Here is a chronological report of my birding for the year 2006.
I have done very little birding this year, until May. Some of these birds were found while birding with
Michael Beohm. (Note these are birds we discovered, not birds we've relocated.)
Update: Ended up with 328 species in GA for the year 2006.
The most of I've gotten is 343 in 2002.
Note: For big year numbers, almost all the birds
I count for a big year are ones that I actually discover not ones that I relocate.
Found this Bell's Vireo in Conyers (many more photos taken and relocated by others)
The Bell's Vireo was photographed extensively, and video was made of it singing, and the bird was relocated by a handful
of observers. Despite all that, there were still those that insisted on calling this a possible sighting. It baffles
me how other influential birders will cast doubt on a sighting just because they did not see the bird or because they feel
intimidated by the person who finds the bird. This is just one of many, many, many examples of this. Hopefully,
this type of behavior will change as more birders enter the field.
Perhaps the best find of the year was a Mottled Duck at E. L. Huie LAF. When I initially found and reported the
bird I was surprised at how a few very experienced birders vehemently denied that this was a Mottled Duck. Fortunately,
it was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be one. (They may not have considered the variations of the western complex;
a group which tends to stray east.)
Since the field marks were so clearly a Mottled Duck, that led me and others to feel that no matter how well you document
a bird, there will always be a few birders who are driven by a jealous desire that results in discrediting those birders who
threaten their number and/or birding legacy. It's a shame that some birders just can't enjoy birding for the birds.
I made a brief stop at E. L. Huie produced:
Eared Grebe (3)
I was informed that these birds were also independently reported by Steve Slayton.
I took a non-birding trip to JekyllIsland on Saturday and Sunday.However, I did spend an hour and a half leading a nature walk consisting of about twenty people on the
south end of Jekyll on Saturday.Not too much to report bird-wise:
American White Pelican (20 or so seen flying)
Surf Scoter (1)
Red-breasted Merganser (1)
Greater Scaup (2)
Caspian Tern (4)
Marbled Godwit (1)
Black-necked Stilt (2)
Plus other stuff like: Red Knots, Bald Eagle, Summer Tanager, Orchard Oriole, warblers, ducks.
I spent a few hours birding my yard today and had some pretty neat birds.Most birds were around the creek that goes through my yard.I immediately realized that today would be a good day.There
was a lot of activity when I stepped out this morning.I managed to take some
photos of the Lincoln's Sparrow.LINCOLN’S SPARROW.It stayed low in
Lincoln's Sparrow (1, photographed)
Wilson’s Warbler (1, finally,
this is the first record for the yard.Yard bird #206)
work Wednesday, I stopped by IndianSpringsState
Park in ButtsCounty
(piedmont) for a couple hours.I walked the short trail by the creek on the
east side of the park.The trail is narrow with lots of poison ivy and ticks
and runs just over a quarter of a mile before looping back.It’s a small
area but pound per pound one of the best migrant spots in Georgia
that I’ve found.Highlights: 19 species of warblers
I was able to squeeze
in some birding at the GIHP in Conyers today before the bottom fell out of the sky. The birding was fairly slow due to the
overcast and at times windy conditions.
(1, getting late)
Wood Thrush (8)
Sedge Wren (1)
Marsh Wren (1)
Little Blue Heron
Great Egret (1)
I heard the song
of an ALDER FLYCATCHER a few times in the distance but could not see the bird due to a swamp being in my way. I found
20 SPECIES OF WARBLER including PROTHONOTARY (15+) and SWAINSON’S (3).
Today was a strange
birding day at the horse park. I walked for a good five hours during which time there seemed to be almost no bird activity.
However, for about five minutes around mid-morning there was a nice wave of migrants all of sudden singing and flitting
around. At that time I was well off the trail standing in about a foot of water beside the Yellow River
there in the horse park. The best birds were two ALDER FLYCATCHERS singing/calling. I was able to see them also
at close range, though only briefly. Also, during that five minutes I had warblers, vireos, flycatchers, and such buzzing
around me. I also heard a WARBLING VIREO singing. After a few minutes everything seemed to pass northward.
All the activity stopped, and I was still standing in the mud.
