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3 sparrows and a parakeet.

    At Bennett's Point in Colleton Co. on Tuesday, 12/21, I saw a Green
Parakeet.  The parakeet was perched at the top of a pecan tree and was
hanging out with a few Boat-tailed Grackles.  Actually, I can't be 100% sure
it was a Green Parakeet, but the photo in the National Geographic "Field
Guide To The Birds Of North America" very closely resembled the parakeet in
question.  Good bird, too bad it isn't "countable".  Having never birded
farther south than Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, I'm not too familiar
with the Psittacids, to say the least.
    The sparrows mentioned in the header to this posting are 5-6 Henslow's
Sparrows, 1Le Conte's Sparrow and a lone Grasshopper Sparrow seen today,
Wednesday, 12/22, approximately 6 miles north of Walterboro, SC.  To get to
this spot take exit 62 from I-95 and head north on county road 34/McLeod Rd.
About 1.4 miles from I-95, take a right on county road 24/Mt. Carmel Rd.  At
about the 5.1 mile mark  on cr24/Mt. Carmel Rd., take a left on a dirt road,
this is Keever Rd.  Immediately to your right after turning on Keever Rd.
there is a large area that has been clear-cut by loggers but has been left
alone long enough to allow a considerable amount of sedges/grasses to grow
up.  50 meters or so down Keever Rd. there is a gate that blocks entry to a
logging road.  Park your vehicle there and walk back towards Mt. Carmel Rd.,
the paved road you just turned off of.  The Le Conte's and the Grasshopper
Sparrow were seen along the edge of the field, right next to the road.  As
is to be expected these two skulkers aren't easy to spot.  They allowed
close-up, leisurely views, but never left the ground.  They were foraging
with a dozen or so Savannah Sparrows.  2-3 of the Henslow's Sparrows could
be heard out in the field.  No, I am not a master with bird vocalizations,
especially strays like Henslow's Sparrows, but I heard and saw 3 other
Henslow's Sparrows a mile or so down the road.  To get to this spot go back
to Mt. Carmel Rd. from Keever and take a left.  A mile or so from Keever
there is another gated logging road on the right.  Park at the gate, get out
of your car, and pish!  The 3 Henslow's were in the grassy area within 50
feet of the logging road you just parked.  The Henslow's in this area should
be relatively easy to relocate.  They too never left the ground, but allowed
close-up, leisurely looks as the vegetation here is neither too thick nor
too high to cause problems.  The 2-3 other Henslow's and the Le Conte's and
Grasshopper Sparrow off Keever Rd. may prove problematic if they are not
still next to the road like they were today.  This area is hooge!  So good
luck if you try to go see these beautiful birds.
    At Bear Island WMA there were 37 Tundra Swans and 16 American Avocets on
12/18, and 52 Tundra Swans, but no Avocets, on 12/21.  Happy Holidays!

Mike Turner
Columbia, S.C.