Thursday, January 3, 2013

Fun at Tybee

We purposefully planned to arrive at Tybee at the hottest part of the day.  The boys were due a break from birding and some time to splash and play in the ocean.  We put our Birding Georgia guide aside and randomly picked a beach access.
The boys started digging in the sand right away!
They love to dig out a hole about 10 feet from the water's edge.
Then they dig a series of grooves which lead from the water to the hole.
They call this a "waterworks,"
and it is an Olive Plants' beach tradition.  :)
They also dug their feet as deeply into the sand as they could
before the waves returned.
As the water rushed over them,
their feet sank deeper and deeper into the sand.
As the boys relaxed in the water,
I sat on a nearby swing.

We had declared this a "birding-free" time.  We had our binocs and field guides, just in case, but we were going to save our active birding for later in the afternoon when things cooled down a bit.  I even pulled out my phone to check my email and facebook. 
Hey, don't judge me.  :)  I didn't have my swimsuit and didn't want to get all wet and sandy.  I wanted to enjoy the fresh air and see what was up with my friends at home, whom I was starting to miss. 
My SIL had been travelling from her southeast American home to Alberta, Canada and had posted that she had arrived in Edmonton safely.  Just as I was about to leave a comment about us being nearly on opposite "corners" of the continent, Michael yelled for me.
This bird, a Whimbrel, a NEW LIFE LISTER,
had just sauntered up beside the boys at play.
When I reached the water's edge to identify and photograph the Whimbrel,
I noticed there were several different terns flying back and forth.
I indentified four different types that day, two of which were
new to our life list.
The birds had decided we were not allowed to break!
Michael and I did the hard work of identifying
and allowed the boys to continue to play, though.
A couple hours later, we brushed the sand from our clothes,
hopped back in the car, and followed our guide book's directions
to the north part of Tybee.
There were hundreds of Black Skimmers,
another new bird for our life list.
They are the funniest looking bird while standing on the beach,
but in flight... amazing!
Two Skimmers in Flight
We had to scan the large groupings of hundreds of birds very carefully
because skimmers weren't the only ones present.
I LOVE the skimmers, though.
Aren't they cute?!
The boys were back to actively birding with us,
but they still had fun running along the beach
with hundreds of birds flying around them!

We had to pull ourselves away from this part of the beach, but we had one more stop planned before dinner: a site with historical significance as well as abundant birds.

Until next time....

1 comment:

Kellie said...

You know, I think there's a message floating along the bird network to go search out your family. Not that you guys aren't rockstar bird watchers, but I think those birds want to be on your list. ; ) How many birds do you have on your list now?