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20959
South Carolina

Birding the Lowcountry

With its salt marshes, abundant forests, coastal estuaries and diverse wildlife refuges, South Carolina’s Lowcountry is an ideal destination for both birds and birders alike.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20959RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,379
South Carolina

Birding the Lowcountry

With its salt marshes, abundant forests, coastal estuaries and diverse wildlife refuges, South Carolina’s Lowcountry is an ideal destination for both birds and birders alike.
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,379
Program No. 20959 RJ
climate
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At a Glance

Bring your binoculars for an adventure that’s perfect for novice birders. South Carolina’s Lowcountry, woven with salt marshes, blackwater swamps and hardwood forests, is a veritable haven for more than 250 bird species, including endangered species, threatened species and species of concern. Learn birding techniques, then hone them as you observe birds during migration along the Atlantic Flyway. Spot shorebirds, raptors, songbirds and other seasonal travelers on field trips to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, Bear Island and Pinckney Island. Possible species include White Pelicans, Prothonotary Warblers, Purple Gallinules, Wood Storks and others.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Search for the protected Red-cockaded Woodpecker during an excursion to the Webb Wildlife Center.
  • Enjoy special field trips to sites in the ACE Basin and Port Royal Sound.
  • Savor the cuisine of the Lowcountry as you enjoy an oyster roast, Lowcountry Boil, Hoppin’ John and more.

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: This unique, often basic and no-frills experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, and a live performance or event. All Road Scholar birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 7:1 in the field. We adhere to the American Birding Association’s Code of Ethics. Learn more at http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
South Carolina Naturalists: An Anthology, 1700-1860
by David Taylor and Rudy Mancke
“This volume illuminates the wealth and significance of antebellum natural history studies in South Carolina and the state's natural diversity,” says the product description; our Bill Hamel notes that it’s “great all around for naturalists and history lovers.”
The Water is Wide
by Pat Conroy
Pat Conroy's memoir about teaching on Daufuskee Island in a one-room schoolhouse. The book was made into the movie Conrack, starring Jon Voight. Sense of place and people. Product Description from publisher: The island is nearly deserted, haunting, beautiful. Across a slip of ocean lies South Carolina. But for the handful of families on Yamacraw island, America is a world away. For years the people here lived proudly from the sea, but now its waters are not safe. Waste from industry threatens their very existence--unless, somehow, they can learn a new life. But they will learn nothing without someone to teach them, and their school has no teacher. Here is PAT CONROY'S extraordinary drama based on his own experience: the true story of a man who gave a year of his life to an island and the new life its people gave him.
A Coast for All Seasons: A Naturalist's Guide to the Coast of South Carolina
by Miles O. Hayes, Jacqueline Michel and Joseph M. Holmes
From Book Description: "Explore the marvels of the South Carolina coast through the eyes of two gifted coastal geologists. Miles O. Hayes and Jacqueline Michel take their exceptional understanding of the Carolina coast with its barrier islands, estuaries and bays, and, offer rare insights into this beautiful, and, sometimes, treacherous world. Illustrations, photographs and satellite imagery enhance a narrative that presents hard science and makes it accessible and very human. This is a book that investigates the changing face of the coastline through erosion, hurricanes and climate change. This is a book that matters."
The Prince of Tides
by Pat Conroy
Pat Conroy's novel captures the beauty of the lowcountry as it moves from present to past and back again. Made into a movie by the same title starring Barbra Streisand and Nick Nolte. Narrated by Tom Wingo, the novel explores the relationships between members of a dysfunctional family as it moves between the lowcountry to Manhattan. Shrimping, good description of salt marshes.
Looking for Longleaf: The Fall and Rise of an American Forest
by Lawrence S. Earley
Our Naturalist Bill Hamel says this is the “best all around for naturalists and history lovers.” Longleaf pine forests are a special ecosystem and home to the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker. From Book Description: "Covering 92 million acres from Virginia to Texas, the longleaf pine ecosystem was, in its prime, one of the most extensive and biologically diverse ecosystems in North America. Today these magnificent forests have declined to a fraction of their original extent, threatening such species as the gopher tortoise, the red-cockaded woodpecker, and the Venus fly-trap. Conservationists have proclaimed longleaf restoration a major goal, but has it come too late? In Looking for Longleaf, Lawrence S. Earley explores the history of these forests and the astonishing biodiversity of the longleaf ecosystem, drawing on extensive research and telling the story through first-person travel accounts and interviews with foresters, ecologists, biologists, botanists, and landowners. For centuries, these vast grass-covered forests provided pasture for large cattle herds, in addition to serving as the world's greatest source of naval stores. They sustained the exploitative turpentine and lumber industries until nearly all of the virgin longleaf had vanished. Looking for Longleaf demonstrates how, in the twentieth century, forest managers and ecologists struggled to understand the special demands of longleaf and to halt its overall decline. The compelling story Earley tells here offers hope that with continued human commitment, the longleaf pine might not just survive, but once again thrive."
The Spirit of Sweetgrass
by Nicole Seitz
Seitz's main character is Essie Mae Laveau Jenkins, a Gullah sweetgrass basketmaker who weaves her magic on the roadside near Mt. Pleasant. With her special love baskets, she works to brings people together. Conflict ensues when her daughter wants her to go to a rest home, and the florist she's been trying to fix up turns out to be gay. Sweetgrass making, roadside basket sellers in the Charleston area, mystery, comedy, family relationships, friends.
Tideland Treasure
by Todd Balantine
Our naturalist Bill Hamel says this is "a bible around here." Hand-drawn illustrations enhance the explanations. Each page was once an article in the local paper. Written for regular folks, there's information to satisfy trained naturalists.
"The Swamp Fox"
by Amy Crawford
Here's the link to this article about one of the most famous Revolutionary War heroes in SC, and one for whom counties and cities are named. Francis Marion used his knowledge of the swamps and woods of SC and his attention to details to outwit British troops and earn his nickname. A poor speller, he was nonetheless a great report-writer. www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/biography/fox.html
Nature Guide to the Carolina Coast: Common Birds, Crabs, Shells, Fish, and other Entities of the Coastal Environment (2nd edition)
by Peter Meyer
Copied from Book Description: "Nature Guide to the Carolina Coast, second edition, is a completely updated, revised, and expanded version of the book originally published in 1991. It is a practical, entertaining, reader-friendly guide to the common animals, plants, and environment of the Carolina coast. Fully illustrated, with over 150 color photographs to aid with identification of over 120 subjects, plus additional drawings with in-depth information on each subject. Scientifically accurate, yet written in language the lay public can understand. It is a perfect resource for coastal residents and visitors along the North Carolina/South Carolina, and even the Georgia coast. A beachcomber's handbook; valuable to any seaside explorer."





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