Wednesday, June 3, 2009

SEANET surveys begin

Eek! sorry about being absent. It is a crazy time. We are pulling together all the plans for the Georgia's Colonial Coast Birding and Nature Festival. The booklet will go to the printers in just a few weeks. Well anyway, I have been busy doing a breeding bird survey down in Camden County and plover surveys up here on Jekyll Island. Strong storms a couple of weeks ago really did some damage to the nesting Wood Storks and Wilson's Plovers. Sad to see but this is nature's way of balancing.
Wood Storks in happier times before the storms.

June 2, 2009 Georgia Graves and I met at Gould Inlet on East Beach, St. Simons Island. This is going to be the site where we will be doing regular SEANET surveys. We met at about two hours after high tide. Georgia knows this beach better than I do so I listened to her advice. Yes, I live on St. Simons about two miles away from this area but it is a people beach. I used to walk my dog on leash here. What stopped me was Hart, my Australian Shepherd, was not a friendly dog. A lot of the dogs on this beach were running loose. These dogs often would run right up to him. I just gave up coming. Now that is exactly why I volunteered to do this survey here.

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center and Jekyll 4-H are covering the beach on Jekyll. Jekyll beaches are a good balance of people and birds. Yes, there are dogs that run the beach but there are eleven miles of beaches on Jekyll. There are only about three or four miles on St. Simons. It will be interesting to compare the two beaches. Also there are other Georgia beaches that are a lot less public that are going to be covered in this SEANET program. When it all comes together, will it give us a picture of how people and domesticated animals effect the birds?

I enjoy questions like this. Comparing the beaches will give clues to find an answer.

This East Beach area is now defined. Here is what it looks like:

This is looking toward the southeast from the old coastguard station

This is in the same spot just turned around and heading north. It is the start of our survey

This is mid survey area looking northwest over the dunes.

This photo was taken from the same spot but looking northeast

You can see this is a very wide beach at low tide. We will try to do this survey when the tide is high and falling. There exposed beach will be narrower and easier to survey.
It will be fun!


dAwN said...

Here you are! I guess you have been a busy gal...
What exactly do you do on the seanet surveys? is it looking for dead birds?
Dont take such a long holiday next time..I need to see whats going on at the coast...tee hee

I think you should add google feedburner to your people can follow you via email subscription..or any other reader..
check into it..
you can see I have it on my site..
catcha later..

Lydia said...

Yep, it is looking for dead birds but the neat part is they want the live birds as well. This is a birdy beach if you don't mind watching all your birds flying around.
Thanks for the tip on the google feedburner. I will look into it.