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  • Writer's pictureKaren Hogan

South Carolina NWR Trip October 2017

Updated: Feb 26, 2019

South Carolina has a total of 8 National Wildlife Refuges with 7 open to the public. Teresa had visited 3 National Wildlife Refuges in South Carolina and I had visited 4. During our October 2017 National Wildlife Refuge Trip we visited 6 South Carolina National Wildlife Refuges and 1 Georgia National Wildlife Refuge. We also enjoyed spending some time with my Son's family in Richmond Hill, Georgia.

Karen at Bulls Island, Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, October 3, 2017

September 2017 Topsail Island, North Carolina

The last week of September 2017, Teresa and her dog Mollie joined Mark and I at a beach house on Topsail Island, North Carolina. To minimize Teresa's driving between Lexington and Chapel Hill we planned a South Carolina National Wildlife Refuge Trip and a visit to my Son's family in Richmond Hill, for the first week of October 2017. My Son and his Wife had moved to Richmond Hill, GA in May 2017 and had their first child in June of 2017. Teresa planned to leave her dog Mollie at my house during our National Wildlife Refuge Trip but we soon discovered that Mollie could jump my backyard fence. Teresa found a local kennel to board Mollie, we would drop her off Monday morning, a one day delay to the start of our trip. We had already booked our ride on the ferry from Garris Landing to Bulls Island at Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge for October 3, 2017. We definitely needed to be at our reserved hotel room in Mount Pleasant, SC the night of October 2nd to be ready for our 9 am ferry departure time on October 3rd.


Previous Visits to South Carolina and Georgia National Wildlife Refuges

Several of the National Wildlife Refuges we would visit during this trip were refuges we had previously visited from 2014-2017 including: Carolina Sandhills, Savannah, Santee, Harris Neck, Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuges.


January 3, 2014-Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

Teresa and I visited Savannah National Wildlife Refuge on the way home from our Florida National Wildlife Refuge Trip December 2013-January 2014. We drove the 4 mile Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive and reported on eBird 16 species of birds including 6 species of ducks.


Ruddy Duck at Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive at Savannah NWR, January 3, 2014

April 18, 2013-Santee National Wildlife Refuge

When Mark and I headed to a wedding in Charleston, SC I checked the map for National Wildlife Refuges along our driving route and along the coast of South Carolina near Charleston, SC. Right off of 95 we made a quick stop at the Santee National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center and then spent about an hour looking for Painted Buntings along the road at the Bluff Unit without success. We drove the Wildlife Drive at the Cuddo Unit at Santee National Wildlife Refuge and reported 30 species of birds on eBird including Glossy Ibis. The eBird reviewer wrote to me about the Glossy Ibis I reported on eBird, so I submitted the video I recorded of the Glossy Ibis sitting in the trees along the Wildlife Drive. We also got some great looks of the Red-breasted Mergansers in Lake Marion and an Eastern Kingbird perched at the top of some bushes.

Eastern Kingbird at Cuddo Unit at Santee National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, April 18, 2013

April 19, 2013 Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge

Mark and I visited the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters and the Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center. We spent time at Garris Landing birding and talking to folks about visiting Bulls Island. It would be an all day trip to visit and hike the many miles of trails and beaches at Bulls island, I would definitely make plans with Teresa to schedule a ferry ride to Cape Romain to bird and visit the island and maybe even schedule a weekend trip on the Island.

Bulls Island Map

Spending time birding in the parking lot at Garris Landing, where the Coastal Expedition Ferry picks up folks for the ride over to Bulls Island, Mark and I could hear a Painted Bunting singing. Finally we got our first look of a Painted Bunting moving in the grass under the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge sign. Overhead a large white bird with black wing tips soared over the dock walkway, it was our first look of a Wood Stork. I took photos of gulls, heron and egrets in the expansive marsh areas and along the dock railing.

