Monday, December 31, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A bike ride

On Christmas Eve, I decided to explore the bike trail on the south end of Jekyll. I listened to a mixed winter flock of birds here,

I found beautiful pocket marshes.  These will be great places for nesting Clapper Rails next summer but right now it is just quiet.

There is an old road that is now part of the bike path that will take me over to the beach side.

What a pretty path to the beach!

 and around to the New Convention Center.

Even the trash can are nice.

From there I bike back to the historic District by the Golf course

At the Jekyll Club Hotel, there was a bag-piper piping. 


It was getting late so I continued back around to the van but I took my time. 

 Here is a beautiful Hickory tree. 
It was a perfect afternoon to explore Jekyll.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Yes, a Snowy Owl!

Finally,  I got a day off from working at the Jekyll Island Guest Information Center.  Guess what was the first thing I did?  If you guessed go out and see a Snowy Owl, you would be correct.  I have made several attempts to see this very lost bird but my timing was off.  But not today, December 19, 2012...
At first he was out on a condo where we could only see his head.  But he then he flew.  He flew right toward us and he landed on the condo.  I never get tired of looking at this species.  I have seen it in the several places.  I just never thought I would see one a couple miles from my house.  What a treat!  Keep on birding,  you never know when a bird will surprise you!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Rambling on November 30, 2012

Got a chance to ramble around to a couple of my favorite places on Jekyll.  Jekyll Point has taken a beating from the wind and super high tides.  Still the skimmers love it. 

At the Amphitheater Pond, the alligators were out in force.  It was good to see them.  Last April, the pond was at it lowest point.  There were around 30 nests of Wood Storks. Almost over night the nests were gone- just gone.  What got them?  Well,  it is thought that raccoons climb the tall pine trees and ate the eggs.  Alligators protect nesting egrets, herons and Wood Storks from raccoons but the pond was so low. The alligators couldn't do there job.  Over the summer the rain restored the water level.  Here is a picture of a mama gator with her kids. This is a very large gator.  She isn't the only big alligator in the pond.  I wonder how the nesting egrets and herons will do next season?
I tried to show all the creatures surrounding this big gator.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Learning about birds on Jekyll is fun. Here is a picture of Sandy learning about a Western Palm Warbler.  This warbler is one of our most common warblers in October.  Evan is a good teacher.  
A few weeks later I had a group of teacher on to the beach to learn about shorebirds.  It was early morning but they were enjoying every moment of learning about birds on Jekyll.
Even the birds wanted to help.  Here is one of the groups of  birds at Jekyll Point.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Super high tides and a White-winged Dove

 High tides are to expected. We have two each day. Some high tides are not as high as other high tides. It is all about the moon and the sun and where they are in relationship. The moon is the key player. Full and new moons the tides are very high. 
 However, the wind can make the tide higher. This week the moon is a new moon and the winds were from the north. We had super high tides.  
 This caused me to go other places to look for birds.  At the Jekyll Island Club Pavilion, we found a White-winged Dove.  I guess it was looking for a new place away from the tides.
Cool bird, it just let us watch it for awhile. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Janice shared this picture is me at Coastfest.  Working with families is so much fun.  I will be at Turtlween on October 20.  Bring your family and learn about nature. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Looking for birds a Coastfest

The first Saturday in October is Coastfest.  It is a day that the Coastal Resource Division of Georgia Department of Natural Resource celebrates the variety of environmental groups that work for the Georgia coast.  There is lots of excitement.  This a large aquarium of local fish.
 The kids and their parents love it.  I was there with information about Operation Plover Patrol.  The folks at US Fish and Wildlife Service are wonderful.  They are applying for a grant to help the project so they offered me an opportunity to talk about the Plover Patrol.  Thanks so much guys!
 I took a few breaks to looked for other bird projects.  I came across this bird promoting recycling! 
 Of course, Coastal Georgia Audubon was there with the Build a Bluebird house booth.  This a wildly popular booth.  This year the team helped 275 kids build a bluebird house to take home. 
 Here they are in the thick of building bird houses!   Way to go Chris, who is the powerhouse behind the project.  Thanks also to the tireless workers. 
All the young people got a chance to experience nature.  This is thanks to all the hard work of all the environmental groups and especially the organizers.  Coastfest was a big success.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bugs and Birds for October

The Bald Eagles returned to their perch on the power poles in August.  Where they will nest this year? 

