Hilton Head & Savannah NWR, South Carolina 2/8-13/16

All photos are Marshall Faintich

February 8

Alice had a week-long bridge tournament on Hilton Head Island, and I went along to do some wildlife photography. I spent a couple of months researching where to go birding and what birds I might see in February, and compiled a list of five target birds: Henslow's and LeConte's Sparrows, Virginia and King Rails, and Sedge Wren. All five of these species would be tough to see and/or photograph. I got a late start on the morning of February 8, and decided to explore some locations on Hilton Head Island. The first place was the Coastal Discovery Museum, where a few short boardwalks extended into a marsh area, and there are trails along some wooded areas. There were a few wading birds in the marsh, some Hooded Mergansers and Pied-billed Grebes, and a fair number of woodland birds along the trails.

Little Blue Heron

Hooded Mergansers

Turkey Vultures

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Great Blue Heron

My next stop was Fish Haul Park, where a short boardwalk extended into a large marsh area, and there is a path down to the beach. There were a good number of wading birds in the marsh, and I could hear several King Rails grunting, but could not see any of the rails. A Red-tailed Hawk was being harassed by some crows.

Juvenile White Ibis

White Ibis

White Ibis

White Ibis

Great Egret

Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Red-tailed Hawk and American Crow

American Crow

I hiked down to the beach where I saw a few shorebirds, gulls, terns, and wading birds, and a pair of Black Skimmers were flying close to shore.

Snowy Egret

Black Skimmers

Black Skimmer

Black Skimmer

Black Skimmer

Forster's Tern

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