fireplace...there is still a lot of it on the other side of the fence to deal with....but after a week of reading about a Rare Sea Gull being at the Horry County Landfill   last Friday, I decided to go at the very last minute.
Stuffed some food in a bag and away we go....
I arrived at my location sort of late, since I really had not planned this trip I literally just said IM going and 10 minutes later I was behind the wheel.  2 hrs later I was in Conway. 

Passed this cool mural in their downtown historic district...snapped a photo when I had to do a U-turn'; Wilma sent me wrong!! 

This landfill is HUGE you could get lost in it....I went up to the little house at the entry and drove up and said, "Im here to see the bird."  The lady said "just drive straight up that road"...

                               There was just  a few MILLION gulls there...omg

I had hoped to drive up and see a line of birders with scopes set up and they would point me right to the bird....BUT that didn't happen right away. So I drove aimlessly around and found other birds.   Like the Lesser one area where there was some ponds...

There was Bald Eagles in various stage of maturity...

But mostly it was GULLS...

Ring Billed Gulls, Laughing Gulls, Herring Gulls, Lesser and Great Black Backed Gulls 

An immature or female Herring Gull

And an almost Breeding Male Herring Gull 

Mostly Laughing Gulls 

Mostly Ring-Billed Gulls

Great Black Black Gull 

Lesser Black Backed Gull 

AND the star of the SHOW the Slaty-Backed Gull...a mostly Asian Species which ranges from Japan to Coastal Russia, Alaska and sometimes North America!  Found by a birder named Chris Hill on New Years Day ...AND thanks to a tip from one of the Landfill employees he pointed me up the right hill where he had seen other birders looking all week...and then I did run into a birder from Atlanta, and he pointed out the gull...this is how co-operation works. 

Not as big as the Black Backed but very similar...with a crescent shaped white on the wing tips...this is a non breeding male, and once he is a breeding male his head neck and chest will be solid white.  He has bubble gum pink legs and an orange spot on the lower bill...much like a California Gull...with pink legs. 

Good to get something positive...
And it's a four hour drive round trip so it fell within my planned Twitching Zone!

Every day is a new Adventure.