Sunday, December 21, 2014

Bluewater Highway

Leaving San Luis Pass, I drove the Bluewater Highway to Surfside. It was very windy and the birds flighty.  I tried to get photos of the birds I saw on the lines, but as soon as I slowed the car they flew off.  Even the European Starlings were difficult to photograph.  I barely snapped one picture before they scattered.    

I thought I saw a falcon, but it disappeared before I could make an id.


European Starling
In a little pond beside the road, I spotted a small group of Lesser Scaup.  A lifer!  They took to the air very quickly, but I managed one photograph again.


Lesser Scaup

Along the road, there are various places to pull off:  a nature trail, beach access points, a bayside kayak access point, and a crabbing pier.  I saw a sign at one of the beach access points advising that this area is essential to a threatened species and providing information on how to help protect them. My field guide actually lists them as endangered.


There were a few fishermen that caused the birds to move down the beach, but not deliberately.  I followed and was able to get within 20 feet of plovers, sandpipers, and sanderlings without alarming them.    


Snowy Plover

At first glance, it looks like I found one of the Piping Plovers.  After studying my photographs and referring to my field guides, I determined this is actually a Snowy Plover, which is also listed as threatened and is another lifer.  A Piping Plover would have had orange legs.    

White Ibis and Tri-colored Heron

At the crabbing pier, I found a pair of interesting birds.  A White Ibis and Tri-colored Heron were following each other around.  Wherever one went, the other followed.  When I passed by later in the day, they were still there and still together.  How's that for an odd couple?  

On a day that wasn't particularly birdy I identified a total of 16 species, two of them lifers.  Not too bad.

Linking with The Bird D'Pot.

UTC105
11/23/2014
Midday - Late afternoon
70 deg F, windy, clear
Species identified (16):  Great Blue Heron, White Ibis, Great Egret, Brown Pelican, Great-tailed Grackle, Eastern Phoebe, Willet, Lesser Scaup, European Starling, Herring Gull, Laughing Gull, Semipalmated Plover, Sanderling, Western Sandpiper, Snowy Plover, Tricolored Heron  



22 comments:

  1. They would all be lifers for me, all except for the starling, of course. :-)

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  2. adorable plover! the starling is beautiful, too. :)

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  3. Great varietyJen and that last shot with the Ibis and the Heron in the same spot is wonderful! The Plover is adorable and I loved the Lesser Scaup in flight, and the Starling. I love to see a Starling up close as well as the other birds, especially when the sun is out and their feathers shine like rainbows of colors. I saw a beautiful hawk today but couldn't get its photo.

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  4. I love the Ibis and heron photo.. I am not in Savannah--actually, just outside on Skidaway Island

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  5. 16 species in a day - A good day!
    Great photos!

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  6. I love that this is what you are doing, with Christmas just four days away!!

    And a very protective day!

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  7. never heard of a Snowy Plover. Congrats to the sighting :)

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  8. Those first two photos are fabulous. They're so clear and perfectly focused.

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  9. I think that's a really good day to both Piping Plover and Snowy Plover. Full marks for photographing a Starling too - many people don't bother just because they are common.

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  10. The Ibis and Heron are neat looking birds!

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  11. The starling is so crisp. Happy Holidays. And happy birding in the new year!

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  12. Awesome finds for sure. I stopped by the birding area at Pedernales Falls. I saw a few birds, but I definitely need to do a little more research before I start doing it as a hobby.

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  13. Such wonderful feathered subjects

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  14. Interesting finds! I have often seen tactile feeders such as ibis and stork feeding next to a sight feeding heron. I think both may benefit from the association, as the heron startles the prey into the tactile feeder's beak and the other species may drive some fish towards the heron.

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  15. Your bird counts are so impressive ... Interesting about the odd couple and enjoyed reading Kens explanation above as well. Love my virtual bird experts, thanks for being one of them. Happy new years

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  16. Superb images - and thanks for stopping by earlier. Been very busy - hopefully 2015 will be easier!

    Happy New Year!

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  17. Excellent!!! I especially liked the dynamic duo...the ibis and tri color.

    Hope your new year will be filled with happiness and much birding success!

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  18. Great post! Glad they are letting people know there about the plovers.

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  19. Love the photos as always. I hope you had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

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  20. You're good! Excellent shots. Since I know very little species, I'll take your word on all of your IDs. :)
    Happy New Year!

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  21. I've been out of the loop and thought I'd come by to see your latest posts. It seems that you're busy doing other things, too. I hope all good!

    Another look at that European Starling - the green and red that shines through - exquisite!

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  22. Happy New Year Jen! Blessings.

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