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Georgia Birding and Nature

Recent Georgia Photos of Rare Birds

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Recent Georgia Photos of Rare Birds
Lake Hartwell, Georgia
Lake Seminole
Augusta
Lake Walter F. George
Lake Horton
West Point Lake
GI Horse Park
Yard List
GA Birding Year 2004-6
Yellow-billed Loons
Red-throated Loons (24 Inland)
Red-throated Loons (Inland)
Pacific Loons
Western Grebe
Red-necked Grebes
Eared Grebes
Horned Grebe (summer)
Great Cormorant
Magnificent Frigatebirds (Inland)
Sabine's Gulls
Thayer's Gull
Thayer's Gull - more photos
Franklin's Gulls
California Gull, Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull, Thayer's Gull
Little Gull
Black-legged Kittiwake
Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Inland)
Sooty Terns, Royal Tern & Sandwich Tern (Inland)
Arctic Tern (Inland)
Pomarine Jaegers (Inland)
Long-tailed Jaegers (Inland)
Parasitic Jaeger (Inland)
Brown Pelicans (Inland)
American White Pelicans (76 in Piedmont)
American White Pelicans (100+ inland)
Common Mergansers
Mottled Duck (Inland)
Long-tailed Ducks
Rare Ducks
Rare Ducks for Summer
Greater White-fronted Geese
Brant
Barnacle Goose
Ross's Geese (7)
Ross's Geese in Upson Co
Ross's Geese Elsewhere
Snow Geese
Snow Geese in Summer
Mute Swans (appearing wild)
Black Swans (exotic)
Bell's Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Scott's Oriole
Cave Swallows
Rare Swallows
Black-billed Cuckoos
Clay-colored Sparrows
Lark Sparrows
Lincoln's Sparrow
Wilson's Warblers
Audubon's Warbler
Alder and Willow Flycatchers
Yellow-bellied Flycatchers
Least Flycatchers
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Western Kingbird
Brewer's Blackbirds
Yellow-headed Blackbirds
Common Ground-doves in Piedmont
Rare Shorebirds
Wilson's Phalarope
Long-billed Curlews
Willets (Inland)
American Avocets (Inland)
Baird's Sandpiper
Buff-breasted Sandpipers
Upland Sandpipers 52 seen
American Golden Plover
Anhingas in Piedmont
Anhingas Nesting in Piedmont
Roseate Spoonbill in Piedmont
Wood Storks in Piedmont
Night-Herons in Piedmont
Herons, Egrets, Ibises
Plegadis Ibis (Inland)
White Ibis (Piedmont in Winter)
Swainson's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk (Western)
Golden Eagle
Swallow-tailed Kites in Piedmont
Pelagic Birds
Cedar Waxwings Nesting in Southern Piedmont
31 Species of Warbler in 1 Day
Birds Abroad - Dominican Republic
Birds Abroad - Jamaica
Birds Abroad - St. Lucia
Birds Abroad - Barbados
Birds Abroad - St. Martin
Birds Abroad - St. Croix
Birds Abroad - Antigua
Birds Abroad - Guatemala
Birds Abroad - Central America & Caribbean
Birds Abroad - West Coast
Texas Birds

Here are some photos of the birds I have recently discovered (not ones I've relocated) in GA. I usually only get out a couple times a month, so I can only imagine what could be found with more time. Though, a lot of these photos are blurry, I of course could see the birds much more clearly than what is in the photo.  
- Eric Beohm
 
More photos are typically available under the link for the species name.

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It was nice to find an American Avocet at Lake Hartwell, GA  09/20/2015.

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Snowy Egret at Lake Hartwell, GA  09/20/2015.  I have found them in different spots here at the lake.  They are typically considered rare this far north.

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I initially found this Roseate Spoonbill on 08/20/2015 and it's apparently still here as of 09/20/2015 despite the scary episode when its bill got tangled in some fishing line. 

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I found this Short-billed Dowitcher at Lake Hartwell, GA  09/20/2015.  Barred tertials were noted.

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I found seven Sanderlings at Lake Hartwell GA  09/20/2015.  They were seen running, feeding, and flying across the lake.  Large peep, very pale gray upper body, white underneath, short bill.  Wings striking in flight.  Black wings with white stripe down the middle of upper wing.

