Visit Fish Haul Creek!

DSC_0078Fish Haul Creek Park is a fantastic town park featuring 4 natural habitats which include maritime forest, salt marsh with creeks, beach dunes, and the Port Royal Mud Flats.  An abundance of shorebirds, wading birds, perching birds, and birds of prey can be found in this remarkable setting.  Take the entire family and enjoy lunch at the picnic pavilion. Convenient parking and restrooms are provided. There is a wonderful observation deck that overlooks the tall marsh grass where you might spot a White Ibis or Great Egret looking for a meal.  Bald Eagles, Osprey,  Barred Owls, and Peregrine Falcons will soar through the air and land in the majestic Live Oaks and pine trees that surround the area.  Easy walking trails will lead you down to the beach, where you´ll find 2 information signs.  On your left will be huge colonies of oyster shells out on the beach.  Plenty of dried shells will be scattered about to collect as a keepsake, including mussel shells with purple streaks on them. Town ordinance prohibits the removal of live beach fauna.   On your right will be an eclectic mix of trees and low vegetation, a thin beach with washed-up trees scattered about like giant sculptures against the landscape, and little inlets where birds will search for food. Be careful not to step into the pluff mud!

Birders and non-birders alike will be amazed at the spectacular array of birds feeding near the seashore at high tide.  Be sure to bring your binoculars or a spotting scope! Brown Pelicans stand like sentries out on the sandbars, surrounded by Ring-billed Gulls, Laughing Gulls, and Herring Gulls.  Hundreds of Black Skimmers will fly low over the ocean, their long red and black-tipped beaks open to catch food.  Marbled Godwits with their golden bodies will land on the mudflats, casually mixing with Dunlins, Short-billed Dowitchers, Semi-palmated Plovers, Willets, and Western Sandpipers.  Seagulls can be seen bobbing in the water, while others march purposely through the shallows searching for a meal. Watch Ruddy Turnstones, striking black, white, and chestnut-colored birds with a black bibs on their chest, amble along the beach.  American Oyster Catchers, Royal Terns, and Belted Kingfishers are drawn to this incredible coastal refuge.  Spot Marsh Wrens, Cardinals, Great Blue Herons, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and Mourning Doves as you hike through the woods. Fish Haul Creek Park is the ultimate destination to observe shorebirds, collect shells, and enjoy the pristine beauty of Hilton Head Island.

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