Great Egret at Garris Landing at Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, April 19, 2013

February 5, 2016-Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge

I visited Bulls Island at Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge while attending the Carolina Bird Club meeting in South Carolina.Three miles from the mainland Bulls Island is only accessible by ferry. David McLean lead our trip, the ferry dropped us off on the North Beach and we hiked 6 miles back on Lighthouse Road to the Bulls Island dock at the Dominick House. There were 27 folks on our birding trip and we reported 43 species of birds on eBird.

Cautious as we hiked across Beach Road back to the Dominick House, there were several Alligators stretched out in the sun along the narrow causeway.

Ferry drop off at North Beach on Bull Island at Cape Romain NWR, South Carolina, February 5, 2016

Bulls Island at Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, February 5, 2016

Alligators along Beach Road at Bulls Island at Cape Romain NWR, South Carolina, February 5, 2016

December 27 & 28, 2016-Carolina Sandhills and Santee National Wildlife Refuges

Teresa and I visited Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge in December 2016. Along the Wildlife Drive we had great looks of the Red-cockaded Woodpeckers hanging out on the nest trees marked at the bottom with a white painted band. We hiked several trails and visited the viewing platform at the refuge. The morning was cold with heavy fog hanging in the pine tree forest but the afternoon warmed with the bright sunshine.

Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, December 27, 2016

Red-cockaded Woodpecker at Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, December 27, 2016

Santee National Wildlife Refuge, Cuddo Unit and Bluff Unit

We spent 6 hours driving 7 miles on the Wildlife Drive at the Cuddo Unit of Santee National Wildlife Refuge. We reported 53 species of birds including: a Hermit Thrush, a Barred Owl, 7 species of Woodpeckers and 4 species of Warblers. At the Bluff Unit we hiked the unrestricted area through the woods to the overlook and along Wright's Nature Trail. We reported on eBird Snow Geese, Greater White-fronted Geese, Sandhill Cranes and 8 species of ducks.

Hermit Thrush at Cuddo Unit at Santee National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, December 28, 2016

Snow Geese at the Bluff Unit at Santee National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, December 28, 2016

Sandhill Cranes at the Bluff Unit at Santee National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, December 28, 2016

June 4, 2017 Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge

When my Son and I drove the wildlife drive at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge he got his first look of a Red-headed Woodpecker and a Painted Bunting. We especially enjoyed the rookery at the Woody Pond with of hundreds of birds including: Wood Storks, White Ibis, Anhingas, Herons, and Egrets.

Painted Bunting at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, June 4, 2017

Wood Stork and White Ibis at Rookery at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, June 4, 2017

Rookery at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, June 4, 2017

June 5, 2017, July 3, 2017, July 24, 2017 Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

I drove the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge each time I drove back to Chapel Hill, NC from my Son's house in Richmond Hill, GA. I especially enjoyed getting to see the diversity of bird species and bird activities including: early June-Least Bittern feeding young, early July- kites feeding on dragonflies and late July-Common Gallinule with young.

Least Bittern at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, June 5, 2017

Anhinga at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, June 5, 2017

Swallow-tailed Kite at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, July 3, 2017

Cattle Egret at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, July 24, 2017

Common Gallinule at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, July 24, 2017

August 21, 2017-Santee National Wildlife Refuge-Total Eclipse

I studied the map for the total eclipse of the sun scheduled to occur on 8/21/17. To my delight 2.5 minutes of totality would be, along the line, through, the middle of Lake Marion, the largest lake in South Carolina. Santee National Wildlife Refuge borders the northern bank of Lake Marion. I reserved 2 hotel rooms in Sumter, South Carolina for August 20, 2017 and 1 hotel room in Manning, South Carolina on August 21, 2017 each about 30 minutes from Santee National Wildlife Refuge. Santee National Wildlife Refuge has 4 units including Cuddo, Pine Island, Bluff and Dingle Pond. Teresa arrived in Santee, SC the night of August 19th and spent the next day birding at the Bluff Unit where she got some great looks of warblers. She also noticed the hotels were full and folks were talking about how many people were coming to the Santee area to observe the Eclipse the next day, August 21st. Casey's family and I had been visiting Greg's family in Richmond Hill, GA since August 17th and would head to Santee, SC on August 20th to meet up with Teresa, spend the night in the Sumter, SC hotel and observe the eclipse on Monday August 21st. The morning of August 20th I got in the car with Greg's family and Casey's family drove my car from Richmond HIll, GA to Sumter, SC. We spent the night in Sumter hotel in just 2 rooms for 9 people, I should have reserved 3 rooms but we made do, my Son and his family took the King bed room and the rest of us, 6 total spent the night in the other room with 2 queen beds and a sofa bed.

