Tucked away and off-the-beaten-path, Silver Bluff Audubon Center and Sanctuary in Jackson is a beautiful location for veteran and amateur birders alike.
About 3,000 acres of forests and fields, ponds and streams next to the Savannah River provide habitat for more than 200 species of birds year-round, including wood storks and bald eagles. The center has a system of walking/hiking trails through the park and an education facility to learn more about bird-watching, the National Audubon Society and the rich history of the Silver Bluff area.
From September to November, sharp-eyed visitors out on the trails will spy dozens of varieties of feathered friends, among them grebes and cormorants, herons, egrets, wood ducks, turkeys and vultures, hummingbirds and kinglets, phoebes, swallows and sparrows, cardinals, warblers and shrikes and, of course, the Palmetto State's very own Carolina wren.
Center and Sanctuary Director Paul Koehler urges birders to come early. "The earlier in the morning, the better for seeing any kind of wildlife," Koehler said. Gates open at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. , Monday though Saturday.
The National Audubon Society operates nearly 100 centers and sanctuaries across the United States, including Silver Bluff and the center in the Francis Beidler Forest near Harleyville.
If you're going:
Silver Bluff Audubon Center and Sanctuary is located at 4542 Silver Bluff Road in Jackson. Gates are open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For information educational programming and tours, contact Center Director Paul Koehler at (803) 471-0291.