Wednesday, May 20, 2015

2015 May Atlanta Shorebird Workshop part 1

Brad Winn who was then working with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources persuaded Lisa and Art Hurt to do this special Atlanta Audubon workshop in May. The Georgia Coast is one of those secret places where birds have a chance to rest on their migration routes. In May the shorebird time their migration to correspond with horseshoe crabs laying their eggs. Lisa called on Gene Keferl and me to help lead the group which i
s limited to 12 people.

This year’s workshop was time just right for the moon phase, tides and bird. Saturday, we met and carpooled down to the south end of Jekyll. We hit it just right! The tide was going out and the birds were dividing into the fest. 

I invited my friend Georgia Graves to come along. I met Georgia years ago when I starting leading groups for Coastal Encounter Nature Center. She is a wonderful engaging teacher who helps to show the connection between our coast and the birds. Here she is showing why the shorebirds are on the beach.
She uses a sieve to dig up the anthropoids that are
the favorite food of the Sanderlings and Dunlins. She also found a dead horseshoe crab loaded with eggs. These eggs are protein and fat packed perfect for shorebirds that are going to fly to the arctic.

Here are a few birds feasting on those eggs.

Of course, the reason I take the group here is to see the Wilson’s Plovers with their chicks. They did not disappoint us we saw all 5 chicks! Here is one picture by Larry Gridley. 

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