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Many terns at Lake Hartwell GA 09/20/2015 including Common Tern.  Also, had 23 Forster's Tern.  Black Tern numbers had dwindled from the hundreds down to 12.

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Caspian Tern (8 total seen) at Lake Hartwell, GA  09/20/2015.  They would fly, circle the lake, and then land.  They landed fairly close at times.  Despite finding Caspians each time I have been here, it has been difficult to get good photos.  So, I am actually quite pleased with this one.

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I discovered an Olive-sided Flycatcher at the weedy field at Cochran Shoals  09/19/2015. 

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Olive-sided Flycatcher - kind of neat the way its feet hold on.

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Willow Flycatcher - large tail-flicking flycatcher, large bill, peewee like, moderate primary projection (to the base of the tail though hard to see in photo), thick tail, almost no eye ring.  Gave "whit" call.  Stayed fairly low in the shrubs. 09/19/2015 at Cochran Shoals CRNRA.

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Found another Yellow-bellied Flycatcher at Cochran Shoals  09/19/2015.
About the 60th one I've found in GA!

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Marsh Wren (3) at Cochran Shoals 09/19/2015.

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Found three Yellow-bellied Flycatchers at CRNRA on 09/17/2015.  Yellow-green, low contrast throat and moderate primary projection.

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Another Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

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Traill's Flycatcher.  Found a couple at Cochran Shoals 09/15/2015 (as well as Yellow-bellied).  This one had almost no eyering.  Moderate primary projection.

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Have had a few Yellow-bellied Flycatchers this week.

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It was a good day for shorebirds at Lake Hartwell, GA  09/02/2015 with the always cute Buff Breasted Sandpiper (2 above).  Also, had Red Knot, Sanderling, and Western Sandpipers among others.

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I found this Wilson's Phalarope in Savannah, GA  08/25/2015.

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Black Terns (300+) at Lake Hartwell, GA  08/24/2015. 

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Black Tern at Lake Hartwell

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Cattle Egret at Lake Hartwell, GA  08/24/2015.

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I found a Roseate Spoonbill at Lake Hartwell, GA  08/20/2015.  Very rare for northeast GA.  What an amazing looking creature!

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Area of observation. Inlet of the lake where Walters Road crosses.

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White Ibis (3) at Lake Hartwell  08/20/2015.

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Swallow-tailed Kite at Lake Hartwell  08/13/2015.  Quite far north for this species.  Note the long tail indicating this one is an adult.

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Mississippi Kite (11) at Lake Hartwell  08/13/2015.  Again quite far out of expected range.

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American Kestrel at Lake Hartwell,  08/13/2015.  Considered somewhat rare in Summer.

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Willet at Lake Hartwell,  08/13/2015.  Quite rare anywhere inland.

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Long-tailed Jaeger at Lake Hartwell  08/13/2015.  I first noticed the bird flying fairly close near Big Oaks and Elrod Ferry as it flew near a mixed group of terns.  Then it flew near Long Point and circled.  After that it flew higher and circled way over the lake.  I lost it as it disappeared east.  I attempted photos after it was a good ways north. 

Light juvenile.  Small jaeger.  Size was evident against the Forster's Terns and other terns.  The bird was slender with slender wings with a white mark on underside of the primaries.  Head appeared small and rounded.  Bill appeared shot and stubby.  Body appeared gray to gray-brown.  Head was whitish.  Belly was whitish.  Barring was noted on the tail coverts. 

Flight was graceful (much more so than the Pomarine I had last week).  The bird flew close by a group of terns but did not chase or harass them.  More photos were attempted, but it is doubtful they will show much detail.

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I found a Pomarine Jaeger at Lake Hartwell, GA  08/07/2015.  I spent a long time trying to get photos.  Fortunately my persistence paid off as the bird was disturbed by a cormorant and made some circles of the lake.

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Pomarine Jaeger flying around the west side of the dam.

Below: I was also surprised to find a Brown Pelican at Lake Hartwell, GA  08/07/2015.  Listed as very rare inland.

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Brown Pelican at Lake Hartwell, GA

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Closer view of said area as pelican continues to circle area.

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Anhinga (2) - Lake Hartwell 08/07/2015.  Very unusual for Northeast GA.  This one flew as I approached.  Both were near each other.  On private property.
See my Anhinga link on the left for others that I've found in the Piedmont.