It is all about bugs and birds in October.              I would like to thank Priscilla and Ted for the use of their electric car in the month of October.  The Rambles are so much fun in this Red Bug Motors Car. 

And the migrants are coming! There are Common Yellowthroats, Black-throated Blues Warblers, American Redstarts already in the trees. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Dear Birds

Well live and learn. Life is always surprising me. On Wednesday, I was out at the Jekyll Island Campground with the Binghams. They found some of the notes the kids had written to the birds. These notes were wonderful. Here a few examples:
Lessons I learned  1. Always encourage

2. listen

                                                                  3.  be surprised for they are listening too
Here is a note from the birds

Dear ones who watch, Thanks for the food and the quiet place to enjoy it.  THE BIRDS

Saturday, August 25, 2012

This time it is a white phased Reddish Egret

Ok enough already.  Another Reddish Egret shows up on the south end of Jekyll aka Jekyll Point.  Just because I said it was a rare bird here and then two are here last week then this week a white phased bird shows up…. UNCLE!   
Here is a picture with Sanderling, Snowy Egret and then Reddish Egret

Really, what it does tell me is to remain flexible.  Reddish Egrets are found on the Georgia coast.  In some places like Little St. Simons Island (LSSI) they are to be expected.  It isn’t that far from LSSI to Jekyll Point, so there should be no surprise.   
I enjoyed watching the bird strut and dance. It also kept me around long enough to see two banded Piping Plovers.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pledge to Fledge this weekend

This weekend is “Pledge to Fledge” or P2F.  The idea is to introduce folks to birds.  I do this all the time on the beach.  These two women were just walking down toward the birds.  I asked them if they would like to look through my scope.They were thrilled. 
I showed them how to take a couple of pictures through the scope.  They walked on down the beach looked at some of the birds on their own and then turned around without disturbing the resting birds.  Yea!  I going out to see if I can find a couple more.  This is fun!  Join the fun!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

You just never know what you are going to find when you go out birding. 
About a month ago, I told Ben Carswell that Reddish Egrets were a rare bird on Jekyll. Well, just don’t challenge mother nature. She will just prove you wrong. So why was I surprised when I found not one Reddish Egret but two at the south end of Jekyll. Here, are a few pictures of the egrets.
Also on the beach were gulls, Lesser Black-backed Gull,
Herring Gull, Ring-billed Gull and the ever-present Laughing Gull.  Here is a young Laughing Gull.

It certainly is fun just to stand out there for a couple of hours and watch the shorebirds, terns and gulls.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The rope line came down

                                    Gene taking down the stakes
On Friday, Gene Keferl, Ben Carswell and I met to take down the fence line that had defind the plover nesting area at the south end of Jekyll.  This rope line helped three pairs of Wilson's Plovers nest and they raised 6 chicks successfully.  The fence helped but so did the volunteers that came out to watch the flock of resting and nesting birds.  It takes caring.  Thank you everyone.                                                          

Friday, July 27, 2012

Oh well, Education, Education, Education

This is what I watched as I came up to do the bird survey at Jekyll Point
 The family appeared to be totally unaware of the birds other than that they could fly.
 But once the family walked on around the corner the birds settled down.  There were all kinds of terns out on the beach including this one Black Tern.
 Another wonderful surprise were three Piping Plovers that scurried out of the way and then settled into the upper dunes with some Sanderlings.
 Here is one more picture of the gang resting.  There is a young Sandwich Tern behind the Black Skimmer.  Yes, it was very hot out there watching these birds but the variety of birds helped me stay a little longer.