Friday, June 29, 2018

Bird Class for Scouts

It has been a busy week for me here on the Georgia Coast. I was talking to Margaret Evans or this week. She was assigned to write about migrating birds on Jekyll for Jekyll's magazine "3181." We hit off right from the start because she and I have a lot in common. Birds were the topic, and she likes to look at birds the same way I do. She reminded me that I have been neglecting my blog. On my, it has been a long time. Let's see if I will keep on posting. There is a lot of birding going on here on our coast.  Thanks Margaret!  I will try to be better about keeping it up to date.
Today, Gene Keferl and I lead a birding Merit badge class for a Cummings, Georgia Scout Troup. We had  10 teenage boys and their leaders. I did my "Draw a Bird" talk. Adding that drawing in the field helps reinforce your sighting of birds and give you memories of your day in the field. Gene talked about using binoculars.

After the introduction to the birds. We went out to find some birds. The group was fascinated by the Ibird Pro app I used. They liked that they could carry it in the field. We spotted Pileated Woodpeckers, Nothern Parulas, Great-crested Flycatchers. A male Ruby-throated Hummingbird sat on a wire for everyone to see. The guys could not believe that hummingbirds could just sit on a wire.
After a walk around the Jekyll Island Campground, we went up to Clam Creek Picnic Area. We watched as hundreds of Royal Terns flew back and forth to the bird island.  Here is the whole group with Gene.  Go birding!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Finished 2016 with a Weird Gull

On December 30th, 2016 I found this gull.
I thought it was a Ring-billed Gull. It had a yellow bill and yellow legs. Its back was a middle gray.

However, it looked strange. 

It had a winter hood of salt and pepper.
So I took a picture.
I got it home and looked at it. It seemed like a Laughing Gull.
But I blew it up, and the computer and it looked weird.

 Is it a Ring-bill Gull hybrid? But wait, what is the other gull?
Well, what do you think?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Least Tern are wrapping up nesting

It is August 6, 2016. The sky is beautiful, and it isn't as hot as it has been. I enjoyed this survey.

The Least Terns and Wilson's Plover are still out in the northern enclosure, 
especially in the middle and southeast side.

There are two Least Tern chicks very close to fledging and 
one Wilson's Plover chick that is maybe a couple of weeks away from fledging.

 The terns and plovers are using the north enclosure to rest at around high tide. 

This a young Least Tern. Isn't it lovely? It makes this nesting season worth it.
I counted 190 Least Terns total and one pair of Wilson's Plover. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Least Tern Colony News

Look what I found the first thing on my survey of Saturday morning July 23. 
This chick took me by surprise.
I thought that we would be through with the Least Tern project by July 19th, but these birds won’t quit. They have found a near perfect nesting area and they are going for with all the gusto they can muster. Last week, there were a little over 80 birds still in the two enclosures. 

Adult Least Tern is flying by as a Least Tern chick sits in the shade of a Russian thistle.

The Wilson's Plovers appeared to be finished.  Boy! was I wrong.
Isn't this Wilson's Plover just cute?

Granted there were fewer terns this week. I counted around 50 terns inside the enclosure.  There were more chicks than last week.  I watched as one Least Tern worked on a scrape.

To top that one Wilson’s Plovers was sitting tight on a nest. 

Live and learn. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Beach Bird Stewards were at Georgia's Department of Natural Resources Beach Week on St. Simons Island, GA June 29.

We had a table with information about Wilson's Plovers & the large Least Tern Colony at Gould's Inlet. 

Thanks to Devon, Linda, Sarah,  Mary Jo, Marge, and Marty for helping the birds.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Secret Life of Least Terns

Once a year for the last 16 years, my friend, Melanie Kist comes to Jekyll with her family. She is a gifted photographer. I often used her photographs in my bird conservation work.

This year I invited her to see the Least Tern colony. Here are a few of her photos. 

They give us a peek at what these terns are doing on the beach.
Don’t they just melt your heart?
These are few more pictures of the secret lives Least Terns.
 Thank Melanie 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Operation Plover Patrol spreads out

Hi all
Well, the Wilson's Plovers are well cared for on Jekyll. Thanks to Ben Carswell, Yank Moore, and Ranger Bre.
This year Gould's Inlet has a huge sand spit. The Least Terns saw it as perfect for nesting. The Wilson's Plovers agreed. I was asked to help set up a Plover Patrol on St. Simons at Gould's Inlet. 14 volunteers have step up to help.
Tim Keyes, our DNR Shorebird person, got our vests. Here is one modeled by his son Walker.
Tomorrow evening these vests will get their first use as Team Bird is out in force on World Ocean Day!