(2, I got video/audio of at least one singing)
I saw an INCA DOVE
today around perched on a power line on the side of the road. I was driving
and immediately stopped the car when I saw it, however the cars behind me didn’t seem to understand the importance of
the moment. I looked the bird over the best I could and knew it could only be an Inca Dove. I quickly drove to the next available
turn around spot and came back, and of course, you guessed it, the bird was gone. Fortunately though, I had seen the bird
well enough to make the id.
Dove that is noticeably
smaller than a Mourning Dove (which I had for comparison). Slender body.
Pale gray body
with noticeable scaling effect to the body plumage.
Pale light face.
No markings or
pattern on face or on wings.
Long tail. White
underneath tail. Square tail.
I had great light
to see the bird, thankfully. The area is a large grass field (barbed wire, private property). I didn’t see any easy
way to park or get out and search for the bird.
On my way home from
work, I did a quick, ten-minute check of E. L. Huie amid fierce winds and darkening skies.
(1 female, probably same one I found there a two or three weeks ago).
Duck x Mallard hybrid (at least one)
Plus other usual
For what it’s
worth the ACOGB 2003 lists the late date for Northern Pintail as May 11 for the state, April 12 for the piedmont and
accidental for summer. I’ve reported them from here in summer a number of times in years past though.
I forgot to mention
that on my way home from work today, 5/18/06, I was driving south on Old
Atlanta Road in northern SpaldingCounty
and passed a field on my right. I thought I saw a DICKCISSEL about 50 yards out. I stopped the car and sure enough
I was treated to two DICKCISSELS perched and singing. Always fun to see!
I found some really interesting things.Here are the highlights in chronological order:
GLOSSY IBIS (4, first seen flying in the morning,
then feeding in a couple somewhat distant spots.Glossys are regarded as rare
inland in GA.)
(1 seen flying beside the lake heading east near Booster
Club Road.Always fun to see especially away from
the known areas near the GA coast.)
RUDDY DUCK (2 with young.Wow!They were out on the water a little ways.The ACOGB (2003) says that there are at least 15 reports of Ruddys in summer, but doesn’t mention
whether breeding has ever been recorded.)
LAUGHING GULL (1, this may have been a remnant
from the storm.Also, one Ring-billed Gull and a Herring Gull.)
GADWALL (1 female.The bird was on the water in the distance, and I suspected Gadwall, but had to be sure, so I waited a good thirty minutes
for it to come a little closer and flap its wings, etc.Listed as Accidental
in summer with only four records.)
KING RAIL (2 heard at a marshy spot by the lake.)
AMERICAN KESTREL (1, always fun to see in summer
when it is considered rare.)
GREEN VIOLET-EAR (1 seen.This
tropical hummingbird was definitely the bird of the day!The bird was just inside
GA, into FL.I saw it as it flew near me and almost into me as it
seemingly searched for flowers.It paused long enough for me to see it well.
Also, had more common birds like:Common Ground-dove, Snowy Egret, & Osprey (about 30).Notable for
their absence were Bald Eagles and Mississippi Kites.
Driving home from work I briefly stopped by E. L. Huie LAF in Clayton County. Not much to report except for two
Snowy Egrets. The Pied-billed Grebes are back. I didn't see the American Black Duck, but I did see the hybrid.
Snow Egret (2)
Little Blue Heron (1)
Great Egrets, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron
American Black Duck x Mallard Hybrid
Pied-billed Grebe (2)
Spotted Sandpiper (1)
Solitary Sandpiper (1)
Driving through Henry County today by I-75, I saw two HOODED MERGANSERS flying, which is nice to see this time of
After work I made a brief check of Lake Horton in Fayette County. The best bird was a TRICOLORED HERON which is
rare in the Piedmont. (I know it's rare because I don't have it on my yard list. Yes, that does bother me slightly.)
I took some photos and I threw a slightly blurry one onto my website under Recent Sightings:
I didn't get a chance to bird over the last week, so today coming back from work I was glad to squeeze in a five
minute check of a marshy spot by my house here in Spalding County (Piedmont). Lots of stuff.
I'm heading out the door, but I wanted to mention that I had a CAVE SWALLOW (Mexican) beside my house this afternoon
around 6:30pm. Also, had Bank Swallows and Cliff Swallows and a huge swarm of the other usual swallows. Some of
the large nearby fields were being cut before the rain.
