Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Birds of Interest

Jeff Mollenhauer, Director or Bird Conservation, noted today:

Two sightings of interest today at Beidler Forest Audubon Sanctuary near Harleyville, SC. A Gray-cheeked Thrush (Catharus minimus) was observed for about 10 minutes feeding on dogwood berries behind the visitor center this afternoon. The late date for GCTH is listed as Nov. 2 in “Status & Distribution of South Carolina Birds”. Interestingly about 10 days ago, we had a GCTH fly into the window of the visitor center. It was a little stunned and wobbly for about 5 minutes, but eventually recovered and flew away. I’m wondering if the GCTH we saw today is the same one that hit our window.

An American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) has been seen repeatedly at the base of the Chestnut Oak sign near #2 on the boardwalk. This is a great opportunity for those who are hoping to photograph or get a good close-up, day time look at a Woodcock. The bird usually sits completely motionless in the leaves within 5 feet from the boardwalk. It is amazing how well-camouflaged these birds are in this environment! You really have to do a thorough search before you can find it. I saw the Woodcock in this area on 9/24, 10/29, and 10/31. I am pretty confident that it is often in the area, but usually overlooked because of its ability to blend in with the leaves. Also observed today were good numbers of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Eastern Phoebes, Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Winter Wrens, and a couple Hermit Thrushes. For more information about Beidler Forest Audubon Sanctuary (including directions and hours of operation) please visit

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