I’ve been vacationing on Pawleys Island, S.C., so this week’s post will be a pictorial tour of some fun birding away from the mountains of East Tennessee.
As much as I like my mountain birds back home, it’s always great to get back to South Carolina. This trip has even managed to add a few new species to my South Carolina State List, including Prothonotary Warbler and Blue Grosbeak.
My favorite birding spots during my stay have included daily visits to Brookgreen Gardens and Huntington Beach State Park.
The 2,500 acre-Huntington Beach State Park rewards visitors with a diverse selection of birds, including shorebirds, wading birds, songbirds, raptors and almost every other feathered friend you care to name.
The park is located roughly 15 miles from Myrtle Beach, but it offers a much slower pace than the commercially driven tourism of the famous beach. More than 310 species of birds have been reported from Huntington Beach State Park since 1966. Helping increase bird diversity is varied habitat, including 1,060 acres of salt marsh, 750 acres of woodlands, 90 acres of freshwater/brackish marshes, 400 acres of maritime shrub thicket and 200 acres of sandy beach and dunes.
In addition, I have been delighted by the numbers of birds I have found within Brookgreen Gardens, which is a 9,100-acre sculpture garden and wildlife preserve. The attraction offers several themed gardens as a lovely backdrop for American figurative sculptures. There’s also a Lowcountry Zoo, as well as nature trails through a variety of habitats, including old rice plantation fields. Brookgreen Gardens was founded by Archer Milton Huntington, stepson of railroad magnate Collis Potter Huntington, and his wife, Anna Hyatt Huntington. The attraction displays some of the sculptures completed by Anna and her sister, Harriet Hyatt, along with other respected American sculptors. Brookgreen Gardens, which opened in 1932, is built on four former rice plantations, taking its name from the former Brookgreen Plantation.
So, enjoy this week’s pictorial essay on my latest birding trip to South Carolina. I hope you’ll find something to your liking.