Botany Bay Field Trip Recap

American Oystercatchers WhimbrelBy Nancy Salas

APRIL 6th Botany Bay Field Trip:
These are some pictures from Botany Bay WMA beach…oystercatchers, terns, red knots and whimbrel….taken by Bill Johnston, MN and DNR employee. Such an abundance of shorebirds here and volunteers have assisted with roping off nesting areas at the beach and educating our visitors about protection of both shorebird and loggerhead nests.
It's mine! Bill led the April 6th CMNA field trip, a 1/2 mile walk from the beach parking lot to the beach, over a causeway built in the 1700’s (the beach was about 1 mile from the present beach; sea island cotton and goods were loaded on ships and the sent to Charleston).
The walk, through marsh and 2 hammock islands, only took the group a couple of hours….not the 8 expected hours! Bill did a wonderful job discussing the marsh and maritime forest ecology on the way to the beach. Once at the beach you also have a view, looking north, at Deveaux Bank, the 212 acre bird sanctuary and one of the most important bird nesting sites in SC. B Bay Beach is 2 miles long and has eroded quite a bit since Hurricane Irene ‘missed’ us….the Boneyard of B Bay beach has definitely expanded, a reminder of the dynamics of our coastline. Red KnotsThere were 5 out of 14 participants who came as guests of our MN association, which was a fun way to introduce them to the CMNA; hope some of them decide take the course and become members!
I would invite anyone who’s never experienced Botany Bay to make the trip to Edisto. There are also volunteer opportunities, which give you access to other activities/ talks etc which happen at Botany Bay: for example: monthly bird walks, opportunity to assist in monitoring the loggerhead nests, and beach/ kiosk duty- a great opportunity to educate and learn from our visitors from all over the world.