Date: 10/26/18 3:55 pm From: David McLean (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...> Subject: Purple Swamphen, Bulls Island, Cape Romain NWR
Fri 26 Oct 2018
Cynthia Worthington and I today found a Purple Swamphen (PUSW) on Bulls Island, Cape Romain NWR, Charleston County, SC. This individual had "electric" blue plumage on head and neck gradually changing to a darker blue plumage color on the body; it had a bright red to red-orange shield and big bill; and it was pumping its tail.
We saw the PUSW on Alligator Alley at Pool 2 looking into Jack's Creek. The bird was only 40 m to 50 m off of the dike in the green grasses on the right looking into Jack's and was near the grass edge along the open water of Jack's. It was in the immediate company of several Common Gallinules. We were able to get a few diagnostic digiscope photographs of the bird through the grasses but no really clear, unobstructed photos.
Beyond the Purple Swamphen the birding on Bulls today was pretty good. Ducks have begun returning to the island, shorebirds were in high numbers on both the North Beach and in the saltwater marsh oceanfront at Jack's Creek, and the woodland birds were fairly abundant.
FYI, Coastal Expeditions (CEX) operates the Bulls Island ferry on regular ferry service on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays with departures from Garris Landing at 9:00 AM and 12:30 PM. CEX will accept reservations for the ferry, maybe even prefer them; when you arrive at Garris, walk to the end of the dock to board the ferry and pay the ferryman on board. Tell them you're chasing the Purple Swamphen!