Upstate, SC Birds: Birds and Birding at Conestee Nature Preserve

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Have a love for the birds of Upstate, SC? My family enjoys visiting Conestee Nature Preserve not just because of its wonderful play areas but for its easy trails that are teeming with wildlife, especially birds. I didn’t realize until recently that Conestee Nature Preserve is an Upstate, SC birds watcher paradise with over 200 different species of birds.

Birds and birding at Lake Conestee Nature Preserve

I’m so excited that Paul Serridge from the Greenville County Bird Club has agreed to share with us more about the birds at Lake Conestee Nature Preserve and the presentations and free guided bird walks that they offer to the Greenville Community. All of the following photos are taken by local Greenville County Bird Club member Don Faulkner and depict birds that you can look for at Lake Conestee Nature Preserve.

Birding at Conestee Nature Preserve

Are you interested in birds and want to know more?

Cedar Waxwing bird at Lake Conestee Nature Preserve

Cedar Waxwing (Photo Credit: Don Faulkner) – learn more about the Cedar Waxwing

There are currently 1138 species of birds on the ABA (American Birding Association) checklist for the area covered by the Continental US and Canada.

Wood Duck at Lake Conestee Nature Preserve

Wood Duck (Photo Credit: Don Faulker) – learn more about the Wood Duck

There are 472 species on the official bird list for South Carolina.

And….there are 226 species on the checklist for Conestee Nature Preserve birds of Upstate, SC that live right here in Greenville. Use this Conestee Nature Preserve Bird Checklist.

Red-shouldered Hawk at Lake Conestee Nature Preserve

Red-shouldered Hawk (Photo Credit: Don Faulkner) – learn more about the Red-shouldered Hawk

In other words, a birding bonanza is right here on your doorstep in Greenville, SC. Of course, many of the birds found at Conestee are common and some will visit backyard feeders or eat insects from your yard. The accompanying photographs by Don Faulkner show some of the species regularly found in the park but which many people are not aware of in our local area.

Killdeer at Lake Conestee Nature Preserve

Killdeer (Photo Credit: Don Faulkner) – learn more about the Killdeer

Some common birds of South Carolina you may catch a glimpse of at Lake Conestee Nature Preserve include Carolina Wren, Northern Cardinals, Chipping Sparrows, Blue Jay, Red Bellied Woodpecker, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, Brown Headed Nuthatch, Red Shoulder Hawk, Mourning Dove, European Starling, American Robin, and the star of the park, the Great Blue Heron. Many of these birds can be seen in fall and winter, so you can visit any time of year and still go birding at Conestee Nature Preserve.

Free Guided Bird Walks at Conestee Nature Preserve*

The Greenville County Bird Club (GCBC) offers free guided bird walks on the third Saturday of each month at Conestee Nature Preserve (CNP).  Details can be found on the outings page of the GCBC website. Check the website before heading out, because the club occasionally adds walks or changes the weekend.  It is not necessary to be a GCBC member to participate. (Please note that minor children should be accompanied by an adult.)

Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker at Conestee Nature Preserve

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Photo Credit: Don Faulker) – learn more about the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Birding Events at Lake Conestee Nature Preserve

In addition to exploring the beauty of the Preserve, you can also participate in any of their events. They offer small Community Events and Youth Programs. Their Annual Events are larger in size and include Hops & Herons in the fall and the Great Blue Gathering in the Spring. They also offer occasional bird-watching events. You can stay tuned to their Events page for more details.

Blue Heron nests at Lake Conestee Nature Preserve
Blue Heron Nest at Lake Conestee Nature Preserve

Lake Conestee Nature Preserve

Check out our full Conestee Nature Preserve Guide before heading out on your bird-watching trip.

More Birding Opportunities

Want to see an incredible hawk migration? You can visit Caesar’s Head in the fall for the hawk watch.

Caesars Head

Sassafras Observation Tower

Sassafras Mountain is another great place to catch the fall hawk migration.

Have you been birding at Lake Conestee Nature Preserve? We love seeing the Blue Heron nests!

About the Author
Bethany Winston is the owner and editor-in-chief of Kidding Around Greenville & Kidding Around Spartanburg. She enjoys exploring parks, discovering local events, and meeting the people who make Greenville an amazing place to live. You can contact her directly at

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George Varn
3 years ago

Can anyone identify this bird type? I shot the pic at the Conestee nature Preserve today, 12 April 2021 just off Possum Run Trail. I think it’s some type of sandpiper???