Donnelley Wildlife Management Area
The main entrance to Donnelley Wildlife Management Area is along US 17 near Green Pond. Turn south from US 17 about 100 yards northeast of the junction of US 17 and SC 303. If you are coming from Bear Island Wildlife Management Area, go north on Road 26, Bennetts Point Road. Look for Blocker Run Road, the eastern entrance road for Donnelley, about 6 miles north of the bridge over the Ashepoo River on the north side of Bear Island. Donnelley is closed on Sundays and during special hunts.
Birds to look for
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (s), Wood Duck, Mottled Duck, Wild Turkey, Northern Bobwhite, Pied-billed Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Anhinga, Least Bittern (s), Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Cattle Egret (s), Black-crowned Night-Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (s), Osprey, Mississippi Kite (s), Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, American Kestrel (w), King Rail, Virginia Rail (w), Sora (w), Purple Gallinule (s), Common Moorhen, American Coot (w), Greater Yellowlegs (m, w), Lesser Yellowlegs (m, w), Short-billed Dowitcher (m, w), Long-billed Dowitcher (m, w), Forster's Tern, Black Tern (m), Red-headed Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Acadian Flycatcher (s), Loggerhead Shrike, Yellow-throated Vireo (s), Blue-headed Vireo (w), Orange-crowned Warbler (w), Northern Parula (s), Yellow-rumped Warbler (w), Yellow-throated Warbler, Pine Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler (w), Prothonotary Warbler (s), Kentucky Warbler (s), Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler (s), Summer Tanager (s), Bachman's Sparrow (s), Painted Bunting (s), Rusty Blackbird (w)
Donnelley Wildlife Management Area is a good companion to nearby Bear Island Wildlife Management Area. Donnelley has more woods—upland hardwood forests, pine forests, and hardwood swamp forests, and it also has some good freshwater marshes and swamps. Some species, such as woodpeckers, warblers, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, and Purple Gallinule, are much more likely at Donnelley than at Bear Island.
There are three principal roads at Donnelley—Main Road, which starts at US 17 and runs mostly south to a T-junction with Blocker Run Road, Blocker Run Road, which runs west from Bennetts Point Road all the way through to the western edge of the area at Stocks Creek Road, and the road to the lodge, which starts at Main Road and goes generally southwest until it joins Blocker Run Road. Each of these roads passes a variety of marshes and impoundments that may have good birds. In addition there are a number of other roads criss-crossing the area, some of which are open to vehicles, others of which may be walked. Some of these side roads, such as Ball Bank Road, which goes west from Main Road in the central part of the area, lead to interesting marshes. There is also a 3-mile loop nature trail (Boynton Nature Trail).
By visiting both Donnelley Wildlife Management Area and Bear Island Wildlife Management Area is easy to run up a big list of birds at any time of year.
Rarities seen at Donnelley include Sandhill Crane.