Tag Archives: Birds of Coastal Georgia

Juvenile White Ibis, Darien

Juvenile White Ibis Darien GA Waterfront Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

This young bird was spotted in Waterfront Park.

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Winter Ramble at Harris Neck

Woody Pond prime waterfowl habitat rookery Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge McIntosh County GA Photograph COpyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Woody Pond is perhaps the most popular spot for birding at Harris Neck, though there are many other places to ramble in this place that I consider one of the best-kept secrets of the Georgia Coast. Whether a birder, hiker, bicyclist or just plain nature aficionado, there is much to be seen.

Woody Pond Habitat with Palm Tree Harris Neck NWR McIntosh County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Walk along the dam for a sure encounter with some natives!

Woody Pond Dam Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge McIntosh County GA Photograph COpyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Very soon, the rookeries of the pond will be abuzz with new life. Wood Storks (Mcyteria americana) are a big presence here though not as commonly seen in winter. On that last day I visited, American Coots and Common Gallinules were the most populous residents.

Common Gallinule gallinula galeata Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata), Woody Pond.

The gallinules can be easily distinguished from the coots by their bright orange and yellow bills.

American Coot Woody Pond Harris Neck NWR McIntosh County GA Birding Hotspot Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

American Coot (Fulica americana)

Of course, the other big attraction at Woody Pond is the alligator population. But remember, don’t harass them!

Federal State Alligator Protection Sign no feeding or harassing Photograph harris neck national wildlife refuge mcintosh county ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing coastal georgia usa 2014

You’ll generally see smaller ones in winter, but they live here year round!

American Alligator Young mississippiensis Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge McIntosh County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

American Alligator Swimming Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge McIntosh County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Take nothing but pictures, and lots of good memories. You’ll want to return in the spring.

Oak Limb Spanish Moss in Woody Pond Harris Neck NWR McIntosh County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harris_Neck_National_Wildlife_Refuge

 

 

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Eastern Wood-Pewee, Hog Hammock

Eastern Wood-Pewee Migratory Flycatcher Sapelo Island GA Hog Hammock Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

A small tyrant flycatcher, this Eastern W00d-Pewee (Contopus virens) was busy catching bugs, which are in great abundance on the island, near the Farmers Alliance Hall during my last visit. I was glad to get a shot of him at work.

Eastern Wood-Pewee Migratory Flycatcher Catching Bug in Flight Sapelo Island GA Hog Hammock Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

 

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Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Hog Hammock GA, Sapelo Island GA

Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Tolomato Island

Black-bellied Whistling Duck Accidental Dendrocygna autmunalis Tolomato Island GA Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

Sragglers from their native Central and South America, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (Dendrocygna autumnalis)  have been expanding their range in recent years. There is a small but healthy flock in the pond beside the Tolomato Island causeway. They’re fascinating to watch and are generally not very wary of human presence.

 

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Wood Storks Building Nests, Harris Neck

Wood Storks Mycteria americana Building Nests Rookery Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge NWR McIntosh County GA Picture Image Photograph © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia 2013

Wood Storks (Mycteria americana) were once a symbol of the diminishing wetland habitat necessary for their survival in the swamps of the Southeast.  For a time one of the most endangered species in America, recent years have seen gains in their population, enough so that the Fish & Wildlife Service is considering removing them from the endangered list. They would still have a threatened status. A friend of mine recently suggested I not place them on a “vanishing” site; in honor of her positive outlook, I offer them as an evocation of how far we’ve come in protecting Georgia’s wetlands but a reminder in how much we still need to fight to protect them. Anyone who has been around Coastal Georgia in the past few years knows that population and development race forward, nearly unfettered.

Visiting Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge in late winter and early spring when the Wood Storks, along with myriad other waterfowl and waders are abundant, is a must-do when in McIntosh County.

http://www.npr.org/2013/02/03/170993762/wood-storks-endangered-status-is-up-in-the-air

http://www.fws.gov/harrisneck/

 

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Howard Gilman Memorial Park, St. Marys

The riverfront park in St. Marys, named for the late timber magnate and art patron Howard Gilman, is a wonderful public space, rivaling any in Coastal Georgia.

I could have spent hours just watching and photographing the birds in the ornamental fountain. Pictured below: Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major).

 

 

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Filed under -CAMDEN COUNTY, St. Marys GA