The wintering Long-billed Curlews have started returning to their traditional
spot in Cape Romain NWR in mid-coastal South Carolina. The Curlews were first
spotted on July 21 by John Cottingham. Other recent arrivals to the refuge
include Marbled Godwit, Whimbrel, Short-billed Dowitcher, Dunlin, Semipalmated
Plover and Western Sandpipers. A few of the following (nonbreeding) birds
have been present all spring/summer, but their numbers are starting to swell:
Black-bellied Plover and Ruddy Turnstone. Remaining breeding birds include
American Oystercatcher, Black-necked Stilt, Willet and Wilson's Plover.
Other interesting shorebirds found recently by CRBO observers include Burton
Moore's banded Piping Plover and Marbled Godwits at Murrell's Inlet SC (Garden
City side). The PIPL had left leg - yellow above aluminum bands (no bands on
right leg). Details have been forwarded to the relevant authorities.
Piping Plovers have also been observed recently in SC at North Island (the end
up by Debidue), Sandy Point at Kiawah Island and Skimmer Flats behind Bird Key
Stono. PIPL are almost certainly at Deveaux Bank and Bird Key Stono, but
these areas are currently closed to protect the seabird colonies there.
Many of the aforementioned shorebirds are also arriving around Charleston Harbor.
A brief note on banded Piping Plovers:
As fall migration (followed by winter) is coming up, I would like to ask all
SC, GA and FL birders to please inspect any Piping Plovers they see carefully.
Be sure to note the presence, color and placement of any bands or flags (look
like colored tape).
Please report sightings of banded birds with details to this email address:
[log in to unmask]
Sidney Maddock told me the other day that many flags have been applied to
birds in the (endangered) Great Lakes PIPL population, so the next couple of
years will be prime time for getting data on this population's favored
migration and wintering areas.
We birders can make real contributions to PIPL conservation efforts by
spending some time and effort looking for bands on Piping Plovers we run
across in the field. However, please take care not to disturb or flush the birds!
See this excellent web page for tips on band identification skills and how
best to observe the birds without disturbing them:
The above web page (adobe pdf) also has some FANTASTIC Piping Plover photos
Sid has taken.
If you observe banded PIPL, please also copy [log in to unmask] or
[log in to unmask] in your email. Sidney would like to try and visit areas
in the southeast U.S. where banded PIPL are observed to photo-document the
birds (especially Great Lakes birds). CRBO will be assisting Sidney with
these and other PIPL-related efforts in SC.
Thanks and happy shorebird migration,
Cape Romain Bird Observatory
[log in to unmask]
P.O. Box 362
McClellanville, SC 29458