Date: 11/20/17 4:20 pm
From: Nate Dias (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Long-billed Curlews, White Pelicans, Whimbrel - Cape Romain NWR
Yesterday Roger Smith and I were privileged to bird around the middle
section of Cape Romain NWR by boat with Captain John Cox. Birding was
a bit slow compared to normal this time of year but it was still good
fun.

Highlights were two Long-billed Curlews in the traditional spot. A
few photos are on my Flickr page:
https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.flickr.com_photos_offshorebirder2_&d=DwIBaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=ymRCw6Q-sBitug_rdeO1Tokz-I_SX2LQN2_Ocvlal9U&m=jmLSPMSh7GYr5fImeL9daHY9zzbuEsUoPKEISruX6bc&s=8WDoCje3-46gXNamaQCX50VZsXiCCqOCvYFV6ez0SPU&e=

flickr.com/photos/offshorebirder2

There was also a Whimbrel in loose association with the Curlews and a
few dozen American Oystercatchers at a high tide roost. I hope the
Whimbrel sticks around for the CBC. Across the inlet was a small
group of American White Pelicans.

It was a windy day so we did not do well with rails or marsh sparrows.

On the way to Marsh Island (in the middle of Bulls Bay), we stopped at
a half-destroyed dock on the Intracoastal Waterway near Graham Creek.
There were several dozen Marbled Godwits and Short-billed Dowitchers
roosting on the dock, packed like sardines. No unusual Godwits we
could see though.

Marsh Island was tricky to access as always and a lot of spartina
marsh has emerged to the north/northwest. It was nice to see Marsh
Island weathered Hurricane Irma - sadly the same cannot be said of all
SC's seabird nesting islands. I have heard that Deveaux Bank is in
pitiful shape.

There were surprisingly few shorebirds roosting at high tide -
highlights were a Piping Plover, a few hundred mixed peeps (Western +
Least Sandpipers) and Dunlin, a handful of Sanderlings and lots of
Ruddy Turnstones. No early Short-eared Owls were roosting in the
grasses of Marsh Island. No Ipswich Sparrows yet either.

Back on the ICW we saw shorebirds roosting on several docks waiting
for the tide to drop. One dock had lots of peeps and Dunlin, another
had Semipalmated Sanpdipers and we missed getting down to Moore's
Landing in time to catch the big high tide godwit roost.

After checking things down south, we ran back up and across Muddy Bay
to seek the Curlews. There were not many Buffleheads, Mergansers,
Grebes, etc. - just a few Buffleheads, two Common Loons and zero
mergansers and grebes.

The most surprising thing about the day was the complete lack of
Peregrine Falcon sightings.


Nathan Dias - Charleston, SC
 
Join us on Facebook!