CBC Winter Seasonal Meeting—Litchfield Beach SC
Hunting-some-peeps State Park
Jan 17–19, 2020
Meeting Planners: Mac Williams
By Mac Williams
The Winter Seasonal Meeting will be held January 17–19, 2020 in the small coastal town of Litchfield Beach, SC, nicknamed “America's First Beach Resort.”
Dr. Chris Hill, the Spivey Palmetto Associate Professor of Biology at Coastal Carolina University, is our speaker. Dr. Hill specializes in ornithology. His research interests include bird mating systems and ecology, along with water-bird biology. At various times in his career, he has used tools ranging from binoculars and field notebooks to an automated DNA se-quencer to answer various questions in avian biology. He has published more than 15 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals and he also regularly publishes notes in other outlets ranging from newsletters of scientific societies to popular magazines. CBC members might remember him from birding trips or for his famous “Gull Talk.” The CBC is delighted that Dr. Hill will again give his entertaining and informative “Gull Talk” at our Saturday evening banquet in Litchfield Beach.
The Grand Strand boasts several excellent spots for birding; Huntington Beach State Park (HBSP) is its crown jewel, with 331 different species reported in eBird--the top spot in all of South Carolina. The geography of the area, and the wide variety of habitats found on its beaches, inlets, tidal creeks, forests, piers, and jetties allow even brand-new birders the opportunity to see a wide variety of species in large numbers. Your species count for an all-day excursion could easily sur-pass 50, with 60 or more not out of reach if you're willing to make the walk to the HBSP Jetty!
174 different species were recorded at the last Litchfield Winter Meeting in 2016. That time of year, it's not uncommon to spot alcids close to shore at the pier in Myrtle Beach State Park (MBSP). We will have multiple half-day and all-day trips to HBSP both days, as well as one on Sunday morning. We won't stay just in Georgetown County; there are trips planned to Waites Island, Cherry Grove Pier, MBSP, and Francis Marion National Forest (home of many, many Red -cockaded Woodpeckers). Additionally, a variety of field trips will be offered to non-coastal habitats like Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, Francis Marion National Forest, and the Hemingway Sewage Treatment Ponds. Finally, we'll have educational trips for young birders, new birders, and even old grouses to HBSP and to the Center for Birds of Prey in Awendaw, SC.
In recent winters, eBird participants have posted observations of Razorbills; Henslow's Sparrows; Black-headed, Iceland, and Glaucous Gulls; a Red Phalarope; a Harlequin Duck; a Black Guillemot; a Black-legged Kittiwake; and, of course, there was the excitement in 2019 of the two Snow Buntings that hung out for a long spell near the jetty in HBSP. We will search for Ross's Geese, Snow Geese, Tundra Swans, Long-tailed Ducks, Eurasian Wigeons, Red-necked and Horned Grebes, and maybe the Lark Sparrow will return to MBPS this winter (or maybe the Vermilion Flycatcher will visit Georgetown again!).
Our host hotel and meeting headquarters is the Litchfield Beach Resort, located at 14276 Ocean Hwy, Pawleys Island, SC 29585. This hotel offers one-bedroom, one-bath suites with pool or lake views.
Each suite will include 2 queen beds, a sofa bed, a full kitchen, a dining area, a living room, tile walk-in shower, and a balcony. Suites are located just under 1/2 mile from the beach and are next to the main resort complex.
The room rate is an affordable $94.35 per unit per night and is inclusive of state and local taxes, however, each room has a three-night minimum (1-16-20 through 1-19-20), so if you choose to stay at the host hotel, you'll have to book for three nights.
The CBC's group rate is effective until 12/16/19.
In order to get the group rate, call 1-888-734-8228, and when they ask for the Group ID, it's BIRDCLUB20. Please note that they will charge one night's rate as a deposit. If you cancel your reservation inside of 14 days before arrival, you'll lose your deposit.
Check in time is 4:00 PM EST and check out time is 11:00 AM EST. All guests must be 21 years of age or older to check-in. Pets are NOT allowed at the resort. It is a NON-SMOKING facility in its entirety.
Your room rate does NOT include breakfast. Both Friday evening's Q&A Session with Aaron Given & Keith McCullough as well as Saturday's banquet and “Gull Talk” with Dr. Hill will have cash bars: Friday at 6:30pm, with programs beginning at 7:15pm and Saturday at 5:30pm with the buffet dinner starting at 6:30pm and our program following at 7:15pm.
Complete Seasonal Meeting details, registration information, and trip descriptions will be in the December 2019 issue of the CBC Newsletter and on our website: www.carolinabirdclub.org.
As there are untold numbers of Fish Crows along the Grand Strand, if you want to investigate a murder, you're going to need probable caws.