This afternoon here by my house in Spalding County (Piedmont), I was treated to a few goodies:
Wood Storks (9, riding the thermals)
Mississippi Kites (12)
Snowy Egret (1)
I stopped by Lake Horton in Fayette County (Piedmont) this afternoon after work, 08/14/06. Good stuff there:
Tricolored Heron (2)
White Ibis (40+)
Snowy Egret (2)
Yellow-crowned Night-heron (1 imm)
Blue-winged Teal (1)
Pectoral Sandpiper (30)
Least Sandpiper (1)
Lesser Yellowlegs (1)
American Coot (2)
Mute Swan (2)
Cool beans - so much in such a small area.
I had to do a show this weekend, so no birding, but I thought I would list all the stuff I had Thursday, 08/10/06, after
work here in Spalding County near my house. It was a really a good day. Even had some kites, but nothing
like the kite-fest extravaganza Steve Holzman and others reported.
Cave Swallow (1, maybe 2)
Cliff Swallow (10+)
Bank Swallow (10+)
Other swallows (500+)
Black-crowned Night-heron (1)
Snowy Egret (1)
White Ibis (1)
Mississippi Kite (10)
American Kestrel (1)
Grasshopper Sparrow (30+)
Eurasian Collared-dove (20+, the most I've had beside my house)
I had a little time today, so I and a friend of mine checked Lake Horton in Fayette County (piedmont).
bird we had was a CAVE SWALLOW that was flying over the lake
with other swallows. Highlights:
Yesterday afternoon I was in the
Columbus area and had a little time, so I hit a few places along the
Chattahoochee Corridor. There was some duck activity on the river near
WFG, and there seemed to be a decent amount of birds at Lake Walter
F. George near the dam (in GA), however it was getting dark fast.
Ross's Goose (1 at Lake WFG near Bagby
Laughing Gull (1 at Lake WFG near the
16 species of duck:
Black Scoter (1)
Greater Scaup (10+)
American Black Duck (1)
American Wigeon (20+)
Probable Scoter (2 way out)
Possible Snow Goose (1 even farther)
Dunlin (about 10)
Interestingly I had three WOOD STORKS
and eight WHITE IBIS in the area seen by me and others. The Wood
Storks were circling on the thermals earlier in the day.
I just got in and I'm tired so I'll
make this a quick type. I decided to skip work today and do something I
haven't done in a while...spend a whole day birding (without a nap).
Boy it was a great day too; one of the best I've had in a while!
West Point Lake Dam (morning):
Golden Eagle (1 adult)
Long-tailed Duck (1)
Florence Marina Park:
Ross's Goose (1 on the GA side)
Bradley Unit Eufaula NWR:
Western Red-tailed Hawk (1
Redhead (about 30) Greater Scaup (about 20) Northern Pintail (2)
Red-breasted Merganser (4) Tree Swallow (30) Little Blue Heron (1)
Black-crowned Night-heron (10)
OTHER NOTES MISSING (will need to find them)
Birding Year 2005
Here are the birds that Michael and I discovered in GA in 2005.
Magnificent Frigatebird - Michael and I found a record number of these inland.
First let me say that I did very little
birding in 2005.I probably only went out about fifteen times for the whole
year.Michael also birded very little.That being said we had some amazing finds, a few of which rank as some of the best birding days I’ve ever heard
of for Georgia.Here are the reports from the days we spent birding last year:
THAYER’S GULL (1)
GLAUCOUS GULL (1)
-as well as other goodies all in one
day at LakeTobesofkee in Macon
-I found one in HenryCounty
-Michael had one male fly over him
at the Bradley Unit.The bird was later relocated by another observer on the
Alabama side of refuge.
