Bird-watchers invited to wildlife refuge

SUMMERTON - Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to count birds at a federal wildlife refuge in South Carolina.

The Santee National Wildlife Refuge will hold its 28th annual Santee Christmas Bird Count on Saturday from dawn to dusk.

The designated count area includes the refuge, Santee State Park, the town of Santee and half of Summerton.

Park ranger Susan Heisey says bird counters don't have to be experts.

The refuge includes more than 15,000 acres along the north shore of Lake Marion in Clarendon County. People have spotted an average of 130 species in previous counts.

The National Audubon Society is coordinating the nationwide Christmas Bird Count from Dec. 14 to Jan. 5.