A good birding trip with hard working guides who love their area and want you to appreciate it too. Judy O.
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Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.
Activity note: Activity Notes Check in, settle in, and meet the scholars sharing your cottage or lodge. An orientation to the week's activities will follow dinner.
Afternoon: Arrive at Palm Key between 4:00-5:30 pm to check in and pick up program materials. Once you are settled into your room, meet the others who are sharing your cottage and enjoy a chat on the back porch. At 5:30 pm, meet and greet other participants at a little party before dinner. Please note that Indicated times are approximate. Program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances including weather and seasonal hunting restrictions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Dinner: You are probably hungry after traveling, so enjoy the first of our sumptuous lowcountry dinners, served at 6:00 pm. Join other scholars to compare notes about previous programs and follow up on earlier conversations. Don't miss the dessert buffet!
Evening: After dinner, join us for a short orientation as the instructors share specific plans for the week and answer any questions you have about the program and facilities. We'll also talk about some of the birds you might expect to see this week and have a preview of the places we'll visit. But we know you're tired from traveling, so we'll be sure you get to bed at a reasonable hour!
Activity note: What a great day! Put on your walking shoes, grab your binoculars, Sibley's Guide, and sunscreen, and plan to see some really neat birds.
Breakfast: Breakfast served at 8:00 am. Fuel up on our sumptuous low country breakfast--you'll have an active day! Will it be grits and eggs? Or is it an oatmeal day? Come dressed for birding.
Morning: OK, breakfast over, it's time to get down to the business of birding. Appropriately dressed, well equipped with binoculars, bird ID book, and your water bottle, you're ready to visit several wildlife refuges. Be prepared to spend some quality time in the van discussing the birds we see. In addition, instructors will highlight the day's likely sightings: Grebes, Coots, Green Herons, and Bitterns, await you. Alligators and turtles, though not on your bird list, are still exciting to see!
Lunch: Lunch is a picnic, prepared by us from the delicious lunch buffet at breakfast. Did you make a sandwich out of whole-grain bread? Or choose trail mix, nuts, and fruit? Or both? Whatever you fixed, you'll enjoy it while we talk about what we've seen and what we hope to see.
Afternoon: Enjoy the beauty of the refuges as we bird from one place to another. Everyone's eager, but we're being polite and letting everyone take a look through our spotting scopes. Pinckney Island Wildlife Refuge is a former plantation made up of a wide variety of land types: salt marsh, forestland, brushland, fallow field and freshwater ponds. These habitats support a diversity of bird and plant life. On Pinckney, we have the opportunity to see waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, raptors, neo-tropical migrants, white-tailed deer, and alligators. The area is rich in white ibis, herons, and egrets. If you want help extra help with bird ID, just let our instructors know--they are always happy to help and share their knowledge!
Dinner: Back on site, showered, and relaxed, it's time to enjoy a leisurely lowcountry dinner. Will it be rosemary chicken and brown rice? Or long-simmered roast beef with salad? Or savory southern barbecue? Whatever the menu, you'll surely enjoy it!
Evening: After dinner, join us for one of our popular evening programs. We always try to offer you the opportunity to use your brain cells after supper--as well as relax, have some fun, and learn more about the lowcountry.
Activity note: We'll take the van to more wonderful birding sites today--these complementary sites will give you a chance to hone your bird-identifying skills.
Breakfast: Start the morning out right with a delicious low country breakfast at 8:00 am. Is today the day you'll try grits? Or is fruit and toast more your style? Be sure to fill your plate: you'll need energy for today's outing! And don't forget, you'll want to pack your lunch before making your final preparations for the morning's birding extravaganza.
Morning: We're visiting some gems today: Bear Island is recognized as one of the best birding areas of the state. Besides a wide variety of year-round common and migratory species who are regularly here, Bear Island and Bennett’s Point have been known to host a number of rare birds: Roseate Spoonbill, Black Rail, American Avocet, Hudsonian Godwit, etc. Who knows what birds we might see?
Lunch: Today we enjoy a bag lunch--did you bring a boiled egg and craisins or a turkey and cheese sandwich? We hope you picked up a homemade cookie at the buffet this morning!
Afternoon: This afternoon is a continuation of the morning--birding by foot, by eye, by ear. Keep a snack out of your lunch to enjoy during the mid-afternoon--you'll be glad you did!
Dinner: At 6:00, we'll enjoy another lovely lowcountry meal--maybe fish tonight, with black-eyed pea salad! Swap stories about the day's adventures with your table-mates, and don't forget the dessert!
Evening: This evening, join us for a program on South Carolina's lowcountry and its history and culture. The LifeTides Institute is known for its engaging presenters and interesting programs. Whatever it is, you don't want to miss it.
Activity note: We've all been seeing some great birds--and today will be no exception! What new birds will make their way to our group list today?
Breakfast: As always, be sure to fuel up with a delicious lowcountry breakfast. Don't forget to prepare your bagged lunch for later!
Morning: Load up the van! It's time to head out to the Savannah NWR. We will stop at the visitor center for an orientation as well as drive the Tupelo Trail, stopping along the 4 mile loop to bird along the way. Listen up when the instructors review what birds we're keeping an eye out for today.
Lunch: We'll have a healthy picnic lunch on our outing. Was it turkey today? Or organic peanut butter? Soy nuts or craisins? There's something for everyone.
Afternoon: After lunch we'll continue our field trip at the Savannah NWR, exploring the Tupelo Trail and other access points at the Refuge.
