SC Wildlife


October 2012

Gene's Notes:

October weather was seasonably warm and dry. This was the first October we have had in many years without a frost. Jewelweed and other yellow fall flowers declined as the month progressed.

My wife and I attended the first annual Fall Migration Celebration for the Beaufort Barrier Islands IBA held by the Fripp Island, SC Audobon Club on October 6. There were many interesting and informative lecture sessions and bird walks. The weather on the beach was very hot and too bright for good photography. Although there were not many birds about as I hoped, we did see shorebirds, Brown Pelicans, Great Egrets, Boat-tailed Grackles, Laughing Gulls, Ospreys, and a first-to-me Ground Dove. Inland, I saw American Redstarts.

We made this trip a mini-vacation for the two of us. The next day we visited a very well done boardwalk with observation tower at Port Royal, SC. From the boardwalk I saw Laughing Gulls, Boat-tailed Grackles, Belted Kingfishers, and porpoises. The town's Cypress Wetlands Nature Trail offered many opportunities to see and photograph birds and other wildlife, including Anhingas, Common Moorhens, egrets, Red-shouldered Hawks, White Ibis, Wood Ducks, Wood Storks, Yellowbelly Sliders, and American Alligators.

Back home, I found scat in our gravel driveway that contained many Persimmon fruit seeds. I set my trail camera up and caught an image of a Coyote at the location.

By mid month, our yard was being overrun by blowing inflorescences of Purple Lovegrass, or "walking weed" as I like to call it. These seed heads will litterally follow you into the house. I manage most of the fields around the house for native grasses and other plants. These soils are sandy and dry, which is ideal habitat for this grass.

My wife and I went on the South Carolina Assiciation of Naturalists' (SCAN) field trip to Glassy Mountain Heritage Preserve near Pickens, SC. We visited the preserve on the morning of October 27th. The weather was cool and overcast. I was hoping to seek some migrating birds, but animals of all kinds were scarce. I did get a glimpse of a Raven. In the afternoon, we lunched and visited at the nearby Hagood Mill Historic Site & Folklife Center.

On the last day of the month, I was looking for birds at a boat landing on Lake Greenwood. I was exceptionally luck to observe an Osprey capture a fish and then have a juvenile Bald Eagle force it to drop the fish into the lake. The eagle was unsuccessful in retrieving the fish, so both birds went away hungry.

Shore birds on Harbor Island, SC.

Observation tower at boardwalk, Port Royal, SC.

Composite image of Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon).

Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major).

Anhinga (Anginga anhinga).

White Ibis (Plegadis chihi) ).

Wood Stork(Mycteria americana).

American Alligator, (Alligator mississippiensis), juvenile.

Comparison of Persimmon and Honey Locust seeds.

Coyote, (Canis latrans).

Purple Lovegrass (Eragrostis spectabilis) inflorescences. .

View from top of Glassy Mountain near Pickens, SC.

Osprey (Pandion haliatus), with captured fish.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), juvenile searching for dropped fish. ).

November 14, 2012
Contact: South Carolina Wildlife

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