WILDLIFE ON KIAWAH ISLAND

JANUARY - JUNE 2011 WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS ARCHIVE

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Town of Kiawah Island
21 Beachwalker Drive
Kiawah Island, SC 29455
(843) 768-9166
Email a Town Biologist

* June 29, 2011 - A hen wild turkey was seen today at the end of Ocean Course Drive. Picture in slideshow to right.

 

* June 21, 2011 - A pygmy sperm whale was found dead on the beach this morning near the Ocean Course. It was an adult male and was necropsied by NOAA/CCEHBR personnel. Marine mammal strandings are rare events on Kiawah's beach averaging 1-3 per year.

 

* June 21, 2011 - Three Eastern Bluebird chicks were banded today at Night Heron Park bringing the total for the year up to 24.

 

* June 20, 2011 - Bobcat 700, a juvenile male bobcat, took a short summer vacation this month. He was originally captured on December 11, 2010 near the second security gate and his home range was the western third of Kiawah. On June 4th, he crossed the Kiawah bridge, made a few stops near Freshfields, and ended up on Seabrook Island for a few weeks before returning to Kiawah on June 17th. Juvenile male bobcats often disperse from their native range as they mature in search of their own territory. It will be interesting to see what this bobcat does in the next few months.

 

* June 13, 2011 - Six Eastern Bluebird chicks were banded today at Night Heron Park bringing the total for the year up to 21.

 

* June 8, 2011 - The Town's annual breeding bird survey was conducted today. This survey has been done annually since 1998. A total of 635 birds, representing 53 species, were recorded during the survey. Learn more about the breeding bird survey.

 

* June 7, 2011 - We completed our annual bird point count survey today. A total of 238 points were surveyed this year over the course of 9 days. All birds seen and heard during a 5-minute period at each station were recorded. Visit the Summer Point Count Page for a summary and additional details.

 

* May 26, 2011 - We conducted our 14th and final spring banding session for 2011 today. High winds resulted in a very slow day. We only had 1 recapture painted bunting all morning. Banding will resume in late August/early September. View full details for the spring banding season.

 

* May 12, 2011 - Spring bird banding sessions over the last 2 weeks has been pretty slow. Banding sessions were conducted on May 6, 10, and 12. We caught 7 birds on the 6th, 4 birds on the 10th, and 8 birds on the 12th. View full details for each session.

 

* May 11, 2011 - We banded 9 Eastern Bluebird chicks today at Night Heron Park from 2 different nest boxes. We have now banded a total of 15 bluebird chicks so far this spring and banding efforts will continue until the end of the nesting season.

 

* May 3, 2011 - We found our second bobcat den of the season today along Flyway Drive. Bobcat 900 had 3 kittens, 2 females and 1 male. The kittens weighed a little over a pound each and were about 2 weeks old. They were PIT tagged and placed back in the den. See picture in slideshow to right.

 

* May 2, 2011 - We conducted our 10th spring banding session today. We captured 10 birds,

representing 3 species. Seven of the 10 birds we caught were recaptures, including 2 Painted Buntings originally captured on 5/11/2010. View full details.

 

* April 29, 2011 - We conducted our 9th spring banding session today. We captured 6 birds, representing 4 species. Three of the 6 birds we caught were recaptures. View full details.

 

* April 25, 2011 - We conducted our 8th spring banding session today. We captured 5 birds, representing 4 species. Four of the 5 birds we caught were recaptures, including a Painted Bunting originally banded on 5/11/2010 and a Blue Jay originally banded on 10/28/2010.View full details.

 

* April 23, 2011 - We conducted our 7th spring banding session today. We captured 6 birds, representing 4 species. Three of the 6 birds we caught were recaptures. View full details.

