We arrived near sunset, ate in the city of Beaufort, and then headed toward the park in the dark. It had began to rain by the time we arrived, which added a whole new dimension of fun as we frantically tried setting up our tents before they got too wet inside. That rain turned into a storm with incredible lightning, Earth-shaking thunder, and torrential rain. It turns out that storm system also spawned an EF-2 tornado in Johns Island, which was only a mere 35 miles away from us. Thankfully we just received heavy downpours; a tornado might have put a slight damper on the trip, to say the least.
After a few hours, we moved to the Western side of the island. This side of the island has an extensive salt marsh. A salt marsh is essentially the area between open salt water and dry land. This area gets routinely flooded with salt water every day due to the tides, which in turn creates a soggy and salty salt marsh. I took this photo during low tide, and you can see how the salt water is restricted to a shallow river (named Johnson Creek). Once the high tide comes in, the water level will rise (in the case of the day this was taken, it rose 7 feet), and most of the Smooth Cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora, that you see will be nearly covered.
|Fiddler crabs, Uca sp.|
Since it would be too long to list out all the species here, you can see my bird checklists for the day at the following links:
1. Hunting Island SP Forest, Lagoon, and Beach
2. Hunting Island Salt Marsh
3. Paradise Pier (Hunting Island SP)