Posted by JEFF KIDD on December 10, 2013
Sunday was the sort of day most beachcombing tourists would loathe -- dull and foggy, with chilling cut of wind to boot. The snowbirds of a more literal sense on Hilton Head Island's Mitchelville Beach didn't seem to care, however.
One of the area's best birding spots, the beach on the island’s heel opens to Port Royal Sound. The Fish Haul Creek area, with separate park access, is just south. Both areas include mud flats that are prime feeding and resting habitat for all sort of shorebirds -- gulls, terns, sandpipers, herons, pelicans, plovers, you name it. Some of those species, including the great black-backed gull, are seasonal visitors that Mitchelville Beach hosts in high number, which means you get fairly easy access to birds you do not typically see elsewhere in the Lowcountry or at other times of the year.
Binoculars or a telescope are recommended, though -- depending on the tide, a lot of water and mud can separate you from the birds. Sunday, I walked the beach for about an hour with my camera, equipped with a 500-mm lens, and took about 200 photos, a dozen or so of which are included in the accompanying gallery. Low tide is the best time for bird-watching because they tend to be present and active. I caught the tail end of the incoming tide Sunday morning, arriving at about 8 a.m. to a beach full of birds but left as the advancing water just about cleared everything out.
Posted on December 6, 2013
Lots of birds in this week's gallery of reader-submitted photos, including a heron who makes himself right at home on an Untamed Lowcountry reader's boat. If you would like to submit photos for a future Untamed Lowcountry gallery, email your jpeg image to Managing Editor Jeff Kidd at firstname.lastname@example.org. You must on rights to the photo you submit and agree to allow us to publish it.
Posted by Michael Sullivan on December 6, 2013
Delta, a loggerhead sea turtle, spent the first 15 months of her life in an aquarium tank, but now she is swimming free in the Atlantic Ocean, courtesy of the UGA Skidaway Institute of Oceanography and its Research Vessel Savannah.
Posted by JEFF KIDD on December 6, 2013
The Coastal Discovery Museum will host two programs this month-- one about owls and another about reptiles -- to introduce people to wildlife found on Hilton Head Island and elsewhere in the Lowcountry.
Posted by JEFF KIDD on December 2, 2013
Spring and summer are when most people seek to get outdoors, but I actually prefer winter in the Lowcountry, particularly if my aim is one of my chief hobbies, photographing birds. In the winter, there are no bugs to battle, flattering light and little foliage to block the view of your subject.