Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Audubon South Carolina Birdathon

On May 1-2, the Board and staff of Audubon South Carolina went forth and did battle to claim the coveted Birdathon Idol award. From the back yards of Greenville, to the coastal islands north of Charleston, to the backwaters inland of Beaufort, to the swamps of Beidler Forest, to the green spaces of Summerville, to the Savannah River near Aiken, to the barrier islands near Hilton Head, to the woods around Columbia and St. Matthews, we braved poison ivy, poison snakes, poison bugs, splinters on our feet from our backyard decks, potential from sunburn while yachting around Hilton Head, the possibility of ghost attack while sleeping at Twickenham Plantation and of course the ever present danger of eyestrain from using binoculars and reading a guidebook simultaneously! Needless to say… it was brutal.

Our grand total statewide bird count was a whopping 181 species! And of that, only four were cheap birds (Chicken, Muscovy Duck, Peacock, and Guinea Hen). No road killed birds, no pet store parakeets, no fried birds, were included in the count! All in all, an unusually upright and honest Birdathon, unlike years past when the mercenary nature of the fundraising aspects of the event, have caused some to “pad their lists” a little with the lame excuse that “a new bird species is a new bird species, regardless of where it lives, how it died, or how it was cooked!”

Between pledges and outright donations, we are currently at $26,000 of our statewide goal of $30,000. Remember, we will receive a dollar for dollar match for the first 30K! The motto of the annual Birdathon has and always will be… “It is never, no never, never ever, never, Never, NEVER too late to donate to the Birdathon!!!” So if you have contributed already, then let us say thank you, thank you, thank you for your generosity and support. We could not do all that we do without your help! For those who have yet to donate, please remember the above mentioned motto! We could use your help to hit our goal and maximize the matching gift.

As an added incentive, Mark Musselman had one of his Prothonotary Warbler images framed by Rick Sutton of Frame & Design Gallery of Summerville. Those that pledge at least $40 with him had a chance to win the framed image. All names were written on identical yellow Post-it notes, which were folded over to seal and then placed in a cloth bag. Lynnette Thompson of the ASC staff drew the winning name - Mr. R. Girouard.

There is additional coverage and images in today's Summerville Journal Scene.

Image by Mark Musselman

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