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Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (2) at Lake Hartwell  08/07/2015.  Always fun to see.

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Snowy Egret (6) at Lake Hartwell.  Some seen just flying over the lake.  They may have been disturbed by all the activity on the lake.  Considered rare for Northeast GA.

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Swallow-tailed Kite (5) and Mississippi Kite (50+) in Upson County (Piedmont Region of GA) 07/29/2015.
Update:  Up to 50+ Mississippis and at least 2 Swallow-tails continued for at least a week per Michael.

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Snow Goose, Upson County, 07/29/2015. 

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Black Witch Moth - found this beside the GA State Capitol on 07/23/2015.

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Hooded Merganser (4) in Clayton County (3 at EL Huie), May 29, 2015.  Listed as rare in May.

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Anhinga - Spalding/Lamar County line, 05/23/2015.  Considered quite rare for the Piedmont region of GA.

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Mississippi Kites (10) - Spalding County, 05/23/2015.  Always nice to see them in the Piedmont region of GA.

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Dickcissel (5) - Spalding/Butts County Line, 05/23/2015

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White-rumped Sandpiper (3) - Lake Peachtree  05/23/2015

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27 Semi-palmated Plovers at Lake Peachtree (Piedmont region) seems like a pretty high count.  Also, 22 Semi-palmated Sandpipers and many other shorebirds, 05/13/2015.  It can be difficult to find shorebirds away from the sod farms, huie, and coast.

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I was surprised to find a Trumpeter Swan at Lake Peachtree 05/13/2015.  This general area has produced escapees in the past.

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Bay-breasted Warbler

31 SPECIES OF WARBLER IN ONE DAY at Cochran Shoals Park 05/02/2015.  Probably my all time highest count ever for one location!

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Snow Goose at Lake Maude, Upson County 4-27-2015

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11 Willets inland! Lake Thomaston, Upson County (Piedmont Region) 4-24-2015 Photo Michael Beohm.

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Red-necked Grebe with Horned Grebe at Lake Hartwell 03/18/2015

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Red-necked Grebe with Elrod Ferry in background

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American White Pelican (5) at Lake Hartwell 03/18/2015

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Pelicans flew in. Notice their spread wings and large size.

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Red-throated Loons at Lake Hartwell 03/18/2015

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A line of at least seven Red-throated Loons at Lake Hartwell.

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Red-throated Loons

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Common Merganser at Lake Hartwell GA 02/26/2015

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Many more photos and video. Note the buoy that is near Elrod Ferry.

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Eared Grebe at Lake Hartwell, GA 02/26/2015.

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Eared Grebe swam by some Horned Grebes. Note the difference in structure, thin neck, head shape.

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Bald Eagle fishing quite close at Lake Hartwell.

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700+ Redheads were present also Canvasbacks and many other ducks.

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Greater Scaup at Lake Hartwell GA 02/26/2015

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Greater Scaup - very close and cooperative

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Many White-crowned Sparrows were at Lake Hartwell.

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Many Horned Larks were near Lake Hartwell.

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Been seeing a lot of Wild Turkeys around Lake Hartwell.

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Red-throated Loon - 1 of 24 seen at Lake Hartwell, GA 02/26/2015.

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Five Red-throated Loons at Lake Hartwell GA

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Red-throated Loons at Lake Hartwell, GA

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Ross's Goose at Lake Hartwell 02/04/2015

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Another fox, this time a Gray Fox.

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I found 12 RED-THROATED LOONS at Lake Hartwell, GA on 01/22/2015.  These were fairly close but the skies were very overcast. Pacific Loon was also noted.

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Female Common Goldeneye

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Pacific Loon and Ring-billed Gull

I found a PACIFIC LOON at Lake Hartwell GA  12/18/2014.  Also, found two juvenile Red-throated Loons.  More photos of similar quality.  Appears to be a different bird than the one I found back in early Nov due to plumage differences such as this bird not having a distinct, obvious chin strap like the other bird.

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I found a ROSS'S GOOSE at Lake Hartwell, GA (and SC) on 11/21/2014.  Could see the bird fairly well at times especially when it would fly, making wide circles around the lake.  Very small goose, appearing a little larger than Ring-billed Gull.  Could see the stubby triangular bill at times.  Short neck, round head, black wing tips.  I found some Snow Geese in the area also.