Yellow-throated Warbler, Santee National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, August 20, 2017

Osprey at Santee National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, August 20, 2017

August 21, 2017 Eclipse of the Sun at Cuddo Unit of Santee National Wildlife Refuge

Teresa and I considered the parking lot at the Visitor Center at the Bluff Unit for our Eclipse viewing but instead decided on area 6 at the Cuddo Unit where we would be able to see darkness move across a large field as the sun was completely shadowed by the earth. Arriving early on the morning of August 21st with 2 cars, Teresa and I in the front car and Casey's family following us in my car, we stopped often to look at birds, during one stop my Son-in-Law ran to our car to ask if we had seen the blue birds in the bushes along the road at the refuge, his first look at Blue Grosbeaks. Then he was equally amazed to see and hear the Eastern Wood Pewee sitting on a branch high in a tree. We drove along the Alligator Alley of the Wildlife Drive looking for Alligators for my Grandson but with no luck headed back to the area 6 on the Cuddo Unit Map, where my Son and his wife were to meet us. Exhausted new parents they had stayed at the hotel to get more sleep with their 6 week old daughter. We all met at the area 6 parking lot of the Cuddo Unit, but many other folks had the same idea about eclipse viewing and the small parking lot filled with cars. Other eclipse viewers began parking along the sides of the road on the wildlife drive. There were over 30 cars with anywhere from 2-6 passengers per car. Many people brought tents, chairs and yard games, all things we wish we had thought to bring. We spent some time in the car to get away from the heat and bugs, making it more tolerable for the children. As the time approached and the Earth's shadow moved across the sun everyone got ready with their eclipse glasses and camera lens. Finally at 2:43 pm darkness moved across the large field and into the area we were standing, a strange exhilaration of the enormity of the moment brought cheers from several of the observers. Even with the human voices raised we could still hear the chirps of some night time bugs fooled by the afternoon night. With eclipse glasses on folks looked in amazement at the blotted out the sun with only a halo of light around the edges. With the duration of the eclipse totality of only 2.5 minutes, I wished for it to last longer but at the same time looked forward to the normal afternoon light to return. I could not help but think what it must have been like for folks long ago experiencing this kind of event of afternoon darkness without any explanation. It was wonderful to experience this rare occurrence at a National Wildlife Refuge with Teresa, my Daughter's family and my Son's family.

Family observing eclipse at Cuddo Unit at Santee National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, August 21, 2017

South Carolina National Wildlife Refuge Trip October 2017

Monday October 2, 2017 Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge

Established in 1997, Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge has between 29,000-55,000 acres, including black water and alluvial flood plain forested wetlands of the Waccamaw and Great Pee Dee Rivers. About 6,514 acres at the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge are freshwater tidal marshes containing high plant diversity which supports more avian diversity than any other wetland. The Endangered Red Cockaded-Woodpecker reside on the northern part of Sandy Island. Listed as an endangered species in South Carolina the Swallow-tailed Kite can be found nesting at Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge during the spring and summer months.

The South Carolina Low Country Refuges Complex includes 4 refuges: Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge, Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, and Santee National Wildlife Refuge.

We really enjoyed birding in the area around the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center overlooking the Great Pee Dee River and Yauhannah Lake. There were well maintained grounds and gardens at the Visitor Center with rocking chairs on the large porch at the back of the center for resting and enjoying the scenic views of the River and Lake.

