Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2005 22:00:24 -0500
Reply-To: Carol Lambert or Jeff Sewell <lambertsewell@MINDSPRING.COM>
Sender: Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Carol Lambert or Jeff Sewell <lambertsewell@MINDSPRING.COM>
Subject: GA Coast, 3/11-13/05
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
We had a good weekend on the lower Georgia coast. It was a bit surreal leaving Atlanta Friday amid courthouse murders and traffic signs about stolen getaway vehicles, then wandering the old roads and marshes of Harris Neck and the Altamaha, and finally arriving at Jekyll, where many excited high school cheerleaders, their coaches and their moms were encamped for a competition. We had thought it a good omen that 9 AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS were feeding in the creek as we passed through the causeway entrance to Jekyll Island at 6:30 Friday night. But now I keep linking cheerleaders and white pelicans in my mind which is a strange thing.
I was surprised by the number of visitors on Jekyll this early in the "season." All the hotels, restaurants and beach areas appeared packed (in addition to the cheerleaders), which is interesting given the financial problems the Jekyll Island Authority claims could necessitate developing the south end.
We birded Harris Neck NWR, the Altamaha WMA, McIntosh Co. Landfill, Jekyll Island, St. Simons Island, Brunswick and the causeways. The last few times we've been on Jekyll, it definitely seems that the larger groups of resting sea & shorebirds have shifted from the south beach point to the ocean beaches on the hotel side. There's also been a large sift of sand to the south end over the past year. We met Dan Vickers for birding the Altamaha on 2/13. We also met up with a Virginian on Saturday who had seen a SWALLOW-TAILED KITE over Jekyll, headed North on 2/12.
We finished the trip with 104 species. The best birds were as follows:
NORTHERN GANNET- 2 at Gould's Inlet, SSI
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN- 9 on Jekyll causeway just past entrance columns & fountains in creek
AMERICAN BITTERN- 1 at Altamaha-Memorial Marsh
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON- Harris Neck and Jekyll amphitheater
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON- Harris Neck
GLOSSY IBIS- 30 at Altamaha
RED-BREASTED MERGANSER- 26 in creek at Overlook Park in Brunswick; also smaller numbers off Jekyll and SSI
MOTTLED DUCK- 4 at Altamaha
BALD EAGLE- 1 at McIntosh Co. Landfill
KING RAIL- 1 at Memorial Marsh, Altamaha
AMERICAN AVOCET- 40 at Jekyll Welcome Center marsh on 2/11 & 2/13 at high tide; also 3 on Jekyll river channel
WHIMBREL- 3 at Jekyll Welcome Center marsh 2/12
LONG-BILLED CURLEW-1 at Jekyll Welcome Center marsh 2/12
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL-1 SSI at pier
BARN SWALLOW- 1 with Tree Swallows at Altamaha marsh 2/11
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER- everywhere, but nice for Atlanta escape birders
WHITE-EYED VIREO- ditto
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER- ditto
Carol Lambert & Jeff Sewell
Tucker, DeKalb Co., GA
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