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Ross's Goose out on the water.  Note the the round head and short thick neck.

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Eighteen species of duck and 200+ Redheads were at Lake Hartwell  11/21/2014.

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There was a flock of Canvasback at Lake Hartwell.

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Seventy-five Red-breasted Mergansers at Lake Hartwell.

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Sixteen Northern Pintails were on Lake Hartwell  11/21/2014.  They were close.  I thought the photo would turn out better.

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Black-legged Kittiwake.  I found two at Lake Hartwell GA  on 11-14-2014.  Heat shimmer was a big problem that day.  Dark neck collar, earspot, and wingstrip were noticeable.  More photos of similar quality.

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Many Vesper Sparrows at Lake Hartwell 11/5/2014.

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Too bad the overcast day in the afternoon caused photos to not turn out very well.  Here is a Red Fox that was not too far from me at Lake Hartwell 11/5/2014.

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Another Red Fox was seen near the first one.

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Here is a Black Scoter that I found at Lake Hartwell 11/5/2014.  It was an immature male because it had plumage similar to a female like a pale check, but it also had a yellow knob on top of its bill.  The overcast dark sky caused picture quality to suffer.  I have a few more photos of similar quality.

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I found one Pacific Loon at Lake Hartwell 11/5/2014.  Too far out and overcast for a great photo. Posture and head shape, chin strap, dark border on neck, paler nape, etc were noted.

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Red-necked Grebe at Lake Hartwell  11/5/2014.  It's kind of funny.  As bad as this photo is, if you look closely, it still shows some red on the neck, a triangular head, a white cheek, a black cap, and a drooping bill.  I could see the bird much, much better than this photo.  The low light caused photo quality to degrade.

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Dunlin

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Western Red-tailed Hawk near Lake Hartwell 10-22-2014.
 
The bird basically appeared mostly black with a distinct reddish breast which is hard to see in the photo.  It was a striking bird.  The photo does not do it justice.  The throat was completely dark, belly was black, legs bright yellow, and the undertail coverts a lighter rufous.  I also found another similar one about 10 miles away from this one but it flew upon approach.

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Merlin flew around lake then perched on dam.

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Coyote exiting the top of Lake Hartwell dam

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Mallard x American Black Duck hybrid (right) at Lake Hartwell. Had green on head and whitish tail.

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Three Mute Swans at HCR in Spalding County 10/13/2014.

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Wood Stork at HCR in Spalding County (Piedmont) on 10/13/2014.

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American Black Duck at HCR in Spalding County 10/13/2014.

I found four YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHERS at Cochran Shoals on 09/20/2014.  I noticed I did not have any photos of them on my site despite finding a handful of them every fall, so I'm glad to share these.

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I have found several PHILADELPHIA VIREOS over the last week and a couple Warbling Vireos.  The problem is that I keep photographing the wrong branch.  I definitely need a scope or something on my camera.  Below is a Philly that was quite cooperative but I only luckily got him in the extreme bottom of one photo.

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I found some Marsh and Sedge Wrens together at Cochran Shoals on 09/20/2014.

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I found two BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS on the Chattahoochee River Cobb County on 09/16/2014.  Below is one of them.  -  Eric Beohm

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Below is a Wilson's Warbler that was so cooperative it almost landed on me.  I attempted well over 20 photos, but I kept photographing the wrong spot.  I found this one on the Chattahoochee River Cobb County on 09/16/2014. 

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As blurry as this is, you can still tell it's a Wilson's Warbler.

Below is a SABINE'S GULL I found at Lake Hartwell  09/18/2014.  I found 3 of them.  This is a just a screen shot from some video I took.  I have many more photos of similar quality.

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Sabine's Gull

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Snow Goose in July, Upson County.

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Red-necked Grebe at Clarks Hill 03/27/2014.

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Red-throated Loon at Clarks Hill 03/27/2014.

I found a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL at Clarks Hill Lake on 03/01/2014.  The head had a lot brown streaking and the legs were yellow.

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Lesser Black-backed Gull at Clarks Hill

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Lesser Black-backed Gull

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Lesser Black-backed Gull

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I found one Eared Grebe at Clarks Hill 03/01/2014.

