Date: Sun, 25 Dec 2011 20:57:01 -0500
Reply-To: James Fleullan <jrfleullan@HOTMAIL.COM>
Sender: Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: James Fleullan <jrfleullan@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Laurens County Loop Highlights
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Hello and Merry Christmas again,
I simply wanted to share our experience after our visit to Greene County for the Green-tailed Towhee. Thank you Miss Cass.
On our way back to Macon, Joy Brown, Ivy Quintana, and I hit up hot spots along The Laurens County Loop, primarily Ben Hall Lake and Thunder Springs Lake from W Lake Dr. There wasn't much to report on the Thunder Springs side of the road, only Canada Geese and Double-crested Cormorants. On the Ben Hall side of the road the water is depleted and an exposed mud flat now exists. The scarce amount of water made perfect refuge for a vast amount of ducks and duck species. Among the duck species were many Mallards, Ring-necked Ducks, 45 Hooded Mergansers, 6 American Wigeon, a couple of Green-winged Teal, a single Blue-winged Teal (male), and a single Northern Pintail (male). A young female Bald Eagle perched nobly on an exposed stump beyond where the ducks were. She was a gracious, a highlight indeed. She soon became overshadowed by the large number of smaller brown and black birds scurrying over the mudflat. I scanned each one and was pleased to count 92 Rusty Blackbirds. Amazing!! Not a single Red-winged or other blackbird among them. Soon the eagle took flight and so did they, out of site. Hoping the RUBL would return I scanned the mud to see in my binocular view a flock of American Pipits put in, about 30. Continuing to scope the mud Joy was able to make out Least Sandpipers. Other shorebirds included Killdeer and Greater Yellowlegs.
We had such a good day. Christmas birding is the best. Looking forward to the new year. Best wishes.
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