The Grand Strand is one of the best places on the eastern seaboard to spot migrating birds in the spring and fall. Whether you’re an avid birder or just getting interested in bird watching, the Myrtle Beach area offers great places to get out and spot some feathered beauties.
The biggest hotspot for birding is Huntington Beach State Park, just south of Myrtle Beach and only 3 miles north of Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort. At the park, waterfowl, landbirds, shorebirds marsh and ocean species all descend. Recent bird sightings reported by the Carolina Bird club include several sightings of the Eastern Phoebe at both Huntington Beach State Park and Myrtle Beach State Park, a gray-cheeked thrush, a purple sandpiper and a tundra swan.
According to the birding website http://www.hiltonpond.org &ldqu,o;Sid Gauthreaux, Clemson University professor … takes his ornithology classes all the way to Huntington Beach each year because … ‘you have the greatest chance of turning up something rare and noteworthy. In recent winters there have been such exotic species as Lesser Black-backed Gull, jaegers, Harlequin Duck, and Snow Buntings, and the adjoining woodlands can be particularly exciting during spring and fall migration.’'
When you’re at Huntington Beach State Park, you can walk the beach and the causeway and get serious about bird watching with binoculars and a bird identification book, such as Sibley’s. But even amateur nature lovers can enjoy the scenery and wildlife, whether you’re watching songbirds, birds of prey or even the non-feathered creatures like alligators and turtles!
Myrtle Beach State Park is another popular birding destination. It’s located at the south end of Myrtle Beach, about 25 minutes north of Litchfield Resort. Myrtle Beach State Park offers a nature trail, beautiful beach access and the Myrtle Beach Pier, so it’s a good spot for both birding and surf fishing. Both state parks charge admission, with additional fees for fishing. Visit www.southcarolinaparks.com for more information, hours and fees.
Interested in birding, but need a little help? The Spring Migration Birding program by Brookgreen Gardens, just five minutes from Litchfield Resort, will be held Saturday, April 27. Naturalist and expert birder Jerry Walls will present classroom discussion on birding, followed by a trip to locate species in the woods, followed by a birding tour of the gardens. The program is $15 in addition to garden admission, and is limited to 14 participants. You can learn more at www.brookgreen.org or call 843-235-6016 to reserve a spot in the birding program.