GOS Winter Meeting Part 2-Harris Neck NWR

The first rays of the morning sun reach through the trees, longing to expose the beauty of the array of birds and vegetation at Bluebill Pond. Fresh air flows in and out of my lungs and the sweet trill of a Pine Warbler tickles my inner ear. Limited gatherings of Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal mingle with Pied-billed Grebes, an immature Little Blue Heron, Common Gallinules and American Coots. A squadron of Wilson’s Snipe explodes out of the reeds and fly with more agility than the Blue Angels before sinking back into cover. An Eastern Phoebe departs from its solitary perch for a moment to chase a credulous insect. Its efforts are far overshadowed by the close to a hundred Tree Swallows fly-catching on the wing overhead. A Blue-headed Vireo makes its way back into the forest after treating us to a view of its unique color of blue on its head. Forty or so Rusty Blackbirds assemble in the left half of the lake, some resting in a tree and others searching for a snack on the ground. A Sora skulks around in the foliage lining the far edge of the pond. Finally, an Orange-crowned Warbler flutters about in a tree in pursuit of insects and spiders.
     This is a summary of my second field trip to of the Georgia Ornithological Society’s winter meeting to Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge. The trip was extremely fun even though I got no lifers. I can’t wait to go back in the future!
Birds (74 species, 0 lifers):
Gadwall 16
Mallard 2
Blue-winged Teal 95
Green-winged Teal (American) 65
Lesser Scaup 6
Bufflehead 4
Hooded Merganser 18
Red-breasted Merganser 1
Pied-billed Grebe 20
Wood Stork 1
Double-crested Cormorant 1
Great Blue Heron 3
Great Egret 28
Snowy Egret 60
Little Blue Heron 15
Tricolored Heron 12
Black-crowned Night-Heron 22
White Ibis 24
Black Vulture 12
Turkey Vulture 9
Northern Harrier 2
Bald Eagle 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 2
Red-tailed Hawk (Eastern) 2
Sora 1
Common Gallinule 35
American Coot 125
Killdeer 2
Spotted Sandpiper 1
Lesser Yellowlegs 1
Least Sandpiper 18
Wilson’s Snipe 18
Forster’s Tern 2
Mourning Dove 25
Belted Kingfisher 3
Red-bellied Woodpecker 6
Downy Woodpecker 3
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 2
Eastern Phoebe 15
White-eyed Vireo 9
Blue-headed Vireo 1
Blue Jay 12
American Crow 8
Fish Crow 4
Tree Swallow 120
Carolina Chickadee 12
Tufted Titmouse 10
House Wren 2
Marsh Wren 1
Carolina Wren 15
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 8
Golden-crowned Kinglet 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 14
Eastern Bluebird 12
American Robin 60
Gray Catbird 1
Northern Mockingbird 2
Orange-crowned Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 6
Palm Warbler (Western) 6
Pine Warbler 25
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 90
Eastern Towhee 5
Savannah Sparrow (Eastern) 35
Song Sparrow 15
Swamp Sparrow 18
White-throated Sparrow 2
Northern Cardinal 14
Red-winged Blackbird 55
Eastern Meadowlark 7
Rusty Blackbird 40
Common Grackle 4
Boat-tailed Grackle 15
American Goldfinch 20

Reptiles and Amphibians (1 species, 0 lifers):
Turtle spp., probably Florida Cooter