Jekyll Island – Wilson’s Plovers

May 5, 2014 at 4:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - Georgia, Georgia, Georgia State Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , )

Wilson's Plover chick banded by Abby Sterling in 2012

Wilson’s Plover chick banded by Abby Sterling in May 2012

The above photograph was taken by bander Abby Sterling on Little St. Simons Island two years ago.  Here is the same bird I photographed on April 27, 2014 on Jekyll Island, all grown up:

Wilson's Plover, male, wearing leg bands

Wilson’s Plover, male, wearing leg bands

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Jekyll Island Winter Birds

February 20, 2014 at 5:05 am (Birds - Georgia, Georgia, Georgia State Parks, Nature, Photography, Wildlife) (, , )

Black-and-White Warbler

Black-and-White Warbler

The Great Backyard Bird Count has expanded beyond backyards into anywhere birders wish to pursue their avian quarry as citizen scientists.  Birder friend Marilyn and I joined Lydia Thompson’s group on Jekyll Island, Georgia, after photographing the combined sunrise/moonset on the north beach that you might have seen in my previous post.

Black-and-White warbler

Black-and-White warbler

We split into three groups, with ours led by a very good birder Mike Chapman.  I’m usually not the first to spot a bird, although I can still hear the very high notes of the cedar waxwings – which many people my age can’t register anymore.  But I did find the black-and-white warbler scouring the oaks for insects. Read the rest of this entry »

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Winter Sunrise, Jekyll Island, Georgia

February 19, 2014 at 4:22 am (fine art photography, Georgia, Georgia State Parks, Nature, Photography) (, , , )

Winter sunrise, Jekyll Island, Georgia

Winter sunrise, Jekyll Island, Georgia

We had the beach to ourselves this winter morning, before the sun crested the horizon, watching the vivid sky.  A few photographers came along later, when the best light was gone. Marilyn and I were piggybacking this sunrise photo session with a morning of counting birds for the Great Backyard Bird Count on Jekyll Island, GA.  We were going to do light painting after sunset, but we were too tired.  This boneyard – which is what they call a beach strewn with skeleton trees – will be a perfect place for that.  Another time. Read the rest of this entry »

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Baby Sea Turtle Races to the Sea!

August 10, 2013 at 4:59 pm (Nature, Wildlife) (, , , )

Baby Sea Turtle races to the sea!

copyright Cindy McIntyre 2013

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Baby sea turtles hatch!

August 10, 2013 at 5:13 am (Nature, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , , , , )

Newly emerged sea turtle hatchling

Newly emerged sea turtle hatchling

It was hard to see the little heads and flippers in the bowl of sand that was their nest.  The little loggerhead sea turtles were well disguised, but every so often a bit of sand would move – a flipper.  These guys had already hatched a foot or two below, where the eggs were laid, and had scrambled to the top, under the layer of sand until its coolness signified night had arrived.  The cover of darkness would hide them from predators.  We watched them under dim red lights. Read the rest of this entry »

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Critters of Jekyll Island

August 14, 2012 at 6:13 am (Birds - Georgia, Butterflies, Dragonflies and Bugs, Georgia, Nature, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Here are some of the critters I saw on my recent visit to Georgia’s Jekyll Island:  (Note – I now have ID confirmations on my questionables, thanks to the great help from the Georgia Birders Online list)

Royal Tern, Jekyll Island, Georgia

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Loggerhead Sea Turtles on the Georgia Coast

August 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm (Georgia, Nature, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Loggerhead sea turtles are one of those “awwww….” creatures.  They inspire protective instincts in many of us, especially those who are aware of the sad state of many of earth’s species such as these, fighting for survival.

Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Jekyll Island, Georgia

I went to Georgia’s Jekyll and St. Simons Islands this week in hopes of seeing at least one of these amazing animals.  I knew that the females come ashore only to lay their eggs.  I knew they come at night and leave a trail in the sand, and that volunteers and biologists check every night and morning to see where new nests are.  I knew the babies generally hatch at night and make their desperate break for the sea, hoping that they make it before gulls or crabs snatch them from their destiny.  Only one in 4,000 of these babies will make it to adulthood and reproduce.  These marine reptiles, on the Endangered Species List,  grow up in the North Atlantic and around the Sargasso Sea, then the females return to the beaches where they were born, drag their 200 to 300 pound bodies up past the high tide line, scoop a hole in the dunes, deposit a clutch of 60 to 100 or more eggs , cover them up, smooth out the sand, and drag themselves back to the sea.  Males never come ashore, unless they are sick or injured. Read the rest of this entry »

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Driftwood Beach Sunrise

August 8, 2012 at 5:06 am (Georgia, Nature, Photography) (, , , , )

First light, Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, Georgia

Here’s a lovely way to spend the morning on Georgia’s Jekyll Island.  Dawn comes to Driftwood Beach. Read the rest of this entry »

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