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Fox Squirrel at Clarks Hill Lake

Below are some birds I found at Lake Hartwell, GA (winter of 2013-14).

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Little Gull was noticeably smaller than Bonies, with dark cap and shorter primaries.

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Red-throated Loons - An amazing total of 24 seen.

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Red-throated Loons

Feb 18, 2014

Yellow-billed Loon (1 and appeared to be a second bird also)  
Pacific Loon (1)
Red-throated Loon (10)
White-winged Scoter 
Surf Scoter
Many good ducks

Update: Yellow-billed Loon and a possible second bird, as well as other reported birds, were relocated shortly afterwards by other observers.  

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Above photo showing massive upturned bill and distinctive head shape.  

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Also, many other birds including a Surf Scoter.

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Long-tailed Duck - very close and cooperative.

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Ross's Goose - Extreme lake haze that day. Fortunately, got a flight pic/vid.

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Common Goldeneye - very close and cooperative. Nice.

Dec 20

Long-tailed Duck (2)
Red-necked Grebe (1)
Cackling Goose (5)
Greater White-fronted Goose (1)
Pacific Loon (3)
Common Goldeneye
Other rare ducks
Probable Common Merganser
Other stuff

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Pacific Loon

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Greater White-fronted Goose

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Long-tailed Ducks

I've found some pretty good ducks at Heads Creek Reservoir in Spalding County.   Had a White-winged Scoter 01/19/2014.  Canvasback and Redhead have been reliable.
 
Eric Beohm

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White-winged Scoter

I discovered two COMMON MERGANSERS at Sweetwater Creek State Park on Jan 15, 2014. 
Update:  Birds were relocated by numerous observers.
 
Eric Beohm

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Two Common Mergansers

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This deer gave me pause as it walked right up to me.  Not sure what I was more afraid of...the antlers or the tongue!

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I had company at E.L. Huie recently, a coyote.  Nice.

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Dec 4, I found a juvenile plumaged BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE at Lake Hartwell, GA.  More photos of similar quality.  The bird was fairly close, but it was cloudy and foggy outside, so photo quality suffered.  However, the diagnostic fieldmarks of the contrasting plumage still showed well in the photos.

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I found three PACIFIC LOONS at Lake Hartwell on Nov 25, 2013.  Most photos were very blurry. (This photo is not good, but I was able to get better photos upon return.)

Nov 19, 2013.
I squeezed in a two hour lunch/bird break and quickly hit E. L. Huie and Heads Creek Reservoir.  Pretty good stuff:

Northern Rough-winged Swallow (3 at Huie)

Yellow-headed Blackbird (2 seen while in route to HCR)

Mute Swan (3 at HCR)

Canvasback (1 at HCR)

Redhead, American Wigeon, and about 300 other ducks ath HCR.

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Considered very rare this late in the year.  I found three Northern Rough-winged Swallows at E. L. Huie on Nov 19.  I have found them there in years past in late fall/winter.  Come to think of it, I have found a number of these swallows elsewhere in late fall/winter now looking back over the years.  Nice to get close enough for photos.

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Found two YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRDS.  There were probably more.  These two had the typical first winter/female appearance with yellow faces and chest.  Considered very rare for GA, I've found them a handful of times but not often.

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Lots of ducks were at HCR including this Canvasback.  

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I always enjoy Mute Swans.  I found these three at HCR.

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Nov 13, the ducks (American Black Duck, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon) above were at the dam at Lake Hartwell, GA.  They were quite close but for some reason photos once again did not turn out well.  It can be very difficult to get good photos at this location. 
 

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Nov 13, Lake Hartwell.  I found a ROSS'S GOOSE.  Diagnostic video was taken of the bird.  These photos are pretty good at showing the distinctive body shape, proportions, clean whiteness, and black wingtips.

From Nov 11, 2013, I went to Upson County (Piedmont region) to see my folks and happened to see a few birds near their house.
 

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A Dunlin on Nov 11 is probably an Upson county first!

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Barn Swallow and Rough-winged Swallow were quite late migrants on Nov 11.

