Shooting Pinkney Island Wildlife Refuge, SC

Pinkney Island Wildlife Refuge

Pinkney Island Wildlife Refuge is part of the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex. It is near Hilton Head, South Carolina. Indeed it is an island nestled between the mainland and Hilton Head Island itself. Many people may even pass right by it when going to and from Hilton Head Island along Hwy 278 and may never have even stopped by to see it. The entrance for Pinkney Island Wildlife Refuge is between the two main bridges going to Hilton Head on Hwy 278, opposite the CC Haig Jr Boat Landing.

I very much enjoyed going there this spring in 2020. In March, the Covid-19 pandemic and shutdown was in full swing, however a few outdoor venues like Pinkney Island Wildlife Refuge remained opened.

For me, the spring and early summer is the best time to visit this refuge. Many of the larger birds e.g. Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Anhingas, and Little Blue Herons are nesting. By March, the birds are building their nests up and already laying eggs. I liked this photo that seemed to have a prime spot for a nest nestled in between the old Juniper tree...

Great Egret on the Nest

And, I also liked this photo where you can actually see the eggs in the nest:

Great Eget with Eggs

So, if you visit Pinkney Island Wildlife Refuge, here are some things to remember... 1) Once you get the parking lot, it is not a drive through

and access beyond the parking lot is by hiking or biking only. 2) There is no water or restrooms, even at the parking lot. 3) Camping, freshwater fishing, feeding, capturing, or hunting wildlife, artifact collecting, dogs or other pets, are all prohibited. 

Here's a photo I captured on my next visit later in May. The eggs were hatched and the young chicks were very hungry as they always are. I may add this photo to my website soon:

And, by the end of June, the chicks were almost big enough to fledge the nest...

Juvenile Great Egrets

Usually by August, most of the birds will have fledged the nest and have learned to fly and hunt food by following the adult's example. They soon may even migrate south as far as south Florida or even the Caribbean and return next spring. 

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