GOS Fall Meeting – Altamaha Sound Boat Trip 10/11/14

The first field trip I went on at this year’s Georgia Ornithological Society fall meeting was in the Altamaha River Sound on a boat led by Tim Keyes. This trip had myriad highlights. American White Pelicans elegantly floated on the wind like propeller planes. Darting to an fro, Northern Harriers scoured the marsh for a midday snack. American Avocets stood tall and proud in plumage fit for a ballroom. Marbled Godwits, Ruddy Turnstones, Long-billed and Short-billed Dowitchers and Black-bellied Plovers mingled on the shore of Little Egg Island. Royal and Caspian Terns swirled in a vortex of cacophony. Finally, a lone Wilson’s Plover stared at us with bulging eyes and a thick bill that makes it feel out of place among the other plovers. Below is the list and photos:

Birds (34 species, 0 lifers):

Northern Pintail  1

Double-crested Cormorant  20

American White Pelican  20

Brown Pelican  50

Great Blue Heron  1

Great Egret  3

Snowy Egret  3

Tricolored Heron  1

White Ibis  10

Northern Harrier  2

Bald Eagle  4

American Avocet  40

American Oystercatcher  25

Black-bellied Plover  15

Wilson’s Plover  1

Semipalmated Plover  1

Piping Plover  2

Marbled Godwit  50

Ruddy Turnstone  25

Sanderling  500     Massive flock on the beach.

Western Sandpiper  30

Short-billed Dowitcher  30

Laughing Gull  40

Herring Gull  10

Lesser Black-backed Gull  1

Great Black-backed Gull  2

Caspian Tern  10

Common Tern  1

Forster’s Tern  20

Royal Tern  50

Sandwich Tern  10

Tree Swallow  10

Red-winged Blackbird  5

Boat-tailed Grackle  20


American White Pelican


Marbled Godwit




Wilson’s Plover


Wilson’s Plover


Royal Tern


American Avocet


American Avocet


Caspian Tern