 

* April 20, 2011 - Spring is here and Kiawah's beach nesting birds are beginning to nest along the beachfront. Today, biologists posted signs around our 2 nesting areas, one on the west end of the island near Captain Sam's inlet and the other on the east end adjacent to the Ocean Course Driving Range. Please do not enter the area behind these signs for any reason and give these birds a chance to successfully raise their young. View additional information on our beach nesting birds.

 

* April 19, 2011 - We found our first bobcat den of the year today along Sora Rail Road. Bobcat 650 had 3 kittens, 2 females and 1 male. The kittens were approximately 12-14 days old. They were weighed, PIT tagged, and released. See picture in slideshow to right.

 

* April 19, 2011 - We conducted our 6th spring banding session today. We captured 15 birds, representing 10 species. Four of the 15 birds we caught were recaptures. The first bird of the morning was a Chuck-will's-widow (2nd banding record) and we also captured our first Ruby-throated Hummingbird (not banded). View full details.

 

* April 14, 2011 -We conducted our 5th spring banding session today. We captured 7 birds, representing 6 species. Five of the 7 birds we caught were recaptures, including a House Wren originally banded on 11/5/2010. View full details.

 

* April 13, 2011 - We conducted our 4th spring banding session today. We captured 12 birds, representing 9 species. Four of the 12 birds we caught were recaptures, including a Gray Catbird and a Yellow-rumped Warbler that were both originally banded in January 2011. View full details.

 

* April 6, 2011 -We conducted our 3rd spring banding session today. We captured 8 birds, representing 8 species. Three of the species captured (Chuck-will's-widow,Brown-headed Cowbird, and Worm-eating Warbler) were new species for this banding station. The recaptured House Wren was originally banded on 10-22-09 and was also recaptured on 10-11-10. View full details.

 

* April 3, 2011 - We conducted our 2nd spring banding session today. We captured a total 15 birds, representing 11 species. White-eyed vireos (3) were the most common species. We had an unfortunate incident today when an unleashed dog ran through and destroyed 3 of our mist nets. In addition, the dog killed a banded hermit thrush in one of the nets. View full details.

 

* March 30, 2011 - We conducted our 1st spring banding session today. It was a short session due to rain and we only captured 4 birds, representing 3 species. View full details.

 

* March 28, 2011 - We received a report of 200-250 Blue-winged teal in Ibis Pond today. When we checked the pond in the afternoon, we observed 50-60 Blue-winged teal on the pond. The males are all in bright breeding plumage, so if you are in the area take advantage of this viewing opportunity. It is relatively rare to see this many teal on the island at one time.

 

* March 26, 2011 - A hen wild turkey was seen at 46 River Marsh Lane today. Turkeys are infrequent visitors to Kiawah and we get a report every year or 2. View picture in slideshow to right.

 

* March 22, 2011 - Town Biologists assisted visiting researchers from SCDNR, USFWS, and NJDEP over the last 2 days in an effort to catch red knots with a cannon net. Today, the net was fired and approximately 300 red knots were captured on the eastern end of Kiawah's beach. Many of these birds were released, but we banded a total of 108 new birds and processed 52 recaptures. In addition, 3 of the birds were wearing geolocators, which will provide researchers with very valuable information regarding the migration routes, stopover points, and breeding and wintering areas of these birds. View video of the cannon net being fired. View Photo Gallery.

 

* March 14, 2011 - We conducted our 5th and final winter bird banding session of 2011 today. We caught a total of 17 birds, representing 6 species, including 12 new birds and 5 recaptures. Yellow-rumped warblers (12) were the most common species. Click here for full details.

 

* March 9, 2011 - Red knots have returned to the Kiawah Island beaches in large numbers over the past few weeks. Today, there were approximately 5,000 red knots on Kiawah. These birds are in the process of migrating north to their breeding grounds and have stopped at Kiawah to rest and refuel before they continue on. Please avoid disturbing these groups of birds and give them a wide berth when you are out on the beach, especially if you have a dog with you.

