Silver Bluff Audubon Center & Sanctuary

Silver Bluff Audubon Center & Sanctuary

Overview

Area name

Silver Bluff Audubon Center & Sanctuary

Area Location

To get to the Education Center, proceed to the intersection of South Carolina Highways 125 and 302 (approximately 4 miles southeast of Beech Island, SC on Hwy 125). Turn Southwest on Silver Bluff Road. Travel 1.8 miles and you will come to a stop sign. Continue straight, crossing Old Jackson highway. After 1.1 miles you will cross a set of RR tracks. Travel a short distance and the paved road will become a sand/clay road. From this point, proceed approximately one mile and you will see the education building on the right side of the road.

Area Map

Access

Hours of Operation: Monday – Saturday 9:00am – 5:00pm.

Please respect all posted signs and gates. Wildlife, plants, and artifacts at Silver Bluff are protected by Federal and State Law and by the National Audubon Society.

 

The Silver Bluff Audubon Education Center is a good starting point for birding the refuge. The address is 4542 Silver Bluff Road. Jackson, South Carolina 29831.

To reach the Education Center, proceed to the intersection of South Carolina Highways 125 and 302 (approximately 4 miles southeast of Beech Island, SC on Hwy 125). Turn Southwest on Silver Bluff Road. Travel 1.8 miles and you will come to a stop sign. Continue straight, crossing Old Jackson highway. After 1.1 miles you will cross a set of railroad tracks, travel a short distance and the paved road will become a sand/clay road. From this point, proceed approximately one mile and you will see the education building on the right side of the road.

Silver Bluff Audubon Center has two hiking trails, the 3/4 mile Nuthatch Trail and the 2 mile Tanager Trail. Both can be accessed at the Education Center.

 

Where the paved portion of Silver Bluff Road ends and the dirt begins you will find the Kathwood Ponds. In winter Wood Duck as well as Mallard and Bufflehead can be found. In late summer these ponds are drawn down to provide foraging habitat for Wood Storks. Several hundred storks may be found during this time. Rare waders such as Roseate Spoonbills have also rarely been found here in late summer. This also provides
habitat for migrating shorebirds and such rarities as Baird’s Sandpiper have been found there. In spring and fall the woods around the ponds are good for migrants including many warblers.

Birds of the Sandhills/Coastal Plain can be found along either trail and the main road. Northern Bobwhite and Bachman’s Sparrows both breed on the property. There are feeders at the Education Center where Brownheaded and White Breasted Nuthatches as well as Buntings and Grosbeaks may be seen. There is a butterfly garden at the same location that attracts a wide variety of butterflies as well as hummingbirds.

 

For more information on birding at Silver Bluff, call Paul Koehler at (803)471-0291. email: pkoehler@audubon.org.

Facilities

Background

Silver Bluff Audubon Center and Sanctuary is situated along the Savannah River, located near Aiken, South Carolina and Augusta, Georgia. The sanctuary  contains 3,154 acres of upland pine forest, hardwood bottomlands, fields, lakes and streams, it is typical of much of the Coastal Plain of Georgia and The Carolinas.

Silver Bluff is actively managed to provide income from its forest products. The property has been certified as a producer of environmentally sustainable timber products by SmartWood under the Forest Stewardship Council system.

The wide variety of habitats contained within Silver Bluff offers spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities. For the birdwatcher, Silver Bluff boasts a checklist with over 200 species, including endangered Wood Storks.

Key Birds

Resident

Red-shouldered Hawk, Wild Turkey, Northern Bobwhite, Red-headed Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown-headed Nuthatch.

Summer

Wood Stork, Mississippi Kite, Chuck-will’s-widow, Whip-poor-will, Yellow-throated Vireo, Northern Parula, Prairie Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Swainson’s Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Yellow-breasted Chat, Bachman’s Sparrow, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting.

Fall

Warblers and migrant birds

Winter

Hooded Merganser, Bald Eagle, American Woodcock, Wilson’s Snipe, Winter Wren, American Pipit, Orange-crowned Warbler, Palm Warbler, Fox Sparrow.