Visitor Center view at Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 2, 2017

Visitor Center view at Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 2, 2017

Teresa at Visitor Center at Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 2, 2017

Sign at Visitor Center at Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 2, 2017

We visited the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge Cox Ferry Recreation Area. The Cox Ferry Recreation Area has 3 hiking trails. As we walked up to the boat ramp we noticed there was a small flock of birds moving from the edge of the water up into the trees, most of the species in the group were warblers in their non-breeding plumage. We also saw several more species of warbler in the trees along the trails. We listed on ebird 8 species of warblers including: Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Northern Parula, Magnolia Warbler, Palm Warbler, Pine Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler and Prairie Warblers.


America Redstart at Cox Ferry Recreation Area of Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, 10/2/17

Yellow-throated Warbler at Cox Ferry Recreation Area of Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, 10/2/17

Black and White Warbler at Cox Ferry Recreation Area of Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, SC, 10/2/17

Spent the night in Mount Pleasant, SC


Tuesday October 3, 2017 Bulls Island Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge

Established in 1932, Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge consist of 66,306 acres and encompasses a 22 mile segment of the Atlantic coast. The land and habitats at Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge includes: barrier islands, sandy beaches, fresh water impoundments, brackish water impoundments, salt marshes, intricate coastal waterways and maritime forest. Bulls Island is the largest of the four barrier islands of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. The Island is 3 miles from the mainland and is only accessible by boat. The Refuge works to preserve the Bulls Island maritime forest including efforts to eradicate non-native, invasive species.

Arriving at Garris Landing an hour and a half before our ferry ride to Bull's Island we reported 16 species of birds on our ebird checklist.

Brown Thrasher at Garris Landing at Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 3, 2017

Headed to Bull's Island by 9 am with Coastal Expeditions, we birded on the ferry during the 30 minute ride to and from Bull's Island with good looks of gulls, terns, heron and American Oystercatchers. Dropped off at the dock close to the Dominick House we walked down Beach Rd, choosing to head down Sheepshead Ridge to the observation platform where we sheltered from the high wind and enjoyed our lunch. Along the dike we saw sandpipers, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks and Alligators. Constantly checking the time to make sure we would be back at the dock for our pickup time with Coastal Expedition we headed down Lighthouse Rd. Along Lighthouse Rd we got good looks of several species of warblers including Yellow Warbler, Palm Warbler and Pine Warbler. We hiked down Beach Rd and enjoyed our last 30 minutes in the shade of the large live oak in the yard of Dominick House. We saw several species of birds in the trees along the trail to the dock including a Prairie Warbler. High winds during our 6.5 hour visit made for a difficult birding day on this barrier island, we were happy to list 29 species of birds on ebird.

Sandpiper at Bulls Island of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 3, 2017

Least Sandpiper at Bulls Island of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 3, 2017

Teresa at Bulls Island of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 3, 2017

Bulls Island of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 3, 2017

Alligator at Bulls Island of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 3, 2017

Lighthouse Rd Trail on Bulls Island of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 3, 2017

Palm Warbler at Bulls Island of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 3, 2017

Little Blue Heron at Bulls Island of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 3, 2017

Dominick House on Bulls Island of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 3, 2017

Bulls Island of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 3, 2017

Teresa at Dominick House on Bulls Island of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 3, 2017

Ferry docked at Bulls Island of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 3, 2017

Laughing Gulls at Bulls Island of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 3, 2017

Most of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge is designated Wilderness with the exception of Garris Landing and Bulls Island. In 1964, Congress passed the Wilderness Act, creating the National Wilderness Preservation System and a legal definition of wilderness: “the most intact, undisturbed wild natural areas left on our planet, the last wild places where humans haven’t developed with roads, pipelines, or other industrial infrastructure.”

Additional Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge objectives include managing habitats for the endangered Red Wolf and the threatened Loggerhead sea turtle. The barrier islands of this Refuge have the largest nesting population of Loggerhead sea turtles.

After our Ferry Ride back to Garris Landing we headed to Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center. The Center was closed for the day and we would not have time to come this way the next day. The Sewee Center is operated by Cape Romain Refuge and Francis Marion National Forest.


Spent the night in Mount Pleasant, SC


Wednesday October 4, 2017 Ace Basin National Wildlife Refuge

Established in 1990, The Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge presently has 11,815 acres including: marshes, tidal creeks, uplands and wetlands, with over 40% comprised of tidal marsh and small islands called hummocks. The Refuge has 2 separate units, one along the Edisto River and the other along the Combahee River.

