Wednesday, June 6, 2007

June 5th Harris Neck

June 5th, 2007. Today we had our monthly festival meeting at Harris Neck. Attending the meeting was Beth, Regi, Harriet, Gene, Pat and Dot, and, of course, me. As far as I was concerned, this meeting could be long or I could keep it short and sweet. So when Gene announced that he had to leave at noon, I knew "short" was it! We worked on details for the Colonial Coast Birding Challenge: basically, the “Challenge” is a Big Day held before the festival. We decided to have people choose a day from October 5 through October 12 to find as many birds as they could on any or all the Colonial Coast Birding Trail sites in a twenty four hour period. The real change this year was a monetary prize for the winner! It took a while but we finally came up with a plan, and the meeting was over! Gene took off, after which the rest of us stood around tying up loose ends. A birding festival takes a great deal of planning: we give ourselves eighteen months to get the plans laid out for this three day festival.
All the chatter ended abruptly with the announcement that someone had found two Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks! Cars were loaded, and we zipped up to the dike at Woody Pond, only to find a pair of non-birders looking for alligators. They had no clue that they had flushed a rare bird! Oh, well.... There was still a lot to look at: Wood Storks with chicks, Anhinga chicks, egrets, herons, night-herons, and ibis were spread across the pond. The air was filled with the calls of the moorhens; those calls sound like the beginning of the song “Wipe Out” to me...

Scanning with my scope I spotted a small group of nesting White Ibis. I did an etching a while back of White Ibis nesting at Harris Neck, but I felt it was a bit heavy on the greens and reds. Well, today I saw that etching come to life: there they were, tucked into those trees that were a little too green and a little too red!
Thanks to Bob Churi for allowing me to use his photo of whistling-ducks.

With Georgia coastal birdlife on my mind--good birding!

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