Date: 1/10/19 4:53 pm From: Mac Williams (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...> Subject: Lee County (SC) airport birding & leucistic northern harrier
I have been actively trying to identify and submit new eBird hotspots in the less-birded counties of the Pee Dee (Chesterfield, Darlington, Lee, Marlboro, Florence, Dillon, Marion), so this morning I was out and about looking for a new spot near Bishopville.
Steve Patterson has shown me the great birds to be found at regional, county, and city airports, so I decided to go to the Lee County Airport (Butters Field) in Bishopville and see what their rules are for birding there.
I met the director, a Mr. George Roberts (803-229-2679), and he explained that anyone can bird as follows:
Good things to know: A. There is a restroom in the airport office. B. Mr. Roberts says that there are frequently wild turkeys at the airport, and that they need to check and shoo them away if a plane is going to land. C. Mr. Roberts served in the military, stationed on a tiny island near Attu, Alaska for over a year, and he enjoyed telling me about the birds he saw there. I believe that he would especially enjoy conversations with any birders who have been to the Aleutians or who have any interest in aviation. D. There are some artesian springs along the edge of the runway, so much of the ground is very soggy. I'd recommend wearing boots if it has rained recently.
The highlight was a mostly leucistic Northern Harrier patrolling the south end of the runway. It appeared to be buffy white everywhere except the tips of the wings--over and under--and for some bands on either side of the white spot on the tail. I don't normally bird with a camera because it's not a good camera and I'm not a good photographer, so I can't provide photos. But, if anyone decides to make a visit, you might get lucky and see it again.
I tried to embed html links in the email to avoid the Duke server's security thing for links. If I didn't do it right, I apologize for the long url repackaging.
While lengthy, I hope that this email is an appropriate use of this listserv.
-- Mac Williams, PhD Associate Professor of Spanish Coker College 300 E. College Ave Hartsville, SC 29550 843-383-8117 (office) 843-991-3879 (cell) <jwilliams...>