Arriving before the gate was opened at the Edisto River Unit of the Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge, we parked our car in the Kiosk area, and chose the trail to the right of the parking lot. We hiked along the Seaboard Coast Line Road Trail and turned left onto to a trail through the woods taking us to the cross dike. The area on either side of the cross dike was once farmed lands, on this former rice plantation, but these impoundments are now used by 20 species of wintering waterfowl. Around the dike you can see rice field trucks, used to control the water flow between the tidal creeks and the impoundments. These wooden culverts with flap gates known as rice field trucks were first used in the 1700s on rice plantation and remain the most efficient, economical water control structure in tidal situations.

Ernest F. Hollings Ace Basin NWR, October 4, 2017

Ernest F. Hollings Ace Basin NWR, October 4, 2017

Ernest F. Hollings Ace Basin NWR, October 4, 2017

Savannah Sparrow at Ernest F. Hollings Ace Basin NWR, October 4, 2017

Turning left at the end of the cross dike we headed back to the Grove Plantation House, used by the refuge as the Visitor Center. The Visitor Center-Plantation House was closed for renovations but would be open in a few days. The Grove Plantation grounds were covered with mature live oaks that were full of birds.

Ernest F. Hollings Ace Basin NWR, October 4, 2017

Headquarters at Ernest F. Hollings Ace Basin NWR, October 4, 2017

We moved our car to the parking area next to the Grove Plantation House and enjoyed our lunch at the picnic tables. We hiked the Alexander Pond Trail and the trail to the Perimeter Pond. At this Edisto River Unit of the Refuge, we hiked 5 miles during our 6 hour visit and reported 46 species of birds on ebird.

To reach the Combahee River Unit we left the Edisto Unit and drove 30 miles to River Rd, highway 33 and 17A to the 4 pull off-parking areas for the Combahee Unit of the Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge. As we entered the Combahee Unit from the parking lot designated with the most trails, we heard a strange distress like call. Teresa dashed down the trail toward the sound, I couldn't keep up. Never actually getting a look at the bird we decided the bird making the human like cry was an American Crow. The Combahee Unit was a great birding area and we were disappointed we had only had a couple of hours to bird at this location. At the Combahee Unit we visited 3 of the areas of this Unit including hiking approximately a half mile during our 2 hour stay and reported 25 species of birds on ebird.

Karen at Combahee Unit at Ernest F. Hollings Ace Basin NWR, October 4, 2017

Little Blue Heron at Combahee Unit at Ernest F. Hollings Ace Basin NWR, October 4, 2017

Combahee Unit at Ernest F. Hollings Ace Basin NWR, October 4, 2017

Spent the night in Hilton Head, SC


Thursday October 5, 2017 Pinckney Island and Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

Pinckney National Wildlife Refuge

Established in 1975, Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge has 4,053 acres including Pinckney Island, Corn Island, Big and Little Harry Islands, Buzzard Island and numerous small hammocks. Pinckney is the largest of the islands with a large variety of habitat including salt marsh, forestland, brush land, fallow field and freshwater ponds. Pinckney Island is the only island open to the public. Approximately 67% of habitat at Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is salt marsh and tidal creeks.

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 5, 2017

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 5, 2017

White Ibis at Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 5, 2017

White Ibis at Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 5, 2017

White Ibis at Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 5, 2017

Snowy Egret at Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 5, 2017

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 5, 2017

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

Arriving at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge at 2 pm, the gate was across the entrance to the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive, the sign said closed due to extensive damage caused by flooding from Hurricane Irma. Disappointed we could not drive the 4.5 mile auto drive we realized it was a great opportunity to give us time to hike some of the trails at the refuge including the Beech Hill Trail and Chain Pine Trail with trailheads at the parking lot of the Visitor Center.

Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 5, 2017

Established in 1927, Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, consists of 31,551 acres including freshwater marshes, tidal rivers, tidal creeks, and bottomland hardwoods.

