Detailed Itinerary
Brief Itinerary
Trip Description
For more information or to register for this trip, call Charles at 888-203-7464 or
Charles directly at 720-320-1974 or by email at
Day 1:  Arrival into Charleston, SC.  Local birding for
early arrivals.

Participants should arrive by mid-afternoon.  There are
plenty of great birding destinations around the Charleston
area. Where we go today will depend on the arrival times
of the participants.

Overnight Charleston, SC

Day 2:  Coastal drive north to Huntington Beach
State Park.

We will start the day birding along the north side of
Charleston Harbor and the Atlantic beaches, looking for
Northern Gannet, Marbled Godwit, American
Oystercatcher, scoters, loons, shorebirds, gulls and terns.

We’ll make a short stop or two in the Francis Marion
National Forest, which gives us our first chance to see
Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, as well as Brown-headed
Nuthatch and Pine Warbler, before continuing to
Huntington Beach State Park.  The rest of today will be
spent birding at this park, considered by some to be the
best winter birding destination in the state.

We will bird around the fresh water and salt water pools
along the causeway, wander a couple of forest trails, scan
the fields, beach and ocean, and check out the various
feeders for songbirds.  Eventually, we will make a 2-mile
round-trip walk to the rock jetty where Purple Sandpipers
and Great Cormorants are often found.  During the walk,
we’ll be scanning the sea and shorebirds for Red-
breasted Merganser, Red-throated Loon, Horned Grebe
and Piping Plover.  On the walk back we will take a trail
among the dunes where we will look for Savannah
Sparrow and Saltmarsh Sparrow (rare).  Longspurs are
sometimes present in the grasses.

Overnight Murrells Inlet, SC

Day 3:  Santee Delta WMA, Donnelley and Bear
Island Wildlife Management Areas.

After one last scan of the ocean from shore, we’ll begin
the drive south toward Georgia.  A walk at the Santee
Delta Wildlife Management Area gives a good chance for
American Bittern, Barred Owl, and lots of waterfowl.

South of Charleston, we’ll spend some time at both
Donnelly and Bear Island WMAs, good for Tundra Swan,
Mottled Duck, Red-headed Woodpecker, a few more
shorebirds and forest birds.  Wetlands in these areas may
produce Sora, Virginia Rail or Rusty Blackbird.

Overnight near Savannah, GA

Day 4: Savannah National Wildlife Refuge and Tybee

The tides determine where we go first today.  At high tide,
we will take a 3-4 hour boat trip through the salt marshes
around Tybee Island.  The high water means birds are
more concentrated, making it easier to see shorebirds
such as Piping Plover, Wilson’s Plover and American
Oystercatcher, plus Seaside Sparrow, Saltmarsh Sparrow
and hopefully Nelson’s Sparrow.

We will also spend some time on the Wildlife Drive at
Savannah National Wildlife Refuge.  One major target
here in the fresh water marshes is King Rail, but we may
also see Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, White Ibis, Glossy
Ibis, Clapper Rail, ducks, herons, shorebirds and
sparrows. Some winters it is possible to find Purple
Gallinule here.

Overnight near Savannah, GA

Day 5: Altamaha Wildlife Management Area, Jekyll
Island. Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge

Today we concentrate on a few excellent birding sites
along the coastal plain of Georgia, as far south as Jekyll
Island.  Other likely stops are at Altamaha WMA and
Harris Neck NWR.  These sites regularly offer some
surprise wintering birds, and you never know what to
expect.  Some of the habitat types we will be birding
include ocean shore, fresh water pools, a woodland pond,
salt water marsh and open fields.

We will be looking for Wood Duck, Mottled Duck, Northern
Bobwhite, Wood Stork, American Bittern, Roseate
Spoonbill, Common Gallinule, Wilson’s Snipe, Common
Ground-Dove, White-eyed Vireo, Marsh Wren, wintering
warblers such as Orange-crowned, Palm, Pine and Yellow-
throated and there’s always a chance we might find a
wintering Painted Bunting.

Overnight near Savannah, GA

Day 6:  Webb Wildlife Management Area and then
return to Charleston for flights home.

Our main target today will be Red-cockaded Woodpecker.
If we have already seen this species, we will alter these
plans accordingly.

An early morning departure is important, as the
woodpeckers are most easily found soon after they leave
their roost cavities each morning.  Webb Wildlife
Management Area has been a reliable location to see
these birds.  We could find any of the other eastern
woodpeckers here, as well as Carolina Wren, Eastern
Bluebird and Pine Warbler.

If departing flights are late enough, we may have the
opportunity for additional birding between here and

Flights home should be scheduled for as late in the
afternoon as possible.
Photo by David Trently
Winter Birding in South
Carolina and Georgia
Winter Birding in South Carolina and Georgia
King Rail
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Glossy Ibis
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Roseate Spoonbill
Photo by Bill Schmoker
White-eyed Vireo
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Ruddy Turnstone
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Tricolored Heron
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Photo by Bill Schmoker
White Ibis
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Red-cockaded Woodpecker
Photo by Bill Schmoker