Monday, April 23, 2007

Talk and tours

Thursday April 19, 2007,
I didn’t go out birding today. Well, I did do some birding but I just didn’t go out just to bird. Instead today I did a talk. The High-timers are active retired folks from my church St. Simons Presbyterian Church. This talk is titled “FROM THE BACKYARD TO THE BEACH: BIRDING ALONG THE GEORGIA COAST”. My goal in giving talks is reconnecting people to the outdoors. What better way to do this than through birds. Birds are generally everywhere. There are some very beautiful birds are active during the day so we see them. The more people who are feeding and watching birds, the more folks who will understand the fragile connection we have in the world. There is so much ugly news these days. People complain that life is exhausting and overwhelms them. This cycle seems to permeate our society and clog up our lives. Birding is a great way to break that cycle and help give us prospective. So at noon as I was reaching for the computer case, I made note of the Great-crested Flycatcher singing. Inside I got set up and asked how many feed the birds. I was surprised to find that a lot of the group didn’t feed the birds. This was perfect for them. When I got to the part about common birds that don’t come to bird feeder, I told them about the Great-crested Flycatcher singing. Several days later I had some nice comments on the talk. There was one person who asked me the Great-crested Flycatcher. She is planning taking her grandson out in the backyard to find it. Bingo one more person watching out for our birds.

Friday April 20, 2007 The weather map lied today. The way it looked it was clear. It wasn’t clear in fact it looked like rain. We need rain. And to top it off it was cold and the wind was howling out of the Northeast. Birding Jekyll today was going to be a challenge. The shrike was hiding. The Gray Kingbird stayed very low on the guide wire but we did see him! Wind really puts the birds down in the middle of the trees behind leaves therefore they are harder to find. So we bounced around today spending a few minutes in each place. At around 9:30 we attempted a walk north of the “Glory Boardwalk”. The wind just pushed us back so I just gave it up. Wilson’s Plovers were not going to be out in this wind anyway. The one redeeming part of this stop was running into fellow birder Cheryl Kane. Cheryl had been bouncing around too and had some very interesting sighting. After we exchange news, we were off to check out the very north end of Jekyll. Our luck began to turn around. We added Least Tern, Great Black-backed Gull and surprisingly an immature Northern Gannet. The campground sanctuary was out of the wind and the birds were busy feeding. Our last stop was the Amphitheater. It was again quiet and the birds were helpful. We ended the day with great looks at Scarlet Tanager Maybe the wind was howling, maybe the light wasn’t right, maybe we didn’t see the Wilson’s Plovers but still any day is a good day when you are birding.

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