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Shorebirds at Cape Romain NWR
- To: Carolinabirds <email@example.com>
- Subject: Shorebirds at Cape Romain NWR
- From: Chris Hill <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 17:36:57 -0400 (EDT)
- cc: Felicia Sanders <email@example.com>
- Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
1131 American Oystercatchers!
300+ Marbled Godwits!
Shorebirds by the barrel!
I was lucky enough to participate in a census of American Oystercatchers
at Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge (mid-coastal SC) last Thursday
with SC DNR biologists Mark Spinks and Felicia Sanders. As you may have
heard, various observers are concerned about declines in Am. Oystercatcher
numbers; hence the monitoring effort. Cape Romain in winter hosts the
largest concentration of oystercatchers on the Atlantic Coast of N.
America (and maybe the world? Nobody present knew the abundance of AMOYs
in S. America). During a boat trip of perhaps 5 miles along the
intracoastal waterway at extreme high tide, we counted oystercatchers
roosting on the shell rakes on either side of the waterway.
The first flock of American Oystercatchers alone probably tripled my
previous lifetime observations of oystercatchers - our total for the trip
was 1131. This number is probably correct within +/- 20 birds, and is
almost certainly within 75 birds of the true total. Other estimates
below, especially for dowitchers and godwits, are very rough (plus or
minus 10 to 50%) , and are for recreational use only. Unfortunately,
viewing conditions and my relatively poor shorebirding skills did not
allow me to distinguish between the several species of Calidris seen.
I've lumped them all as "peeps" below.
Thursday, 9/20/01, 9:30-12:30?
Cape Romain NWR; Intracoastal Waterway near Moore's Landing; from about
channel marker 89 (?) to channel marker 113
High (Spring) tide at about 11:00, height 6.8
Flat calm and partly cloudy/hazy. Warm
Mark Spinks, Felicia Sanders, Chris Hill
98 Brown Pelicans
40 Double-crested Cormorants
1 Night Heron or Am. Bittern
10 Tricolored Heron
1 Little Blue Heron
1 Green Heron
15 Snowy Egret
27 Great Egret
8 Great Blue Heron
8 Wood Stork
2 Glossy Ibis
8 Clapper Rail
145 Black-bellied Plover
5 Semipalmated Plover
1131 American Oystercatcher (incl. about 148 immatures)
8 Greater Yellowlegs
3 Spotted Sandpiper
307 Marbled Godwit
79 Ruddy Turnstone
31 peep, sp.
1006 Dowitcher, sp.
25 Laughing Gull
1 Herring Gull
9 Royal Tern
23 Forster's Tern
1 Least Tern
2 Belted Kingfisher
8 Barn Swallow
62 Red-winged Blackbird
7 Boat-tailed Grackle
3 sightings of Bottle-nosed Dolphins
3 gulf fritillaries
1 skipper, sp.
Christopher E. Hill
Department of Biology
Coastal Carolina University Ph: 843.349.2567
P.O. Box 261954 Fax:843.349.2201
Conway, SC 29528 E: email@example.com