Monday, February 18, 2008

flocks of birds and birders

Flocks would describe the birding this past week. Flocks of Cedar Waxwings, flocks of American Goldfinch, mixed flocks of Eastern Bluebirds & Pine Warblers, and flocks of shorebirds. Flocks of House finch & their song fill the air.

On Sunday it was a flock of birders for this was our 5th annual Team Birding Event. This is an event was started as a way to allow Coastal Georgia Audubon Society (CGAS) to get in touch with folks who might be a little bit afraid of going to a regular field trip. The idea is to team up with experienced birders who would help them learn about this birding thing. Dawn Zenkert of Tidelands Nature Center holds the Art Inspired by Nature fundraiser at the same time. It is heaven for me, birding in the morning & talking to folks about my printmaking in the afternoon. .
To help start the Great Backyard Bird Count weekend off, CGAS has a refresher course Thursday night. This prepares us for Sunday.

This Sunday February 17 was perfect weather. We had around 30 people come out to go birding a lot of those folks were birding for the first time! To give you a little perspective our normal field trips generally has around 3 to 5 people.

I rushed over to the Jekyll Island Convention Center to set up my art and the Audubon booth. Marge came in to help set up our computer and watch over the booth while we were out birding. Once that was done I raced over to set up the birding part. We had divided Jekyll into 6 sections. The North end group was lead by Wes a birder from New York. The Midsection group was lead by Gene. The Historic District group was lead by John. The Causeway and shopping center group lead by Mike. The Tideland and mid southend lead by Marjorie. Then I lead the southend group. The groups formed and we were off by 9 am. We counted birds until noon when we returned to the convention center and share what we found. We found 83 species altogether. But what was more important is that we found some new birders!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cedar Waxwing invasion

On Friday February 8, I was sitting quietly at my station at Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop on Jekyll dutifully doing the bird list from Thursday’s bird ramble when the quiet was interrupted. Out of the corner of my eye there was movement. I grabbed my camera and shot a couple of shot from the window. They were not good enough so I creped outside. The air was filled with bird song. It was my idea of Heaven. The temperature was perfect and just the right humidity. The trees are green accented by the clear true blue sky and lots of all kinds of birds everywhere.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Shorebirds on Thursday Feb. 7,2008

Man, has the weather been great! Yesterday, I was sure it was going to rain but the day dawned and there was no rain. The temperature was perfect so off we went. I had a good group of birders. As always when you get a group of birders from different places together there were some comparing of notes. We walked out to the beach and rushed to get ahead of the kids. There were good numbers of shorebirds, Dunlins, Westerns etc. Oh we were happy sorting through the birds, comparing bird to bird. There were a couple of times when people threatened to run the birds off. Finally one group did march right through them. Some of my group was from Cape May . They told me of their docent program so I was able to get some good ideas. With the increase in walkers at the south end it would be great to have a docent program here. Stay tuned….
In the meantime enjoy some photo of our wonderful Thursday Morning Bird Ramble for February 7, 2008

Saturday, February 2, 2008

White Pelicans

Don ducked his head in the door at Wild Birds on Wednesday & informed me. “Forty White Pelicans right at the river bridge! I couldn’t believe it. I turned around and went under the bridge to make sure that what I was looking as I drove off the island. Yes, there they were. When I was getting ready to get back in the car two snipe flew off.” He was smiling. It is always a pleasure to hear bird reports from different folk who a staying on the island. Don is one of the ones I can count on to report these day. Well on Thursday when I was facing a morning of low tide at 9:30 am and I used Don information. My hardy group and I were off to the wharf at the Historic District. As if on clue, the White Pelicans came in a flotilla. My goodness, they were stunning. There were forty-six of them. While looking around here we had American Avocets, American Oystercatcher, Short-billed Dowitchers, Dunlins, and Black-bellied Plovers strolling on the other side of the River. We moved down a little to the other side of the wharf. We had Western Sandpipers, Semipalmated Plovers and a Least Sandpiper along with Little Blue Herons and Snowy Egrets. This was within the first hour. The day continued that way. The Campground Sanctuary had a couple of Pine Warblers and one Yellow-throated Warbler at the feeder.
I am still trying to find sea ducks so we visited a few traditional spots for them but no real luck. We settled on Northern Gannets. They are dominant both in the ocean and in the rivers. All in all I can not complain. We ended the morning with over seventy species.