Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lunch Companions

I work at the Jekyll Island Guest Information Center.  It has a great lunch room.  It is up the Wildlife Viewing Tower right next to the Center.  On Tuesday June the 18, I walk out to the tower.  Looking out, I was surprised to see my lunch companions were all gathered together....9 White Pelicans.  I was thrilled to spend my lunch with them. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

On May the 11th I joined a group from Atlanta Audubon to go out into the mouth of the Altamaha River.  It was a great day of exploring this naturally rich area.  Shorebirds were feasting on horseshoe crab eggs and surf clams. Here is a mixed group Semipalmated Sandpipers, Sanderlings, Dunlins and Short-billed Dowitchers

 Moving on to the north end of Little St. Simons Island, we encountered Dunlins, Dowitchers, Ruddy Turnstones and a Red Knot.
 Here is part of the group enjoying the shorebirds.
 The tide was high so we were able to explore more the area up close.
 For me, the find of the day were 50+ American Avocet in breeding plumage.  Wow!
It is always fair weather when good folks get together.  Go explore!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Wilson's Plover Chicks surviving

I asked Lauren Deaner, a researcher working on Wilson's Plovers, to share some of her pictures of Wilson's Plovers.  Here are a couple. 
No wonder we can't find them on the beach.

 Please be careful where you step.  Keep up the good work Lauren.  All photos are by Lauren Deaner.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Babe-breasted Warblers go birding

I am a little late but I am catching up
Just a word about where we went birding,  We stay for the most part in Glynn county and added McIntosh County in the afternoon.  We had a great time.  We saw a lot of birds.  It is always fair weather when good fellows get together.    
Here is the report:
The Babe-breasted Warblers
(left to rigght, Becky Valentine, Lynda Wiggins, Cheryl Kanes, Nita Wynn  and Lydia Thompson,)
enjoyed a fine day of birding, April 28, in Glynn County  and Altamaha waterfowl Management Area Mc Intosh County for the 2013 All Women's Birding Bust.
We began the day at 6 AM with the chorus of Carolina Wren, Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, Northern Mockingbird and, in the distance, a Great Horned Owl calling. Next we found a local pond where a Wood Duck floated serenely along the edge. On our way to a marshy area where the tide had pushed up a Seaside Sparrow we found a couple of American Robins. By then the sun had completely risen and we still had over 125 more birds to find before we ended our day. We birded marshes, ponds, swamps, pine forests, woodlands and beaches as the warm, rainless day unfolded. We birded some new locations and some tried and true. We had some unusual sightings: Our lone Little Blue Heron was perched on a snag in the middle of a scrub field.
We spotted a Common Nighthawk in the middle of the day routed and chased by a couple of Red-winged Blackbirds. Found two lingering Lesser Scaup, a single Black Scoter and a Chipping Sparrow. Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were sitting on their nest boxes at Altamaha WMA. Usually uncommon Loggerhead Shrikes were popping up everywhere. We had some notable misses: Gray Kingbird, Swallow-tailed Kite, Waterthrushes, several species of expected Warblers, Mallard.
On our big day everyone had a job: Cheryl was our driver, Lydia was our navigator, Lynda verified questionable bird calls and songs, Nita and Becky kept track of our sightings via checklist and Birdlog. We ate well (sandwiches, fruit, cheese, gourmet trail mix), arrived everywhere safely and never got a ticket! Along the way we were (jokingly?) suspected of being part of a movie production crew filming in the area and the owner of the restaurant we schlepped into for dinner at 8:30 PM told us he remembered us from last year.  So we had fun and laughs too. After dinner we still had a few hours so we tried for the Eastern Screech Owl and Chuck-will's-widow but we were unsuccessful. So we ended the day with 135 species of which three were unshared. Look below for the list.

 in picture left to right Lynda Wiggins, Becky Valentine, Cheryl Kanes,Lydia Thompson and Nita Wynn

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Mottled Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Lesser Scaup
Black Scoter
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Wood Stork
Double-crested Cormorant
American White Pelican
Brown Pelican
Least Bittern
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
White Ibis
Glossy Ibis
Roseate Spoonbill
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Mississippi Kite
Cooper's Hawk
Bald Eagle
Red-shouldered Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Clapper Rail
Common Gallinule
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Piping Plover
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Solitary Sandpiper
Lesser Yellowlegs
Marbled Godwit
Ruddy Turnstone
Red Knot
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Least Tern
Forster's Tern
Royal Tern
Sandwich Tern
Black Skimmer
Rock Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
Common Ground-Dove
Great Horned Owl
Barred Owl
Common Nighthawk
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Loggerhead Shrike
White-eyed Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Marsh Wren
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird (Eastern)
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Prothonotary Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Northern Parula
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Seaside Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Painted Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Friday, June 7, 2013

Shared blog on Plover Patrol

While I've been busy working at the Jekyll Island Guest Information Center and doing desk work for the Plover Patrol, other folks have been going out and volunteering for the Plover Patrol.  Here is Cindy McIntyre's blog post .  They are still  surviving out there with the help of people like Cindy  Thank you Cindy.