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Laughing Gull at Lake Hartwell

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Here is an all dark Western Red-tailed Hawk seen near the lake at the fields there at the western start of Will Bailey Road.  Technically, I believe this would be called an intermediate morph since there are some reddish hues mixed in with the brown.  Most birders at least used to call the ones appearing all dark, dark morphs.  Now there are all kinds of morphs and classifications for the variations within the dark Western complex.

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White-winged Scoters at Lake Hartwell

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Snow Geese (blue) at Lake Hartwell

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Eared Grebe at Lake Hartwell

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Below are more photos from years ago that I had in another folder.  I will include them here for now.
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Red Fox in yard

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Wild Turkey

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Eastern Hognose Snake

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Yellow Warbler

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Magnolia Warbler

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Eastern Fox Squirrel near my house

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Grasshopper Sparrow near my house

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Southern Red Salamander

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American Kestrel in Spalding County July 30, 2007

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Osprey in Upson County 07/22/07

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Cattle Egrets in Upson County (piedmont) 07/22/07 (hundreds present)

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Bald Eagle in Spalding County 07/23/07

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Mississippi Kite in Upson County (Piedmont) 07/05/07

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American Kestrel in Butts Co (Piedmont) 07/01/07

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Common Ground-Dove in Upson County (Piedmont) 06/28/07

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Bank Swallow

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Common Ground-dove

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Short-billed Dowitcher (confirmed by call note and tail, etc)

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Cliff Swallows

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Mississippi Kite

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White Ibis

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Great Horned Owl

I found three American White Pelicans below Walter F. George Dam on 12/27/06.  Michael and I have found them pretty much everywhere on the Chattahoochee Corridor recently, but these were fairly close, so I thought I would show the photo.  I have some better photos which I will post later.  -  Eric Beohm

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Here are some photos from Lake Seminole 11/19/06. - Eric Beohm

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An almost all dark Bald Eagle.

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Black-crowned Night-heron

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A late Northern Rough-winged Swallow

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Female Red-breasted Merganser

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Snowy Egrets are rare this time of year.

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American Coots at Lake Horton. Also, found two at E. L. Huie though they moved to nearby areas.

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Black Swans at Sweetwater Creek State Park this May.

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Northern Pearly-eye at Horse Park in Conyers, 07/19/06.

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Mississippi Kite in Macon 06/07/06.

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Nessus Sphinx in my yard.

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White Ibis near my house in June.

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Another White Ibis near my house (Spalding County, Piedmont Region of GA) in June.

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Imperial Moth in Butts County, 7/19/06.

Here are some butterfiles recently discovered and photographed in GA by Michael Beohm.
 
This Hessel's Hairstreak is probably the first one ever photographed in GA.
 
The Dainty Sulphur is considered quite rare.
 
The Meadow Fritillary is GA's first documented species.  Michael found a small group of them.  They have since been relocated and enjoyed by others.
 
Thanks, Michael.
 
 

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Hessel's Hairstreak

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Dainty Sulphur

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Meadow Fritillary

For Michael Beohm's Butterflies of GA Click Here.

Here are some photos from 07/29/06 and 07/30/06.  Michael Beohm and I went to the Bradley Unit Eufaula NWR, then Lake WFG, then to Lake Seminole.  The next day we went to a sod farm in Macon County.
 
Eric Beohm

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Barred Yellow is always fun to see.

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Mute Swan at Lake Seminole - origin unknown.

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Here is a lovely Laughing Gull for your viewing enjoyment.

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Long-billed Dowitcher at Lake Seminole (confirmed by call).

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Long-billed Dowitcher again.

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Two Upland Sandpipers flying at Marshallville.

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We found at least 24 Upland Sandpipers.

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Ten Purple Gallinules were seen 07/29/06.

Mississippi Kite in Spalding County 08/14/06, one of twelve.

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Snowy Egret in Spalding County 08/14/06.

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Below is another photo of the American Black Duck x Mallard Hybrid at E. L. Huie.

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Here are some photos of some of the birds I had 11/17/06.
Below is very late Blackburnian Warbler at the Bradley Unit.
Also, I flushed an American Bittern there.  It took me a second to get the camera out, but I was able to snap a few shots before the bird landed.
Eric

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American Bittern

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Dunlin @ Lake Horton 12/10/05

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Blue-gray Gnatcatcher @ Lake Horton 12/10/05

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Magnificent Frigatebird

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Black Tern

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