Day 13 – Santee – two special reserves

Barred Owl – a close encounter

We spent the day at two reserves close to Santee – well worth the 150 mile round trip. Starting at Santee State Park it wasn’t long before we’d added our first trip tick. Feeding quietly on the grass by the side of the approach road was a superb Wood Thrush – a bit like a miniature Brown Thrasher. Unfortunately it quickly melted away, leaving us needing to find another to photograph – which luckily we did. By coffee time we’d moved on to Santee National Wildlife Refuge, which is made up of four separate units with different habitats. During the rest of the day we added more trip ticks including: Worm-eating Warbler, White-throated Sparrow, Red-headed Woodpecker and Barred Owl. The latter we first saw as a brief fly-through the woodland canopy – the identification being a process of deduction based on brief views, relative abundance and timing. We needn’t have angsted over it as ten minutes later two birds started shouting to each other close to where we’d stopped. They put on quite a show. Other wildlife highlights from a really enjoyable day included being dive-bombed by a nesting Red-shoulder Hawk and finding our second snake species the trip, a Queen Snake, which I very nearly trod on. We ended the day with 101 on our South Carolina bird list.

Our first ‘trip tick’ of the day – Wood Thrush – needed a bit of tracking down after the first road-side bird melted away
Prothonotary Warbler was probably the most common warbler species at Santee
Queen Snake – our second species for the trip – I very nearly trod on it!
This entry was posted in Birding.

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