Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Eve Birding Jekyll

It is a Christmas tradition to go birding. My father started this when it was just us. My mother had passed away when I was young. Then brother had married and went to spend the holidays with her family. That left us, so we were off to find birds. At first, I looked forward to life birds. Now it is all about just the thrill and beauty of the adventures.
With that in mind, I went to my favorite place, Jekyll Point. The walk out to the point is calming. The shrub-scrub transitions into beach meadows and then into sandy dunes held in place by hardy plants like panic grass, sea oats and beach croton. Every year the walk gets a little longer as the point grows.
It was high tide. There were all kind of gulls, terns and shorebirds. 200 Western Willets. They are just stunning birds, standing there along the edge of the surf. These birds are understated elegance.
It was a challenge to count them for in the middle of that flock were a couple of Marbled Godwits. Whoa, it is a splash of cinnamon in the gray.
Then the shorebirds all gathered together. Merry Christmas.

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