-Michael found a juvenile at West
PointLake, unsure of date
GOLDEN EAGLE over my yard (later
than usual but witnessed)
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD (6)
PARASITIC JAEGER (1)
SOOTY TERN (26)
ROYAL TERN (4)
LEAST TERN (2)
LAUGHING GULL (5)
FORSTER’S TERN (8)
BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE (3)
W. F. G:
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD (2)
SOOTY TERN (17)
BLACK TERN (8)
ROYAL TERN (1)
FORSTER’S TERN (2)
LAUGHING GULL (10)
-all found by Michael and I
LARK SPARROW 1 beside my house
CAVE SWALLOW – 1 found by Michael
Lamar/Monroe County Line
A quick check of West Point
around with Michael:
SOOTY TERN (4)
ROYAL TERN (1)
BLACK TERN (70)
Michael Beohm found:
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD (1 juvenile)
SOOTY TERN (2)
AMERICAN AVOCET (13)
BLACK TERN (50)
COMMON TERN (1)
LAUGHING GULL (9)
FORSTER’S TERNS (12)
GLOSSY/WHITE-FACED IBIS (1)
From Lake Seminole we found:
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD (1 adult female)
BRIDLED TERN (1)
SOOTY TERN (1)
LEAST TERN (1)
CASPIAN TERN (4)
COMMON TERN (14)
FORSTER’S TERN (30+)
BLACK TERN (150+)
LAUGHING GULL (82)
MUTE SWAN (1)
BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE (9)
LESSER SCAUP (1)
From another spot nearby:
BAIRD’S SANDPIPER (1)
LAUGHING GULL (11)
WOOD STORK (50)
BLACK TERN (50)
BARN OWL (1)
From my yard:
YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (1)
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (1)
LARK SPARROW (Michael in TalbotCounty)
ALDER FLYCATCHER (1) also Least and
AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS (76 at West
RED-THROATED LOON (11)
SURF SCOTER (11)
PURPLE SANDPIPER (5)
REDDISH EGRET (1)
CASPIAN TERN (1)
Andrew's Island Causeway:
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (50+)
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (3)
MOTTLED/BLACK DUCK (2)
AMERICAN AVOCET (11)
Walter F. George:
BROWN PELICAN (1 juvenile)
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (5 or more)
RED-THROATED LOON (1)
Lots of ducks including Canvasback,
Redhead, Greater Scaup, Red-breasted Merganser
From Merry Brother’s Brickyard
PRAIRIE WARBLER (1)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (1)
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW (1)
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (1)
SNOW GOOSE (1)
WHITE-EYED VIREO (1)
CLAPPER RAIL (1 apparent heard)
KINGBIRD SPECIES (briefly seen; probably
a WESTERN KINGBIRD)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (1)
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER (1)
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (1)
CANVASBACK, REDHEAD, GREATER SCAUP,
AMERICAN WIGEON, NORTHERN PINTAIL
LITTLE BLUE HERON (1)
CATTLE EGRET (33)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (8)
WHITE IBIS (110)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (3)
TREE SWALLOW (60)
On the way down at West
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (15)
Walter F. George Dam
SNOW GOOSE (5)
COMMON GOLDENEYE (1)
PEREGRINE FALCON (1)
17 SPECIES OF DUCK
RED-THROATED LOON (1 juvenile)
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (1)
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (5)
COMMON GOLDENEYE (10)
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (2)
RED-THROATED LOON (1 ADULT, this is
not the juvenile we found last week)
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (5)
RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (29)
COMMON GOLDENEYE (7)
Birding Year 2004
Here are some of the REVIEW SPECIES Michael and I found in Georgia in 2004. Some of these birds are not on
the official list of Georgia birds. Some have been or will be added soon thanks to the birds being documented.
I left off some of the more common birds Michael and I found like: Franklin's Gull, White-winged Dove, Yellow-headed
Blackbird, Western Kingbird, etc. I may have left something out below. Hopefully, I'll have time to include it
Some of these birds never made it onto the RBA. However, some of these birds were enjoyed by birders from
around the country.
NOTE: I did very little birding in 2004. Almost all my birding was in part of January and around Thanksgiving.
Michael was able to do a bit more.
GA's first Thayer's Gull!
Yellow-billed Loon (I found it the end of Dec, and it continued to April)
Ross's Goose (I found one the end of Dec that continued into Jan)
Mute Swan (4 appearing wild continue, first found by us)
Lapland Longspur (Henry County)
Golden-crowned Sparrow (one imm at Charlie Elliot Wildlife Center is one of the rarest birds we've found in Georgia.
We were unable to relocate it or photograph it though.)
Northern Fulmar (Michael from Tybee Island)
From just south of the GA border I had:
Ross's Goss (Michael had one in Superton)
Lark Bunting (MIchael had one in Monroe County)
Limpkin (I had one near my house. Also it was relocated by another birder.)
Arctic Tern (Michael found one at Rum Creek WMA.)
Long-tailed Jaeger (Michael found one at Lake Walter F. George.)
Thayer's Gull (at West Point)
Black-throated Gray Warbler (Lake Seminole)
Brant (one at Cumberland Island by Michael)
Ross's Goose (one found by Michael in Upson County)