 

* March 7, 2011 - We found Bobcat 270 dead today on Glen Abbey while we were getting a data download. A look at the data revealed that this young female died on the morning of February 24, 2011. Cause of death is unknown but our best guess is that she was hit by a vehicle. This is the primary source of mortality for Kiawah Island bobcats, so please use caution as you drive on the island, especially early and late in the day and at night when bobcats are most active.

 

* March 2, 2011 - We conducted our 4th winter bird banding session of 2011 today. We caught a total of 17 birds, representing 4 species, including 10 new birds and 7 recaptures. Yellow-rumped warblers (14) were the most common species. Three of the 5 recaptured Yellow-rumped warblers were originally banded last fall, 1 was banded in January 2011, and the other was banded in January 2010. Click here for full details.

 

* February 18, 2011 - We caught our 15th bobcat of the season today along Flyway Drive. This adult female (14 lbs, 10 oz) was collared during 2010 as Bobcat 220. Her collar was removed and she was released.

 

* February 17, 2011 - We conducted our 3rd winter bird banding session of 2011 today. We caught a total of 107 birds, representing 6 species, including 91 new birds and 16 recaptures. Yellow-rumped warblers (99) were the most common species by far, followed by Carolina Chickadees (2). Five of the recaptured Yellow-rumped warblers were banded last fall and winter. In addition, we recaptured an Orange-crowned Warbler that was originally banded in November. View full details.

 

* February 11, 2011 - We caught our 14th bobcat of the season today along Flyway Drive. This adult male (22 lbs, 10 oz) was fitted with Collar 850. This bobcat was also collared during 2009 (Bobcat 270) and 2010 (Bobcat 170). This is the 8th and final bobcat we will collar this season, though we will continue trapping for another week or 2 in an effort to remove collars from some of our 2010 cats. For details on all of the cats captured during the 2011 season, click here.

 

* February 10, 2011 - We caught our 13th bobcat of the season today along Flyway Drive. This juvenile female (11 lbs, 8 oz) was too small to collar and was released. We also caught a Northern River Otter today on Flway Drive near Osprey Cottage Lane. This is only the second river otter we have caught during our trapping efforts. See picture in slideshow to right. The otter was releasd.

 

* February 10, 2011 - Duck Report. We saw 7 Gadwall and 4 American Wigeon in Willet Pond today. These ducks were in the back of Willet Pond adjacent to the Ocean Course Clubhouse parking lot but were also viewable from the fishing pier along Ocean Course Drive.

 

* February 9, 2011 - We caught our 12th bobcat of the season today near the Beach Club. This adult female (17 lbs, 10 oz) was fitted with Collar 900. This collar contains a built-in SIM card that allows the collar to transmit location information to researchers via text message. This is the first collar of this type we have deployed and we are hopeful that it works well. For more details, visit the 2011 Bobcat Page.

 

* February 7, 2011 - We caught our 11th bobcat of the season today along Flyway Drive. This female (14 lbs, 4 oz) was fitted with Collar 800. For more details, visit the 2011 Bobcat Page.

 

* February 6, 2011 - We caught our 10th bobcat of the season today on Sweetgrass Lane. This juvenile female was PIT tagged as a kitten along Flyway Drive on April 6, 2010. She was part of Bobcat 220's litter, which consisted of 2 males and 1 female kitten. She was too small to collar and was released.

 

* February 2, 2011 - While checking bobcat traps this morning, we were surprised to find a white raccoon in one of our traps along Marsh Island Drive. We normally receive a couple of reports a year of white raccoons from residents. See the picture in the slideshow to right. The raccoon was released unharmed after the photo was taken.

 

* February 1, 2011 - A Beach Patrol officer picked up a dead shorebird from the beach on Sunday, January 30th. We pulled it out of the freezer today and were surprised to find a red knot with a leg band and geolocator attached to it. This bird was captured and banded on September 2, 2009 on Monomoy Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The geolocator was returned to the researchers and they will be able to determine where this bird spent the last 14 months. Once the analysis is complete, we will post the details. Read more about the geolocator project.

