June 10, 2015 - Well, Lt. Dan isn't able to meet his deadline this week due to some important work-related stuff, so I am steppin...

Birds and Brews - Beer and a Sandwich

June 10, 2015 -

Well, Lt. Dan isn't able to meet his deadline this week due to some important work-related stuff, so I am stepping in for the week. This isn't to say that Dan isn't drinking - just not writing. Here is my "guest" post about when my wife and I went on vacation in South Carolina. We found a really good local beer - and a Sandwich!!!

After a busy day shopping, lying on the beach and eating, my wife and I were ready to chill out and relax with a drink or two. At the back of the lot where we parked our car there was an appealing little joint called "The Parrot". It seemed like the perfect place to go on many different levels. It was open, it had beer, and the name of the place was a bird.

Always wanting to try something new, I checked out their taps and this bright yellow tap handle with a big red star called out to me. I asked the bartender about it and he said, "It's kind of like Blue Moon - ya know, served with an orange and shit." Ugh. I'm not a Blue Moon fan, and the only time I want fruit in my drink is if its purpose is to keep me from drinking my vodka and tonic too quickly.

Then the bartender said those magic words, "Would you like a sample?" Now, every beer drinker knows this equates to our two favorite words - "Free Beer!" Yes, please!

The beer was "White Ale" from New South Brewing in Myrtle Beach, SC. Their website touts the beer as, "An American interpretation of a classic Belgian wheat ale." It has coriander and orange zest and such in it. I don't like wheat beers, I don't like fruity beers (unless they are apple), but I really enjoyed this beer. Not much else I can say... the aroma was "beer", the taste was "beer", and the finish was, "Can I get another one of these?" (I promise Dan will give a better beer review when he gets back.) It was a very easy beer to drink. Very refreshing and did not have that odd aftertaste that most wheat beers have. And while I could have opted for the well-known Yuengling, I stayed with the White Ale. It was much more interesting.

Ok! We had something to drink, now it's time for a sandwich!

Not this kind of sandwich!
As any birder would, while planning our vacation I checked out the local bird reports to see what species I should be on the lookout for in the Myrtle Beach area. There were quite a few targets, but one in particular got me excited: Sandwich Tern.

Terns are these awesome fighter pilot-type birds that zoom around constantly looking for seafood (similar to my wife after the 10 hour drive to SC). Once they spot a tasty morsel, they fold their wings back and dive head-first into the water, emerging seconds later with their lunch. 

My wife wanted sand and sun. I wanted sand and birds! Off to Huntington Beach State Park we went. I reviewed my Sibley's app while walking the 1.2 miles along the beach to the jetty: "Sandwich Terns are a medium to large-sized tern with a long yellow-tipped black bill." I scanned every bird that flew along the beach. Common Terns, Least Terns, Ring-Billed Gull... Finally, just as I reached the jetty, I saw my target standing in the sand looking (seemingly) expectantly skyward.

A moment later, another Sandwich Tern arrived with a fish as a present for his lady-friend. This part of the beach was like the drive-in theater for terns. In addition to the Sandwich Terns, Common and Least Terns were also making a move on their counterparts. I stopped and shot a few frames, then left them to do their thing.

If you make it down to Myrtle Beach, remember, it's not all ferris wheels and drunk people (though that's a lot of fun, too!) There are also great wildlife areas, like Huntington Beach State Park, to explore. And beer!
Sandwich Terns

Pier at Huntington Beach State Park

More beer and great music in Myrtle Beach ($2.75 for "their" beer - no other choice)

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