February 19, 2019
2018-2019 Sea Islands Christmas Bird Count Summary
The 8th annual Sea Islands Christmas Bird Count occurred on January 4, 2019. Compared to last year’s count which was snowy and icy, this year was mild with temperatures in the mid-’60s. A constant threat of rain nearly all day kept the skies overcast and a dense layer of fog covered much of the count circle, especially in the coastal areas. Rain started around 1:30 pm and continued for the remainder of the day forcing many participants to stop birding earlier than planned.
This year we had 15 participants in 5 parties on Kiawah Island, 19 participants in 7 parties on Seabrook Island, 12 participants in 4 parties on John’s Island, 9 participants in 3 parties on Wadmalaw Island, and 2 participants in 1 party on Deveaux Bank. In addition to field parties, we had good participation with feeder watchers too. There were 3 feeder watchers on Kiawah, 10 on Seabrook, 1 on John’s Island, and 1 on Wadmalaw.
Despite the fog and rainy afternoon, we did pretty well, recording 16,570 individual birds and 155 different species. Kiawah Island recorded 7,324 individuals of the 127 species. Seabrook Island (including the Freshfields territory) reported 2,988 individuals of 116 species. John’s Island documented 3,482 individuals of 100 species, Wadmalaw Island had 2,259 individuals of 80 species, and Deveaux Bank noted 517 individuals of 31 species.
Each island reported unique species for this year’s count. Kiawah was the only island that had Redhead, Surf Scoter, Black Scoter, Sora, American Coot, Parasitic Jaeger, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Red-throated Loon, Northern Gannet, American Bittern, Reddish Egret, Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Prairie Warbler, Field Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco. Seabrook Island recorded Ruddy Duck, Eurasian Collard-Dove, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, American White Pelican, Green Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Yellow-throated Warbler, and Baltimore Oriole. John’s Island had Canada Goose, Blue-winged Teal, and House Sparrow. Wadmalaw Island got Gadwall, Rock Pigeon, Hairy Woodpecker, and Tree Swallow. Deveaux Bank recorded the only Wilson’s Plovers.
New species for the count: Reddish Egret
Species Highlights: Hairy Woodpecker, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Peregrine Falcon, Parasitic Jaeger, Dark-eyed Junco, American Woodcock, Prairie Warbler
Notable misses: most dabbling ducks, Common Ground Dove, Wilson’s Snipe, American Pipit
The Town would like to thank all the participants and volunteers for continuing to make this event a success.