Bird enthusiasts have an opportunity to spend a quiet evening under the stars sipping wine and observing some of nature's finest feathered creatures.

The Silver Bluff Audubon Center is hosting its 10th annual Storks and Corks event in August. The event includes sampling of wines, a buffet dinner and a viewing of the endangered wood storks, as well as other wading birds.

Silver Bluff Audubon Center Director Paul Koehler said the event is very popular and tickets sell fast.

Koehler added that he knows of at least five people who have attended all nine years, and most, if not all of them, have already made their reservations for the upcoming event.

“It's really been embraced here,” Koehler said. “It's turned into one of our largest fundraisers, and, also, it's a great thing for the storks, of course.”

Koehler said the unusually rainy weather has made this year difficult for the wood stork, which prefers gradually drying conditions during the summer months. Those conditions help concentrate the fish that the stork eats into smaller pools of water. With all the rain, the pools stay large and deep, so the fish have a lot more room to spread out. That makes it difficult for the storks to find and catch the fish, Koehler said.

Koehler said that the center's pond systems began to lower on Thursday, and that the wood stork population is doing fine.

Attendees will walk down to the stork ponds, view the birds as long as they want and go back to the visitors center to pop the wine corks and enjoy dinner, Koehler said.

The event is Aug. 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. Reservations are required and tickets are $40 per person.

The center is located at 4542 Silver Bluff Road in Jackson.

Proceeds will benefit the Silver Bluff Audubon Center.

Call 803-471-0291 to make a reservation.

Amy Banton is the County reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the publication since May 2010. Originally from Rustburg, Va., she is a graduate of Randolph Macon College.