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 5, 2017

Birding for 2 hours around the Visitor Center Trails, bird feeders and parking lot we reported 24 species of birds including 7 species of Warblers.


Spent the night in Richmond Hill, Georgia with my Son's family.


Friday October 6, 2017 Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge

Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge is one of the seven refuges administered as part of the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex. Established in 1962, Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge consist of 2,762 acres with six man-made freshwater ponds, grassland, extensive salt marsh, open fields, forested wetlands, mixed hardwood/pine forest and cropland located on an abandoned military airfield. We spent 6.5 hrs birding on the Wildlife Drive through Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge and listed 49 species on our ebird checklist. We sat for a couple of hours observing the many wading birds in the Snipe Pond resting, preening and feeding including: Wood Storks, a Family of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Roseate Spoonbills, Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets.We hiked the Bunting Loop and checked out the empty rookery along the Woody Pond where hundreds of nesting wading birds could be seen just a few months ago.

Roseate Spoonbill at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, October 6, 2017

Roseate Spoonbills and Wood Storks at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, October 6, 2017

Roseate Spoonbills at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, October 6, 2017

Roseate Spoonbills and Wood Storks at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, October 6, 2017

Wood Storks at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, October 6, 2017

Wood Storks at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, October 6, 2017

Wood Stork at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, October 6, 2017

Wood Storks at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, October 6, 2017

Wood Storks at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, October 6, 2017

Glossy Ibis at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, October 6, 2017

Black-bellied Whistling Duck at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, October 6, 2017

Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, October 6, 2017

Spent the night in Richmond Hill, Georgia with my Son's family.


Saturday October 7, 2017

Teresa and I spent the day visiting with my Son's family and friends in Richmond Hill and Savannah, Georgia.


Sunday October 8, 2017 Savannah and Santee National Wildlife Refuge

Our first stop on our way home was Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. The Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive was closed for maintenance so we chose to hike the Tupelo Trail and the Kingfisher Pond Trail. We entered the Tupelo Trail from 170 right across the road from the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive exit. We hiked about 0.6 miles along this end of the Tupelo Trail and saw a dump truck driver working to move dirt to make repairs at the refuge. We entered the Kingfisher Pond Trail from 17 and walked to the other end of the Tupelo Trail from this entrance and included both areas on our ebird checklist for a total of 20 species of birds.


Teresa at the 170 Tupelo Trail entrance at Savannah NWR, South Carolina, October 8, 2017

Teresa at entrance to the Tupelo Trail from highway 170 at Savannah NWR, South Carolina, October 8, 2017

Tupelo Trail at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 8, 2017

Tupelo Trail at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 8, 2017

Cattle Egret on the Tupelo Trail at Savannah NWR, South Carolina, October 8, 2017

Dump Truck along Tupelo Trail at Savannah NWR, South Carolina, October 8, 2017

Kingfisher Trail at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 8, 2017

Kingfisher and Tupelo Trail at Savannah NWR, South Carolina, October 8, 2017

Teresa at Kingfisher Trail at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 8, 2017

Karen at Kingfisher Trail at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 8, 2017

Pine Warbler at Kingfisher Trail at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 8, 2017

Santee National Wildlife Refuge-Pine Island Unit

Never missing a moment of daylight to bird at a National Wildlife Refuge, as we drove up 95 and approached Santee National Wildlife Refuge, we calculated we had more than an hour of daylight. We decided to bird at the Pine Island Unit, an area that had been closed for hunting during our visit December 2016. We stopped at the first parking lot where the mailbox station for hunter registration. Several hunters had signed in at the station, we stayed at this no hunting area to bird, listing 14 species of birds on our ebird checklist.

Teresa at Pine Island Unit at Santee National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, October 8, 2017

As the sky grew dark we headed up 95 to Chapel Hill, NC.


Visited 7 National Wildlife Refuges

Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina,10/2/17

Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, 10/3/17

Ace Basin National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, 10/4/17

Pinckney National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, 10/5/17

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, 10/5/17, 10/8/17

Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, 10/6/17

Santee National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, 10/8/17






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