The ferry to Bulls Island leaves from Garris Landing, formerly known as Moores Landing. This landing is at the south end of Road 1170, which may be signed as Bulls Island Road, Garris Landing Road, or Moores Landing Road. Road 1170 starts at Road 584, See Wee Road and goes south for 1.7 miles to the landing.
To reach Road 1170 from Charleston go north on US 17 for about 17 miles. Here turn right (east) onto Road 584, See Wee Road, and continue for 2.5 miles.
To reach Road 1170 from Georgetown go south on US 17 for about 36 miles to south end of Road 432, Doar Road. (Doar Road is a loop road. You will reach the north end of Doar Road about 33 miles from Georgetown). Turn left (south) onto Doar Road and then, after 0.2 miles, turn right onto Road 584, See Wee Road. Follow See Wee Road for 3.9 miles to Road 1170.
Birds to look for
Snow Goose (w), Tundra Swan (w), Wood Duck, Gadwall (w), American Wigeon (w), American Black Duck (w), Mallard (w), Mottled Duck, Blue-winged Teal (w), Northern Shoveler (w), Northern Pintail (w), Green-winged Teal (w), Canvasback (w), Redhead (w), Ring-necked Duck (w), Greater Scaup (w), Lesser Scaup (w), Surf Scoter (w), White-winged Scoter (w), Black Scoter (w), Long-tailed Duck (w), Bufflehead (w), Common Goldeneye (w), Hooded Merganser (w), Red-breasted Merganser (w), Ruddy Duck (w), Wild Turkey, Red-throated Loon (w), Common Loon (w), Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe (w), Red-necked Grebe (w), Northern Gannet (w), American White Pelican (w), Brown Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Anhinga, American Bittern (w), Least Bittern (s), Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Reddish Egret, Cattle Egret (s), Green Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill (s), Wood Stork, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Merlin (w), Peregrine Falcon (w), Clapper Rail, King Rail, Virginia Rail (w), Sora (w), Common Moorhen, American Coot (w), Black-bellied Plover, Wilson's Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Black-necked Stilt (s), American Avocet (w), Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper (spring, fall), Willet, Spotted Sandpiper, Whimbrel (spring, fall), Marbled Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Dunlin, Stilt Sandpiper (spring, fall), Short-billed Dowitcher, Wilson's Snipe, Parasitic Jaeger, Laughing Gull, Bonaparte's Gull (w), Ring-billed Gull (w), Herring Gull (w), Lesser Black-backed Gull (w), Great Black-backed Gull (w), Gull-billed Tern (s), Caspian Tern, Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern (s), Common Tern (spring, fall), Forster's Tern, Least Tern (s), Black Tern (fall), Black Skimmer, Common Ground-Dove, Cave Swallow (fall), Sedge Wren (w), Marsh Wren, Clay-colored Sparrow (fall), Lark Sparrow (fall), Nelson's Sparrow (w), Saltmarsh Sparrow (w), Seaside Sparrow, Painted Bunting (s)
Bull Island or Bull's Island or Bulls Island (you will see all three spellings) is considered by some experts to be the best birding area in South Carolina. The main drawback to Bulls Island is access. You have to get there by boat, either by the passenger ferry or by a private boat. The best way to bird the island is on a field trip of the Cape Romain Bird Observatory.
If you use the ferry bring everything you might need for the day and be prepared for a long walk if you plan to visit the best birding areas at the north end of the island. Make sure you are back to the ferry landing on time or you might have to spend the night on the island.
There is no camping on Bulls Island. A nearby island (Capers Island) does allow camping.
The birding on Bulls Island is fantastic, especially during winter and during migrations. A very long list of rarities has been seen on the island, including several first South Carolina records. A few of the rarities are Masked Booby, Magnificent Frigatebird, Common Eider, Western Kingbird, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, and Snow Bunting. During migration or in early winter just about any species ever seen on the South Carolina coast is possible.
Long-billed Curlews regularly winter in another part of Cape Romain NWR. It might be possible to charter a boat to go see them. Cape Romain Bird Observatory usually has a field trip every winter to see the Long-billed Curlews at their only regular wintering spot in South Carolina.