Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Adventures of Bobby White

Our next stop on the Great Birding Adventure was Skidaway Island State Park, near Savannah, Georgia.  We had camped here a few years back and really loved the spot.  Our tent was nestled into a clearing surrounded by live oaks and covered by a canopy of Spanish moss.  Our backdoor led to the saltmarshes of the intracoastal waterway.  Each morning we awoke to a symphony of bird songs.... dreamy.
This year, our schedule demanded a later arrival (and no camping).  We made it to the causeway around 3 p.m., the hotest part of the day.  It was still breezy and beautiful, though, and a stop near the saltmarshes proved profitable.
As we pulled into a parking area just before the bridge over the waterway,
we spotted this sharp-shinned hawk.
He remained perched in the same spot for more than 30 minutes.
I was able to stand within a few feet from the pole where he perched
and snap dozens of great shots.
He's a life-lister!
Anhniga were abundant, but this guy is memorable.
It was a rather blustery day,
and he remained perched on a wire with his wings
open as to catch the wind.
He kept blowing backwards, spining on the wire as he clung to it.
We thought at some point
he would do a complete 360. :)
I just love this area.  So beautiful!
Once in the state park, bird activity slowed.
However, we took a birding break
and let the boys enjoy the playground.
We also enjoyed a picnic dinner.
Afterward, we headed to the Interpretive Center.
This educational resource center has been closed
each time we have visited Skidaway
because we always visit on the weekend.
However, we have always had good fortune
birding at the feeders located behind the building.
That is where we first saw a painted bunting a few year ago.
We figured it was too late in the season to spot another pb,
but we decided to take a look, because you just never know....
That is when and where we "met" this guy.
We have not been able to make a positive ID yet.
At the time, we thought he might be a juvenile Bobwhite.
He walked round and round our feet, peeping at us.
His "call" sounded just like the "Bob"
part of the Bobwhite's song.
He NEVER left the boys' side.
As you can see in this photo,
he was not scared of us.
He even seemed to enjoy the attention....
...and photographs!
Once home, we looked at pictures of Bobwhites,
and they don't seem to match.
However, encountering him was the highlight of the trip.
Wilbur even had dreams about him that night!
I have contacted the naturalist at Skidaway
to ask for help identifying our new friend.

We love Skidaway Island!  Not only is it the place where we first saw a painted bunting, but it is the place we made our first true bird friend.  Wilbur wanted to bring him home as a pet, but we decided he might belong to the Interepretive Center... thus his docile nature.  Plus, we know better than to remove a bird from its natural habitat.  But the pictures and memories will always be special to us.

Next time, we will briefly leave Georgia.  We will travel 2 whole miles into South Carolina to visit Savannah Wildlife Refuge.  GORGEOUS!  Get ready for some seriously beautiful pictures.

Happy birding!

1 comment:

Kellie said...

We just got back from our trip last night, and have been mostly offline for almost 2 weeks! So I hope you don't mind me combining comments as I catch up on your posts. : )

Happy belated birthday to your young man!

As always, I'm impressed (and jealous) of your birding adventures. How sweet that bird looks! I hope you're finally able to identify him.

Looking forward to seeing more pics!