Beaufort Field Trip Descriptions
Click ==> Map of meeting and field trip locations
|Friday, Sep 30||Saturday, Oct 1|
|Half-day Morning||Half-day Morning|
|Half-day Afternoon||Half-day Afternoon|
Important notes for your trip
Field Trip Descriptions
- Trips 1, 7, 18 & 24 - Hunting Island State Park: CBC wiki, JM, RC (restroom available) Trips 1, 7, and 18 are full
- This island is over four miles of beach, thousands of acres of marsh, tidal creeks and maritime forest, a saltwater lagoon and ocean inlet. There is a long fishing pier on the south end of the island. The Hunting Island Lighthouse stands 132.5 feet tall, giving breathtaking views of the Lowcountry marshland, the slash pine/cabbage palmetto/live oak forest, and the Atlantic Ocean. Admission to the park is $5/adult, $3.25 for SC seniors, so bring your state park pass if you have one. Some of the target birds are Painted Buntings, Piping Plovers, rails, tanagers, orioles, pelicans, oystercatchers, skimmers, terns, herons, and egrets.
- Trips 2, 8, 19, & 25 - Harbor Island: (NO restroom available) Trip 2 is cancelled
- Nestled between St. Helena and Hunting Islands in Beaufort County, Harbor Island is a 1,400-acre private community on the Harbor River & Johnson Creek. Three small ponds on the island provide a roost for egrets and herons and there is a rather large rookery in the spring. The south side of the island is good for shore birds. Some of the target birds are plovers, oystercatchers, skimmers, wading birds, and terns.
- Trips 3, 9, 20, & 26 - Pleasant Point Plantation: (NO restroom available) Trips 3, 20 & 26 full
- Up until a few years ago, this was an active golf course. Since closing, the vegetation has grown up some and along with the ponds and lakes offer habitats for a number of bird species. Most of the walking will be along cart paths or on the golf course, which is "roughly" maintained. There are some large alligators in some of the ponds. Last year Roseate Spoonbills were present at the end of September. Some of the other target birds are Clapper Rail, Barred Owl, herons, egrets, shorebirds and migrants.
- Trips 4, 10, 21, & 27 - Savannah NWR: CBC wiki, JM, RC (restroom available at the main parking) Trips 4, 10, 21, and and 27 are full
- Half Day Trips—Savannah NWR consists of over 29,000 acres of freshwater marshes, tidal rivers and creeks and bottomland hardwoods. The refuge provides nesting areas for wood ducks, great horned owls, bald eagles, osprey and swallow-tailed kites among others. The kites and storks will probably be gone by the end of September. As many as 13 species of duck either live in or migrate through this refuge. Other bird types found here include coots, moorhens, Purple Gallinules, Soras, egrets, herons, and shorebirds along with other migrating bird species. This trip basically covers the 5 mile driving tour with multiple stops.
- Trips 17 & 33 - Savannah NWR: CBC wiki, JM, RC (restroom available at the main parking)
- Full Day Trips—This is the same trip as the above half-day trips except you will have time to take in some of the walking trails. This will allow a chance to get more of those migrants passing through.
- Trips 23 & 29 - Great Swamp Sanctuary: (NO restroom available) Trips 23 and 29 full
- Located within the ACE Basin, the East Coast's largest estuarine preserve, the 842-acre Sanctuary features what may be the only "braided creek" swamp accessible to the public. Wild Turkeys, Wood Ducks, warblers, Pileated Woodpeckers, Bald Eagles, accipiters, buteos, falcons, owls, wading birds, kinglets, and a wide variety of other birds have been seen at South Carolina's latest sanctuary. This project has just been completed and appears to have a lot of promise.
- Trips 5, 11, 22, & 28 - Beaufort & Vicinity: (NO restroom available) Trip 28 full
- Port Royal Boardwalk Park (CBC wiki, JM), Broad River (JM), Chechessee River Estuaries (RC). Port Royal Boardwalk is 0.2 miles long. It runs through salt-marsh and mud flats and has a tall observation platform. West of Beaufort there is a series of broad tidal estuaries interspersed with salt marshes. Two of these, the Broad and Chechessee Rivers are easily birded from dry land. Some of the target birds are ducks, rails, ibis, gulls, terns, shore birds, herons, egrets, and migrants.
- Trips 6 & 12 - Donnelley WMA: CBC wiki, JM (restroom available at check station) Trips 6 and 12 are full
- Donnelley WMA is 8,000 acres of unique property which is a cross section of the Lowcountry and encompasses a diversity of wetland and upland habitats including: managed rice fields, forested wetland, tidal marsh, agricultural lands and a variety of upland types, including a natural stand of longleaf pine. Some of the target birds here are Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Anhinga, coot, Purple Gallinule, Sora, herons & egrets. Insect repellent is advisable.
- Trips 14 & 31 - Pinckney Island NWR & Hilton Head: CBC wiki, JM, RC (NO restroom available)
- Pinckney Island NWR is a 4,000 acre refuge that was once an early 19th century plantation. The island consists of salt marsh, forestland, brushland, fallow field and freshwater ponds. The great diversity of habitat makes for some great birding. Some of the target birds are waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, raptors, migrants and large concentrations of white ibis, herons, and egrets. Fish Haul Creek Park is a good place to find shorebirds and terns. The target birds for the 0.3 mile boardwalk are Clapper Rail and Seaside Sparrow.
- Trips 15 & 32 - Bear Island & road to Bennett's Point: CBC wiki, JM, RC (NO restroom available)
- Bear Island is a combination of old rice fields and marsh and provides some of the best birding in South Carolina. Some of the target birds are Bald Eagle, Mottled Duck, King Rail, herons, egrets, and shorebirds. If the water levels are low the shorebirds can be in large numbers. On the drive to Bennett's Point, look for Clapper Rails, Gull-billed, Least and Royal Terns plus Black Skimmers.
- Trip 16 - Bear Island & Donnelley WMA Trip 16 full
- The information for these two sites has been noted above. This is an opportunity to see two great birding locations in one day. This is the only day during this meeting that Donnelley is open to birding.
- Trips 13 & 30 - Savannah River Spoils Site: (NO restroom available) Trips 13 & 30 are full
- This superb birding area is not usually open for visitors. However, the US Army Corps of Engineers has graciously agreed to open the area specifically for the CBC Fall Meeting, allowing access for a maximum of 20 people, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on each of the two days. They will also provide experienced guides. The visit must be made using no more than 5 high ground clearance vehicles. Priority for sign-up for either of these two trips will be given to birders with such vehicles. Entry is not allowed in non-high clearance vehicles. The area has produced many rarities and we can expect an interesting mix of birds. Even a "slow day" can be exciting.