Sunday, July 27, 2008

Just for fun

Becky Valentine & I went birding on Saturday. We went to Altamaha Waterfowl Management Area (WMA) Butler Island unit. This is the remnants of an old rice plantation. Some of the highlights of this area were:
The Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks about 22 of them, they were spread across the island some resting others flying around. While we were on the viewing tower watching several Mottled Duck families, 5 Black-necked Stilts flew by at eye level. Whoa, what a sight! Those elegant birds with white bodies black wings and long slender legs were effortlessly flying around the tower and toward the Altamaha River. As we were walking back around the dike we followed three Orchard Orioles who were flying from tree to tree just ahead of us.
From there we went to Jekyll. I wanted a chance to look at the new bird island off the north end of Jekyll near the Clam Creek parking lot. The island is far enough out there that you do need a good scope. There were lots of pelicans around the edge of the island and ever once in a while a cloud of skimmers would fly up and around and back down again. At the campground bird sanctuary, the place was jumping. There were 3 male Painted Bunting, 1 immature male American Redstart, 2 Northern Parulas, a male Summer Tanager and the normal mix of cardinals & chickadees.
It was a wonderful day to bird on the Georgia coasts.

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