Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kiawah Island -- Captain Sams Inlet -- Shorebirds, Terns and such

As mentioned in the previous post, Carl and I visited one of our favorite Lowcountry birding destinations, Captain Sams Inlet on Kiawah Island on June 18 with cameras in hand.  Carl concentrated on the shorebirds and I spent most of my time shooting and being entertained by one showy Snowy Egret, my so-dubbed "Star of the Day."  If you missed the bit about his "conversation" with a gull, then you may want to backtrack to the previous post.  Don't worry though, he will be featured again in the next post and you will see why he was my "Star of the Day."

A large portion of the beach in this inlet area was thankfully cordoned off as a protected nesting area by the Wildlife Management Team of Kiawah Island.  In particular, the birds that nest there, and in other protected inlet areas on our SC Beaches, include the Wilson's Plover and the Least Tern.  Both species are listed as "threatened" in SC due to habitat loss. As a result of fewer safe areas for nesting on beaches, Least Terns, began nesting on pebble rooftops.  But now, due to changes in construction, there are fewer of those for these birds.  So it is gratifying to see entities such as SC's Department of Natural Resources and the Kiawah Wildlife Management Team working to save a bit of beach for the birds. 

I mentioned that Carl spent his morning concentrating on these birds, and I suggest that you take a look at his very interesting photos that he posted to his Flickr account.  Using his photos to illustrate,  Carl could easily write a rather dynamic dialogue: " a not-so-nice conversation between a ghost crab and the terns and plovers!" 

Although I did not capture the excitement among these birds that Carl did, I did get a few decent shots that day as well.  So here they are.  Enjoy!

Wilson Plover -- June 18, 2011

Wilson Plover -- June 18, 2011

Wilson Plovers -- June 18, 2011

Wilson Plovers -- June 18, 2011

Wilson's Plover -- June 21, 2011

Ruddy Turnstone

Atlantic Ghost Crab and Wilson's Plover

Bird in Center:  Dunlin with other unidentified peeps

Black Skimmers

Black-bellied Plovers, Short-billed Dowitchers, Ruddy Turnstone

Short-billed Dowitchers, Black-bellied Plovers, Ruddy Turnstones

American Oystercatchers

Least Tern

Semi-Palmated Plover with Sanderling in background

Gull-billed Tern

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