 

* January 31, 2011 - The ocean was very calm today and a quick trip to the beach produced very good looks at 4 different White-winged Scoters near the Beach Club. White-wings are the least common of the 3 scoter species that winter along our beachfront and we usually see only a handful each year. These birds were foraging just beyond the breakers and were easily indentifed by their white wing patches, as they are the only scoter species with this feature. See picture in slideshow to right.

 

* January 31, 2011 - We caught our 9th bobcat of the season today along Goldeneye Drive. This juvenile female (10 lbs, 11 oz) was fitted with Collar 270. For more details, visit the 2011 Bobcat Page.

 

* January 28, 2011 - We conducted our 2nd winter bird banding session of 2011 today. We caught a total of 26 birds, representing 6 species, including 15 new birds and 11 recaptures. Yellow-rumped warblers (17) were the most common species, followed by Gray Catbirds (4) and Song Sparrows (2). Two of the recaptured Yellow-rumped warblers were banded last fall and winter, one in November 2009 and one in January 2010. We had 2 other recaptures from last year, including a Swamp Sparrow banded on 11-5-2009 and a Hermit Thrush banded on 1-15-2010. View the full list of captures for today.

 

* January 28, 2011 - We were quite surprised this morning as we were checking our bobcat traps to find a marsh rabbit in one of them. It was quickly released after we took a few pictures. Marsh rabbits are common along the coastal regions of South Carolina, though we rarely see them on Kiawah. They have smaller ears than an Eastern Cottontail Rabbit and also lack the fluffy, white tail that gives the cottontail its name. Marsh rabbits take readily to water and can swim very well.

 

* January 26, 2011 - We caught our 8th bobcat of the season today near Forestay Court. This young male (15 lbs) was fiited with Collar 750. For more details, visit the 2011 Bobcat Page.

 

* January 19, 2011 - We caught our 7th bobcat of the season today in the Preserve. It was a juvenile cat and too small to collar. It did have a PIT tag which identified it as a kitten born earlier this year.

 

* January 17, 2011 - Duck report for today. 2 drake Green-winged teal were seen in Ibis Pond. 3 American Wigeon and 4 Redheads were seen in Willet Pond. 3 Long-tailed ducks, including 1 drake, were seen in the ocean near the Ocean Course Clubhouse.

 

* January 16, 2011 - We conducted our first winter bird banding session of the year today. We caught a total of 76 birds representing 6 species, including 49 new birds and 27 recaptures. As expected, Yellow-rumped Warblers were the most numerous. An Orange-crowned Warbler was also a nice addition, but the most interesting part of the day was all of the recaptures. Of the 19 recaptured Yellow-rumped Warblers, 10 of them were returns from either fall 2009 or winter 2009-2010! Another 8 were from November 2010, which means all this cold weather didn't push them further south. We plan to band 2-3 times a month from now until March so check back for more updates. View the full list of captures from today.

 

* January 16, 2011 - We put a GPS collar on our 3rd bobcat of the year today! This adult female was captured near Beachwalker County Park and fitted with Collar 650. This bobcat was previously captured in 2009 and fitted with collar 090.

 

* January 13, 2011 - Bobcat trapping for the Bobcat GPS Study resumed today and will continue for the next few weeks. Check out our 2011 Bobcat Page for details on our trapping success and to view location data for each of our collared cats.

 

* January 13, 2011 - Three American woodcock were seen in the wetland area just before the River Course Clubhouse today. These long-billed birds are so well camouflaged that they are rarely seen unless disturbed. They are most common in moist or wet forests where they forage mainly for earthworms. They are more common on Kiawah during the winter months.

 

* January 12, 2011 - The results of the Winter 2011 deer spotlight survey are now available. A total of 99 deer were seen during the 2 night survey, yielding a density of 57 deer per square mile. This density is well within management goals.Click here for all the details.

 
 
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