Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A visit to the Wetlands

Bird Quiz #4: What Bird is this?????

The answer to last week: Osprey!  Congrats to all who got it right!

In my new home, I visited the Newmans Wetland Center and the E.L. Huie Ponds in Clayton County (Link here).  I've been to this site before, but never in the fall.  Fall does not hit the Southeast like it does in the Northeast.  There are one or two trees that are changing here, but not many.  Back in the cold northeast, many trees are changing and fall is marked by nice long drives through the mountains, and fall-ish things like Apple and Pumpkin picking and, of course, fall migration.

The Southeast has its own wonders and it is nice to be a new place and experience a new season.  So far Fall here has a lot of rain and clouds mixed with some real sunny days.  But it is fall migration and a trip to the wetlands would hopefully yield some migrants.  While the trip yield some great shots of birds (see below), there weren't many migrants to speak of.  Hummers were still around and many titmice as well.  A few waterfowl were about as well to round off the trip. A great and interesting site and worth the visit any time!

Until the next time, get out and go birding!

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Young Great Blue Heron

Palm Warbler

Wild Bird Wednesday - Link here

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Lakes in Georgia

I've been told that there are no native lakes in Georgia.  Almost all the one's you'll encounter are man-made in one way or another.  But as long as they have water, shoreline, and food, birds don't really care if your lake is man-made, accidentally made, or "organic."  Birds are opportunists like we are all are aren't going to pass up a food source just because it wasn't there before... although it may take them a while to find it.

I visited a local lake, Lake Hartwell.  It is managed by the Army Core of Engineers and has a lot of trails, picnic grounds, and water ramps.  Great places to find birds.  My visit there proved that very point.  We were greeted by a great number of birds, Canada Geese, Great Blue Herons, Blue Jays, Mockingbirds, Sanderlings, and other great birds!  I've included a link to the Lake and its grounds, as well as the local rules that must be followed!

Next Time, we'll visit the State Botanical Gardens, until then, Get out and Go Birding!

Links to Lake Hartwell - Link here

A Sanderling on a red shore

Gulf Fritillary

Bird Quiz #4: Post your Guesses in the comments!

Wild Bird Wednesday - Link Here

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Quiz and a Change

First off, Quiz Answers:

Bird #1 was a Solitary Sandpiper

Bird #2 was a Least Sandpiper

And here is a tough one, another peep, but the photo shows a great silhouette of this bird

Bird #3

So there is some news that needs to shared.  Look! A Seagull! has moved.  We are now no longer situated in New England and now find ourselves in the South!  Specifically Georgia!  Here are two pictures to celebrate that move.

Red-Spotted Purple 

Prairie Warbler, can you find him?

In the meantime, Look! A Seagull! is looking forward to exploring the Southeastern United States and becoming more familiar with all the diffierent flora and fauna that make this region so unique!  Until the next time, get out and go birding!

Link to Wild Bird Wednesday - Link here

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

World Shorebird Day

This September 6th was World Shorebird Day.  Shorebirds have compelling life stories of epic migrations and making it across continents.  They are also a massively threatened group of birds who suffers from climate change and habitat loss.  I spent the day with the Atlanta Audubon Society with their Workshop on Shorebirds.  The Workshop focused on learning how to identify and age shorebirds by looking at their structure and learning the stages of molt.  After working on the our skills, we took to the field were we found Spotted Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpipers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, and even Semipalmated Plovers!

Now its time for a Bird ID Quiz.  What are the two birds below?  Can you age them?  Post your answers below.

Bird #1

Bird #2

American Oystercatchers flying about, not catching oysters

World Shorebird Day - Link here

Wild Bird Wednesday - Link here

Atlanta Audubon Society - Link here

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Passenger Pigeon Memorial

(C) Fold the Flock and the Lost Bird Project

Today marks 100 years and 1 day since the last passenger, Martha, died in captivity.  At its height, the Passenger Pigeon was definitely the most populous bird in North America, if not the World.  Reports are that a passing flock could block the sun for days.  Several articles are going around about the loss of the Passenger Pigeon, the violence behind its demise, and the power that humans hold over the environment.  Many species and habitats are currently threatened across this planet.  Almost every bit of nature is threatened, managed or something to that effect.  The story of the Passenger Pigeon reminds us that we are truly capable of vast destruction.

Yet, we are not totally evil.  Look at the rebounding numbers of Falcons, Osprey, and Bald Eagles.  We are responsible for that as well. Many of those species were looking at extinction in the 70's and they are rebounding today.  We can never completely reverse what we've done.  We can't go and un-shoot the passenger pigeon.  We can protect several species today.  I've included some links below about the Passenger Pigeon and some of the lost bird projects that go on to keep its memory alive.

Two pictures of Passenger Pigeon Mountings at the American Museum of Natural History

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday - Link here

Fold the Flock - Link here

Lost Bird Project - Link here