Monday, March 12, 2007

March 8, 2007 Morning Bird Ramble

Thursday March 8, 2007, we had beautiful weather and great birds. Here are just a few highlights of our morning.
Birding Jekyll is birding by tides. High tide was around 11 a.m. so we explored some salt marsh areas. Right off the bat at my first stop there was a Seaside Sparrow ricocheting off the spartina grass to disappear into these golden mass. It was a good sign for how the morning would go. I picked up my fellow ramblers Wes and Priscilla. We headed for the Jekyll Island Welcome Center which is about a mile west of the island on a small hammock (marsh uplands area). We were there just at the right time. The tide is incoming and pushing the shorebirds closer so we surveyed the wide expanse of mud, cord grass and river to the north and west of the center. American Avocets and Marble Godwits were the standouts in the crowds of Western Sandpiper, Dunlins, Short-billed Dowitcher, Willets and Black-bellied Plovers.
These rambles have to be flexible. We just let the birds tell us where to stop. Our small group piled back in the van. We don’t get very far for we see that the little pond hidden behind wax myrtles just south of the causeway was chook full of birds. It was too good to pass up. The idea at this stop was to creep in and slowly allow the wading birds to see and get used to you. There were Wood Storks, Snowy Egrets, eleven Tri-colored Herons, twenty-five White Ibis and one lone immature Roseate Spoonbill hanging out in an old dead tree. Yes the Roseate Spoon and Wood Storks were stunning but there was one little bird here that became the highlight of the day. Across the pond, there was a Louisiana Waterthrush walking and bobbing right out in the open. This was a life bird for Wes and Priscilla so we were thrilled with the super looks at this rather large chunky warbler. It was easy to see the super white supercillium that flair behinds the eye as well of white throat and a little buff on the flanks. The pace of the morning was fast and fun. We couldn’t believe it when we were finished we had around seventy species that every one saw or heard. Here is the morning’s list:

Common Birds of the island
Double-crested Cormorant
Northern Mockingbird
Mourning Dove
Carolina Wren
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Brown Thrasher Seemed to be everywhere today

2 Pied-billed Grebe
2 Brown Pelican
11 Tricolored Heron
20 Snowy Egret
1 Great Blue Heron
2 Great Egret
25 White Ibis
1 Roseate Spoonbill
20 Wood Stork
1 Bald Eagle
3 Red-tailed Hawk
4 American Kestrel
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 White-eyed Vireo
20 American Robin
1 Gray Catbird
2 Marsh Wren
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Louisiana Waterthrush Day’s Highlight.
1 Seaside Sparrow
50 Red-winged Blackbird
1 Tricolored Heron
2 Little Blue Heron
2 Snowy Egret
35 White Ibis
1 Northern Harrier
4 Clapper Rail
3 Marbled Godwit
1 Greater Yellowlegs
30 Willet
1 Ruddy Turnstone
40 Short-billed Dowitcher

150 Western Sandpiper Estimated count.
100 Dunlin
12 American Avocet
10 Black-bellied Plover
2 Killdeer
1 Belted Kingfisher
1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Male
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 House Wren
200 Tree Swallow
5 Brown Pelican
5 Black Vulture
50 Willet
30 Least Sandpiper
50 Dunlin
50 Ring-billed Gull
10 Laughing Gull
25 Royal Tern
35 Forster’s Gull
2 Black Skimmer
8 Eurasian Collared Dove
1 Pileated Woodpecker
2 Fish Crow
2 Loggerhead Shrike
10 European Starling
3 House Finch
1 Yellow-throated Warbler
1 Savannah Sparrow
6 Boat-tailed Grackle
2 Brown-headed Cowbird
1 Hooded Merganser
20 Snowy Egret
3 Great Egret
2 Osprey
1 Yellow-throated Warbler
1 Eastern Phoebe
2 Eastern Bluebird
3 Red-headed Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
5 Blue Jay
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
2 Gray Catbird
5 Blue Jay
2 White-eyed Vireo
5 American Robin
10 Carolina Chickadee
3 American Goldfinch
1 Northern Parula
Yellow-throated Warbler
10 White-throated Sparrow
2 Eastern Towhee
Northern Cardinal
2 Boat-tailed Grackle
5 Common Grackle
2 Pied-billed Grebe
4 Anhinga
1 Great Egret
8 Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
12 Black-crowned Night-Heron
2 Black Vulture
1 Turkey Vulture
1 Red-tailed Hawk
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Pileated Woodpecker
1 White-eyed Vireo
30 Cedar Waxwing
2 Hermit Thrush
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
2 Golden-crowned Kinglet
2 Carolina Chickadee
Yellow-throated Warbler
3 Pine Warbler
5 American Robin

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