Dinner: This evening, we'll meet for another lovely lowcountry meal--maybe shrimp and grits, or barbeque ribs and the fixings. You will have worked up an appetite today!
Evening: This evening, join us for a program on South Carolina's lowcountry and its history and culture. The LifeTides Institute is known for its engaging presenters and interesting programs.
Activity note: Webb Wildlife Center is the home of the Red Cockaded Woodpecker, which nests in the Longleaf Pines there
Breakfast: What will it be this morning? Ham and eggs? Homemade bread? Or maybe a bowl of fruit? But don't be late: we have a busy day ahead! (Don't forget to pack your lunch.)
Morning: After breakfast we all load up in the van and travel to Webb Wildlife Center. Why would we want to go there? Well, Webb Wildlife Center contains longleaf pine forest, the preferred habitat of the Red Cockaded Woodpecker, a jewel in this program’s crown. This morning, Scholars will bird in hardwood forest, blackwater swamp, and the aforesaid longleaf pine forest.
Lunch: Once again, we'll picnic on our outing--what did you choose today? Whatever it is, it's sure to be healthy and delicious.
Afternoon: We continue the fun into the mid afternoon. This is a full and active day, but it's not over yet.
Dinner: Dinner begins early tonight with an old-timey Oyster Roast! Come join us at 5:00 as we steam fresh, local oysters over an open fire. Don't know how to open oysters? You can learn by doing--and eating. And then--it's time for another lowcountry dinner!
Evening: After dinner, you won’t want to miss the wrap-up party. This is our last evening, and we can’t let it go by without doing it up special. Everyone will find something to enjoy as we share highlights from the week over dessert (if you still have room). You don’t want to miss this--but to tell you more right now would be to spoil it! If you brought one with you, do bring your musical instrument to our gathering spot.
Activity note: Our final breakfast together--if you haven't tried grits yet, this is the day! Make plans to come back to see us. Please return your name tags and lanyards so that we can reuse them.
Breakfast: Breakfast at 8:00, and your last chance for grits! If you haven’t tried them yet, you just have to have some today. You’ll want to eat hardily, as today you will be packing up and leaving us for wherever your road takes you. (Please return your name tags and lanyards before you leave us.)
Morning: This morning, after telling parting stories, asking questions, issuing invitations, or listening to one more joke from you-know-who, it’s off to pack up and prepare for departure. We hope you’ll stay in the area and do some more exploring—and/or birding--ask the staff for recommendations and directions. We’d love to share more of South Carolina and the lowcountry with you!
A good birding trip with hard working guides who love their area and want you to appreciate it too. Judy O.
This program is for the birds. It was a delightful time with "birders". I do not keep a "life list" my interest is photos. Got some great shots. The food was delectable. Accommodations were hospitable. ***** - That is not my photo showing, even though I have been called an "old coot"
I enjoyed my first experience with a Road Scholar program. I felt I got my money's worth. I will use them again.
The South Carolina Low Country is a marvelous home to a great variety of birds no matter what time of year. In the fall, it is the winter residence for many ducks, woodpeckers, warblers and shorebirds. Road Scholar and LifeTides Institute does a wonderful job in getting the group to very productive birding locations and the guides are excellent in spotting and identifying the numerous birds encountered. The facilities are very comfortable and conducive to establishing new friendships. This is a great trip for both novice and experienced bird lovers.
Very happy to have completed my tenth RS program since Nov '15; most have been birding related (with an emphasis on my photography hobby) and this one was excellent with expert and enthusiastic leaders, Bob and Elizabeth along with superb accommodation at Palm Key and great meals. Highly recommended
Excellent program all the way around! Bob and Elizabeth, the two leaders, were very skilled birders- Bob with his visual identification and Elizabeth with her audio identification - helped all of us participants to enjoy the birding experience and get to see almost 120 species along the way! They gave us opportunities to bird from 7am to 5pm every day, so we weren't bored at all!!! Food was great, much from scratch, and Palm Keys cottages clean and roomy. And what was impressive was that every person on the staff had such a great attitude- cheery, "can -do" , and always willing to help! All in all, one of the better Road Scholar programs!
Delightful program in all respects from the lodging to exceptional homemade food/lowcountry menu to the knowledgeable leaders, breathtaking scenery, and large variety of birds we viewed (at least 116 species!). This was a stellar trip all around!
The program was organized very well, with just the right amount of learning experiences and free time. Our instructors/naturalists had excellent credentials and were very knowledgeable not only about the birds that we saw, but about other aspects of nature, such as butterflies, plants, snakes, bugs, and etc. We even received photography tips. The instructors ensured that we saw and could identify the birds that were sighted on each of our field trips. The hosts were also excellent, and the cottages were comfortable and inviting and made it easy to sit back and have some wine and talk to the others in the cottages. In addition, the food was not only plentiful but delicious. I would highly recommend this program to other birders.
This was our first Road Scholar trip and it won't be our last. The master naturalists ensured everyone had a chance to do and learn, no matter their experience. We walked away better able to identify birds in flight, and picked up a camera trick or two along the way. Our program encompassed a variety of natural environments, access to many wildlife/DNR refuges/parks, and unique presentations by local experts. The cottage accommodations were exceptional with nice furniture, full kitchens, screened in porches, and private bathrooms for each bedroom. Food was very healthy and tasty, and they were able to cater to special diets and allergies. The entire experience was way too short, we would have been glad to stay another week!
This is a great program for both people who are interested in seeing if they enjoy birding, and the dedicated birder. Not a lot of strenuous activity (the Low Country is rather flat). The accommodations are lovely, meals are great, and the instructors are very good!