Santee Coastal Reserve

McClellanville, SC 29458, USA

VB
203 reviews
Oct 22, 2022
Group size: 3 - 10
Santee Coastal Reserve
McClellanville, SC 29458, USA

203 reviews

$NaN
Oct 22, 2022
Group size: 3 - 10

About this trip

A full day birding trip with several miles of hiking through several miles of open mature longleaf pine forest, as well as driving to managed wetlands.


Santee Coastal Reserve is a wildlife management area in coastal South Carolina focused on managing wetland habitats for many high priority conservation species in the southeastern United States. This full day birding trip will begin at the entrance and go through several miles of open mature longleaf pine forests where we would expect all the mature pine species to occur: Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Summer Tanager, Yellow-throated Warbler and Bachman’s Sparrow (present but difficult to locate in fall), and in the understory, Northern Bobwhite, Common Yellowthroat, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo and Painted Buntings. 

As we leave the pine forest and proceed through the hardwood areas, fall migrants such as thrushes, vireos, flycatchers, and warblers could be plentiful. This part of the tour will be driving and stopping at various points, and we will drive to the Big Well area, an area of 5 managed wetlands along the South Santee River that is specifically managed for shorebirds.  There will be a short hike here to find the unit that has the most activity.  Over 20 species of shorebirds have been recorded here in the past with rarities such as Ruff, Hudsonian Godwit, and Wilson’s Phalarope., and this is a great place for Barn Owl.  After this we will hike approximately 1.5 miles through woodlands and wetlands that are managed for waterfowl. Waterfowl will begin showing up in early September, and all the wading birds to be found in coastal South Carolina will be found here, including South Carolina’s new resident wading bird, Roseate Spoonbill. The entire area is 24,000 acres, and we will only be able to cover a part of this birding paradise. One can easily expect to observe approximately 80 species here in one day, and more if conditions are right. 

Be prepared to fend off biting insects, they are unpredictable. Long-sleeved shirts, pants, and insect repellents usually work well here. Deer archery season is open during this trip, and we will be required to wear blaze orange vests (provided by Ventures). 

What’s included

  • 1 birding guide
  • lunch
  • transportation

Who’s Going

Your Organizer


VB
Ventures Birding Tours
203 reviews
Small travel company based in Asheville, NC, specializing in birding & nature tours both locally & worldwide.

Reviews

LR
I'm so glad that we looked into booking Ventures when we were visiting their area. Usually we bird on our own, but having someone so experienced who could almost instantly identify everything for us was such a help. We added several lifers to our list that I'm not sure we'd have been able to find or identify on our own, and the guide (Aaron Steed) showed us a new place that we can bird on our own when we're in the area (which we are a handful of times a year.) We're definitely going to check in with them to see if someone is available for a half day each time we come to town from now on (only half days because we bring dogs, but did find a local kennel with 'day care' to leave them for a few hours since we cannot leave them in the campground).
By Lynn R for Private Half Day Tours (2021/2022) on 30 Sep, 2022
We had a wonderful weekend. Kevin Burke is a fantastic guide - enthusiastic, knowledgeable, aware of the skill levels of the birders so that everyone learns something. In a 4 day weekend (one afternoon, one morning, two full days) we saw 83 species, 20 different warblers. We went to a variety of environments (lakes, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Jackson Park in Hendersonville), each with different migrant bird populations. The Holiday Inn was fine (as expected), and we all went out for meals together that were quite good, especially the Corner Kitchen. Very highly recommended! We’ve done both Spring and Fall Ventures Birding Warbler Weekends. Spring has more colorful birds that are easier to see (fewer leaves), while Fall has more birds all together. Both are fun.
By Ross M for Warbler Weekend Fall 2022 on 21 Sep, 2022
This trip was wonderful. It covered a large number of bird habitats throughout the entire state of Oregon. Our guides were very well organized and everything went very smoothly although there was always room to be flexible. Our accommodations were very good. Both guides were very very knowledge and friendly, helpful, and considerate. In all, a memorable birding trip with over 200 species viewed.
By Kim H for Oregon - Mountains, Coasts and Deserts 2022 on 19 Sep, 2022
This was a delightful experience. The views from the peak of the parkway were outstanding, the warblers were darting through on the fall migration, and the forested lovely trails from the Pisgah Inn to the overlook parking lot made for a perfect morning.
By Kathleen W for Buck Spring Gap on 16 Sep, 2022
Having two excellent and experienced guides and traveling in two vehicles was quite special for our small group. Kevin and Michael complemented each other and worked as an elite team identifying potential birding locations and at the same time avoiding areas where forest fires prevailed. Their efforts to locate special birds was extraordinary as all of us were able to see and appreciate new birds to add to life lists for some. Truly a fun, engaging experience enhanced by astute selections of evening dining opportunities and quite complete tail gate lunches on the go.
By Harry Y for Oregon - Mountains, Coasts and Deserts 2022 on 15 Sep, 2022
Show More Reviews