Fall Meeting on the South Carolina Coast
September 30–October 1
Picturesque Beaufort, SC offers some of the best birding along the South Carolina coast. The 2011 Beaufort fall meeting tallied 203 species, which is a close second to the Outer Banks (204 species). Then, think of the field trips to Bear Island… Donnelley… Savannah NWR… Botany Bay WMA… These sites are hallowed ground to Lowcountry birders, and we will visit them all and more during the upcoming Carolina Bird Club 2016 Fall Meeting! Field trips will be offered on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1.
New field trip locations will include Caw Caw Interpretive Center with 6 miles of trails and 1,435 feet of elevated boardwalk within its 654 acres. At Caw Caw, enslaved Africans carved a series of rice fields out of the cypress swamps. A new trip to National Audubon's Francis Beidler Forest will also be offered. You will see 1,800 acres of old-growth swamp forest and walk the new 1.75-mile-long boardwalk, in Four Holes Swamp.
While on a field trip, one of your leaders might be Saturday night's speaker, Ted Floyd. Ted is the editor of “Birding” magazine, which is the flagship publication of American Birding Association. Ted is a frequent instructor at ABA's Institute for Field Ornithology and was the keynote speaker at ABA's 2015 Birding Rally in Spearfish, South Dakota. Ted has written more than 125 published articles on birds and ecological topics. In addition to speaking, Ted will assist with leading several field trips.
Our Friday night speaker will be Sharon Richardson, the new Executive Director for Audubon South Carolina. Last year, Sharon was hired to replace Norman Brunswig, upon his retirement after 41 years of service. Sharon will be speaking about the many things Audubon does in South Carolina, including managing the Francis Beidler Forest and Silver Bluff Sanctuary. Our headquarters for the meeting is the Quality Inn at Town Center, located at 2001 Boundary Street in downtown Beaufort.
The Quality Inn will host our registration, meetings and Saturday night buffet. The excellent CBC rates for rooms are $52.99 (double beds) for the nights of Sept. 30, Oct. 1 and Oct. 2. Due to the Marines adding a second graduating platoon on Thursday, Sept. 29, that night's rate will become $109, once the 40 room allotment is reached. All rooms and rates include a microwave, fridge, complimentary Wi-Fi connection and a free hot breakfast. The complimentary hot breakfast is open 6 am till 9 am., early enough for all field trip departure times. There is a 24-hour notice cancellation policy on individual reservations. Check-in time is 3pm and check-out time is 12 noon. Cut-off date for making reservations under the group block is September 8, 2016. Any reservations made after that date are subject to hotel availability and available rates. Contact the Quality Inn at 843-524-2144 to make your reservations. Be sure to mention the Carolina Bird Club in order to receive the group rates. The Quality Inn's sales manager is Allyson Dykeman.
A second option for lodging is one mile away from the Quality Inn at Town Center, which is the Hampton Inn, located at 2342 Boundary Street. The Carolina Bird Club rate for rooms is $102 nightly, Sept. 29 (Thursday) through the morning of Oct. 2 (Sunday). (All prices are before taxes.) This rate is good for rooms with 2 Queen beds or a King bed. Hampton Inn offers a complimentary hot breakfast, which opens at 6 am. The cancellation policy is 24- hour notice. Check-in time is 3pm and check-out time is 11 am. Cut-off date for making reservations under the group block is September 8, 2016. Any reservations made after that date are subject to hotel availability and available rates. Contact the Hampton Inn at 843-986-0600 and mention the Carolina Bird Club to get our special rates!
The Saturday night buffet will be prepared by Holmes Catering of St. Helena, SC. The buffet will include roast beef, baked chicken, vegetable lasagna, mashed potatoes, green beans, steamed veggies, tossed salad, rolls, and ice tea. Dessert will be cake and assorted cheesecake. The cost will be $31 per person.
Register for the buffet at the same time you register for the meeting. Online registration opens on Saturday, August 20 at 2pm. Online registration will close September 24 at 8 am. CBC refund cut-off date is Sept. 16.
In summary, I think you will find Beaufort to be a historic and beautiful area for the fall CBC meeting. You will meet interesting speakers from Audubon S.C. and American Birding Association. Lots of field trips are offered with many new additions. Finally, and best of all, you will bird a very birdy part of South Carolina!