Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Harris Neck

Whoa! Hey, where'd that month go?  I went and told you we were going to our favorite wildlife area and then disappeared from the blogosphere again. 
That wasn't very nice of me, but in my defense, we have been soooo busy.  We visited out-of-state family and friends for Thanksgiving and then came home to jump right back into "real life" which included working like crazy to finish out the semester and passing around a 2-week virus. 
So now that I'm done with my update excuses pity party, let's get back to the trip. 
We were all so exhausted from the activity at Jekyll and St. Simon's the previous day that we were all soundly asleep by 8:30 p.m.  Getting up in time for sunrise was pretty easy.  Hmm, if only I could do that at home!
While still under the cover of darkness, we managed to find Altamaha Waterfowl Management Area, which wasn't easy to do- even with a guide book telling exactly when and where to turn! There were several roads listed in the Birding Georgia book that we missed.  But it turned out okay because when we finally turned down the last possible road, there just happened to be a huge viewing platform beside a large wetland area. SCORE!
As the sun rose over the water, we heard and saw dozens of birds.  There were several species in the wooded area surrounding the platform, too.  Many were new-to-us, and we were so busy identifying that we completely forgot to take a single picture.  We're really sad about that because we added several birds to our life list there.  We could have added more than we did if we were more exprerienced birders with better equipment! 
Once we thought we had identified all we could, we backtracked and turned down the roads we had missed coming in, all of which led to areas which were dried up.  We saw a few sparrows here and there, but not much else.  What we thought was poor navigation on our part turned out to be excellent navigation from the Hand of Providence!
We left the sparrows to drive to our favorite place, Harris Neck.  I love this place so much because the best birding can be done around 2 large ponds which are not far from the road.  They are always full of interesting birds that we don't see in our part of the state: ibis, herons, storks, moorhen, and a variety of ducks.  The ground and paths are level, too, so the little bit of walking that has to be done is easy on my arthritic feet and hip.  :)
This trail runs between the two large ponds.
To the left were dozens of waterfowl.
This is the only place we have ever spotted the White Ibis,
but it was not a new life-lister since we visited HN a few years ago.
We have also seen Glossy Ibis there.
The Tri-colored Heron was a new lifelister.
HN was not the first place on this trip where we spotted one,
but it was the first place that provided a picture oportunity.
We saw dozens of the Pied-billed Grebe at every coastal location we visited.
We have seen these in our area, too, but not as close-up
as HN allowed us to look.
The Black-crowned Night Heron is also one we have seen in our part of the state;
however, the birds are so easy to spot and photograph at HN.
Boat-tailed Grackle and Anhinga were abundant.
We thought these two perched closely in the same tree
were rather funny. 
These Woodstorks help me understand how
some people believe in ghosts!

They were everywhere!
I used to think these critters would eat anything (or one)
they encountered.
Birding has helped to extinguish my irrational fear
of being eaten by an alligator in the middle of the night
when I go to the restroom.
I don't know....
I must have seen some weird movie as a kid or something.

We saw several varieties of dragonflies, too.
I do not know how to identify these guys,
but we saw them in a variety of colors.
So beautiful!!
Well, I'll try not to stay away for a month this time, but.... 

Next time we will visit Skidaway Island State Park, near Savannah, GA.  We met a very interesting bird there. 

Yes, "met."

Until next time,

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Worst Blog Mom of the Year Award

I have created a new blog award and given it to ME!

I ALWAYS post pictures of my boys on their birthdays.  Alas, November came and went way too fast this year, and I missed posting on my November boy's birthday.  I will accept the award graciously; however, I refuse to allow the year to end without having posted his awesome pictures.  They were taken and edited by our dear shutter-bug friend, Chloe of Chloe Virginia Photography.

Love those blue eyes!
He's a cutie!
He's such a happy kid, too. 
I love how this photo captures his big laugh (and braces).
He's a jokester.  So funny!
His latest riddle:
Q: Where do stormtroopers do their Christmas shopping?
A: At the Darth 'Maul'!
My handsome 12-year-old!
Look at how he's grown and changed!
Even though he will always be my baby,
he's not a baby anymore.  :(
*I took this picture.  Chloe was about 4 when this was done.  :)
Thank you for the great pictures, Chloe!

Happy late, late, late birthday, Wilbur.  I love you bunches and bunches!

The Worst Bloggy Mommy