Date: 11/4/17 6:32 pm
From: Nate Dias (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Grasshopper Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrow, Sedge Wrens, King Rail, OC Warbler - Santee NWR Pine Island Unit
Two leaders and 15 participants enjoyed a nice bird walk today at the
Pine Island Unit of Santee National Wildlife Refuge (limited winter
access).

We were treated to long scope looks at a cooperative Grasshopper
Sparrow. It was an immature bird that looked orange-faced in the
morning light and made us think LeConte's until we got a better look
at it. Then it was kind enough to shimmy up a stalk of grass and sun
itself for a few minutes. Not far from there was another Grasshopper
Sparrow and not far from there a Loggerhead Shrike. Then not far from
there we had a backlit Lincoln's Sparrow sitting up in a dead Wax
Myrtle.

Not far from there, a King Rail flew from one side of the grassy dike
to the other. We later heard one vocalizing insistently from the same
area. And we had another Loggerhead Shrike as well.

A little while before all that, a male Northern Harrier swept by and
flushed some Wilson's Snipe.

Sedge Wrens were regular sights and sounds in the grassy fields and
marsh edges. We had incredible close looks at a few and probably saw
and heard 18 for the morning.

We saw and heard hundreds of Swamp Sparrows and about as many Song
Sparrows. Myrtle Warblers were abundant and almost a nuisance at
times. We had a couple of dozen Savannah Sparrows, slightly fewer
White-throated Sparrows, a Field Sparrow and some Chipping Sparrows to
make 8 Sparrow species.

Other highlights included a skulky Yellow-breasted Chat, a fairly
cooperative Orange-crowned Warbler, Brown-headed and White-breasted
Nuthatches, good looks at a Pilated Woodpecker flying across the large
field in front of us, and a large White-tailed Deer buck that skirted
us along the lake shore.

Nathan Dias - Charleston, SC
 
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