Volume 22 2017-2018

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Welcome to The Edisto Island Guide - Edisto Island is a beautiful place to visit, located on the coast of South Carolina just south of Charleston. Our guide will help you plan your vacation to beautiful Edisto Island. We have listings for hotels, dining, shopping, and entertainment. Come have the vacation of a lifetime on Edisto Island.

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Birding Edisto

Photos provided by Colorful Things Photography

Edisto Island offers a variety of locations that are easily accessed year-round for bird watchers of all skill levels. Whether birding from the front porch, or in one of the many natural areas, visitors will be rewarded throughout the summer and winter months and during spring and fall migration. With multiple public beach access points, viewing beach and surf birds with binoculars, or a spotting scope, is easily accomplished. Brown pelicans, ring-billed gulls, herring gulls, laughing gulls, willets, sanderlings, and ruddy turnstones are commonly observed. Winter birding near the Pavilion will provide looks at red-breasted mergansers, red-throated loons, northern gannets with the occasional scoter and scaup. Access points near Big Bay Creek are a great place to see black skimmers, Forster’s terns, marbled godwits, dunlin, plovers and dowitchers. Bay Creek Park and Edisto Beach State Park provide access to saltmarsh habitats where great blue herons, tri-colored herons, great egrets, snowy egrets, swallows, marsh wrens, and clapper rails can be observed. Forest and scrub habitats, which occur in abundance along the Edisto Beach bike trail and Edisto Beach State Park, are great places to see painting buntings, blue-gray gnatcatchers, vireos, warblers, and woodpeckers. The many golf course ponds and the lagoons are good spots for the American anhinga, black-crowned night heron, green heron, hooded merganser, and belted kingfisher. Birdwatchers should also plan a trip to Botany Bay Wildlife Management Area. Only five miles away from the beach, this 4,687 acre public tract provides easy access to forest, field, marsh, and beach habitats. In addition to what can be seen on Edisto Beach, birds that can be viewed here include bald eagle, osprey, wood stork, white ibis, wild turkey, Wilson’s plover, buntings, sparrows, and a variety of other shore and songbirds. Those planning a day trip from Edisto Beach should also visit the ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge, Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, and Bear Island Wildlife Management Area. These public areas lie within the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto River watersheds (ACE Basin), a region renowned for an abundance of coastal habitats with excellent birding opportunities year round. Needless to say, Edisto Island is definitely a birding destination and one that is sure to provide a memorable outdoor experience. • Eran S. Kilpatrick, Ph.D. • Associate Professor of Biology • University of South Carolina Salkehatchie • erankil@mailbox.sc.edu

American Oystercatcher


Bald Eagle

Belted Kingfisher

Eastern Bluebird

Lesser Yellowlegs

Marsh Wren

Northern Harrier

Northern Parula

Northern Pintail

Northern Shovelers


Painted Bunting

Prothonotary Warbler

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Ring-billed Gull

Ruby-throated Hummingbird


Snowy Egret


Wild Turkey

Wilson's Plover

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Yellow-throated Warbler

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