From US 17 in Osborn (western Charleston County) turn south onto SC 174 and follow SC 174 south, into the town of Edisto Beach. Near the west end of the beach SC 174 turns back to the right (north). Here bear left onto Yacht Club Road. Follow Yacht Club Road for about 0.4 miles to a small parking area next to a public beach access boardwalk. This boardwalk leads to Edisto Inlet at the extreme northwestern end of Edisto Beach.
Birds to look for
Lesser Scaup (w), Bufflehead (w), Hooded Merganser (w), Red-breasted Merganser (w), Common Loon (w), Horned Grebe (w), Red-necked Grebe (w), Brown Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, White Ibis, Osprey, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, American Oystercatcher, Willet, Spotted Sandpiper, Whimbrel (spring, fall), Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper (spring, fall), Western Sandpiper, Dunlin, Short-billed Dowitcher, Laughing Gull, Bonaparte's Gull (w), Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull (w), Great Black-backed Gull (w), Gull-billed Tern (s), Caspian Tern, Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern (s), Forster's Tern, Least Tern (s), Black Tern (fall), Black Skimmer, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Savannah Sparrow (w), Painted Bunting (s)
Edisto Inlet is a great place to observe the evening fly-by of loons, gulls, terns, shorebirds, and sea ducks. There is usually more activity at the inlet than along the front beach at Edisto Beach State Park. It is easier to find unusual shorebirds. gulls and terns at the inlet than at the state park. Good birds are often found by walking through the neighborhoods near the inlet. South Carolina's first record of Varied Thrush is from this neighborhood. If you can find an active feeder you might find a wintering Painted Bunting, along with the usual House Finches and House Sparrows. Across the inlet is Otter Island, part of Saint Helena Sound Heritage Preserve. You might be able to find an outfitter who will ferry you across the inlet to the pristine beaches and sand bars of the Heritage Preserve. Otherwise you will have to look across the inlet with a good telescope. You will be able to make out Brown Pelicans and perhaps a few other large birds.
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