This is the second post, covering the second day, of my trip down to South Carolina two weeks ago. I am currently taking Ornithology (the study of birds) at Ohio University. This class is one of the required classes for my Wildlife and Conservation Biology major, and also one of my most-anticipated classes of my college career. We go on weekly field labs (You can read about each one at this link), but we also get to go on two big trips. One of these trips is to Lake Erie, which is coming up in November, while the other trip is coastal South Carolina. The point of this trip was to expose us to birds we would normally never see in Ohio.
Jim McCormac covered in his blog. As he points out, global warming, coupled with the fact we are seeing more and more individuals farther north, suggests that the Gulf Fritillary might possibly be a new Ohio resident in the future.
One of the main features in the freshwater marshes at Savannah NWR were dikes. Dikes are man-made levees that help control water levels and flow in marshes. Back in the 1700's, much of the land in the refuge was managed rice fields. These altered marshes remained and natural vegetation came back. Now there's a whole range of birds that make this refuge home at some point of the year. A few shorebirds were present when we went, including this Solitary Sandpiper pictured above.
truly tropical-looking rail can be found extensively throughout the tropics, but is restricted to the southern Atlantic and Gulf Coast here in the US. In fact, Savannah NWR is even approaching its northern limits. Another species of rail we observed here was the Sora. Sadly we only heard them instead of seeing them.
Other interesting birds we observed at Savannah NWR included Cattle Egrets, Northern Harrier, Great-Horned Owl, Peregrine Falcons, and various migrating warblers.
|Part of the class on the beach at Hunting Island. I am the one in the green hat and shirt looking through the spotting scope. Photo credit: Michelle Ward|
Here's my complete eBird lists for the two locations of the day for those interested:
1. Pinckney Island NWR
2. Savannah NWR
I have to admit I fell in love with the southern maritime forests and the salt marshes over the course of the trip. I am planning on going back to this region on a birding trip over Christmas Break, and if that happens then I'll have many more in depth posts on this amazing region. Thanks for reading!