Hilton Head, SC 2/7-12/2022

All photos are © Marshall Faintich

Alice had a bridge tournament in Hilton Head, SC, and I was eager to go with her to search for different avian species and to enjoy some warmer weather. We had done this same trip in 2016, and at that time, soon found that the best nearby wildlife area was the Savannah NWR about 40 miles away. However, when researching my potential birding sites for this trip, I learned that this NWR was closed until sometime in 2023, so I needed to find some other places to do. In 2016, I also visited Pinckney Island NWR, Fish Haul and Mitchelville Parks, and the Coastal Discovery Museum, but these sites were not enough to keep me busy for the week. So I read about two other places, the Sea Pines Forest Preserve and the Audubon Newhall Preserve, and added them to my birding sites.

I didn't expect to see any life birds on this trip, but had three groups of target species: rails, coastal sparrows, and a jump start on my yearly warbler photo list. And I set a goal of logging at least 70 avian species. In 2016, I birded for 6 to 8 hours a day, hiking 8 to 10 miles each day, but I can't do that any more, so I was limited on this trip to 4 to 5 hours each day, hiking 5 to 7 miles per day. After 6 days, I hadn't seen any rails or coastal sparrows, but did end up with 76 avian species, including 7 warbler species. Of this total, I photographed 72 of the species, saw and heard an Eastern Towhee, saw a Brown Thrasher, and heard only a Marsh Wren and a Blue Jay.

I saw many of these species at multiple locations, so this report shows where I logged species for the first time on this trip.

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Birding sites for this trip

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Click on the links below to read each daily report.

Pinckney Island NWR; Coastal Discovery Museum; February 7
Fish Haul and Mitchelville Parks; Coastal Discovery Museum; February 8
Sea Pines Forest Preserve; February 9
Fish Haul and Mitchelville Parks; Coastal Discovery Museum; Audubon Newhall Preserve; February 10
Pinckney Island NWR; February 11
Hotel area birding; February 12

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