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Huntington Beach State Park – Saltwater Marsh Life Birds

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Semipalmated Plover

By: Pat Coate

This is Part Two (of three) on Huntington Beach State Park located near Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. As I mentioned last week, one of the highlights of the park is the causeway you cross as you enter the park. On one side there is a freshwater lake and on the other a tidal marsh (pictures of the causeway below).

While enjoying the many birds and alligators along the causeway, I was able to add three life birds: black-bellied plover, semipalmated plover and clapper rail.

The semipalmated plover is a fairly common shorebird during migration. (Dad, this is the ‘fake’ bird you took a picture of on your trip to New England). This bird breeds in Alaska and many of the northern most Canadian provinces. It is an active feeder, walking about and pecking here and there for food.

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Black-bellied Plover

Not sure if this is an adult in non-breeding plumage or a juvenile. There was a group of eight feeding together at low tide.

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Clapper Rail

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Clapper Rail

The clapper rail is found in saltmarshes and mangrove swamps. At low tide the clapper rails would make brief appearances skittering along the edges of the marsh grasses or among the oyster beds.

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Causeway- freshwater on left, tidal saltmarsh at low tide on right

Note wood storks roosting in the trees in background (left).

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Closer look at the freshwater side

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And the saltwater marsh


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One response

  1. Tom

    I was semipalmated once. A quick procedure fixed me right up.

    14 November 2012 at 3:00 pm

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