Migrating birds continue to make their southward into and through the Myrtle Beach area.
A number of shorebird species continue to be reported, including buff-bellied, Western, semipalmated, white-rumped, spotted and solitary sandpipers; willet; American oystercatcher; dowitchers; along with semipalmated, black-bellied, and Wilson’s plovers.
Royal, Caspian, Forster’s along with a few least and black terns, and a number of black skimmers have also been observed.
Wading birds continue to abound in area wetlands: wood stork; white ibis; great and snowy egrets; great blue, little blue, tricolored and green herons; and black-crowned and yellow-crowned night-herons are currently being seen.
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As many as four roseate spoonbills continue to be reported from the causeway area at Huntington Beach State Park. Blue-winged teal and a few Northern shoveler ducks have also been observed.
Patriot’s Point at North Charleston has offered some nice migrant songbird reports of late.
Among the species seen are wood, gray-cheeked and Swainson’s thrushes; red-eyed, white-eyed and yellow-throated vireos; Western and summer tanagers; blue grosbeak; indigo and painted buntings; and clay-colored sparrow.
Warbler species noted include American Redstart; Cape May; chestnut-sided, bay-breasted, blue-winged, yellow, Northern parula; and black-and-white and Northern waterthrush.
A number of our tiniest feathered friends, the hummingbirds, continue to make their way into and through the Myrtle Beach area.
Several folks have been happy to report multiple hummers still visiting their flowers and feeders. Their numbers will decrease through the end of October, but a few will remain in the area throughout winter.
Keep your feeders clean and maintained with a solution of one part sugar to four parts water with no other additives, and let me know of the hummingbird activity in your yard.
A few folks have noticed a decrease in activity at their seed and suet feeders of late.
Sometimes referred to as the fall feeder hiatus, it’s a common occurrence as natural food sources are currently approaching their peak in the area.
Native shrubs such as American beautyberry and pokeweed are laden with berries, many oaks (especially water, willow and live oak) are full of acorns, Southern magnolia seeds are available, and the cones of some pines are opening and dropping seeds.
Many herbaceous plant seeds are available, and a number of insect species are on the wing.
Birds evolved with these natural food sources over millions of years, and seek to avail themselves of these resources each fall. Incorporating plants such as the aforementioned into your landscape not only benefits the birds and myriad other creatures dependent on them, it also offers your regular backyard birds a local supply of the foods they require in their diets, giving them more reasons to visit your yard.