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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Altamaha Wildlife Management Area, part 2

Slightly farther north up Rt. 17, there is another dirt road on the left that runs about parallel to the one we were just on and goes down to a viewing gazebo that overlooks a marsh.

My favorite image from that road is this Northern Mockingbird about to take-off.

On the left, near the entrance, was an interpretive sign talking about the neotropical songbird migrants and the routes they take to their wintering grounds in Central and South America. Places like Altamaha, with its abundant bird habitat, are important migration stopping places, and nesting places, for these songbirds.

If you look up, you can just about always see Turkey Vultures soaring overhead. This shot shows the silvery gray on the flight feathers. Turkey Vultures look like a black flying "V" when seen from a distance.

At the end of the road, there was this promising sign.

Beyond it there was a large grassy area with an lush edge of Wax Myrtle bushes and other vegetation. Wax Myrtle (similar to Bayberry) has waxy berries that are eaten by many birds.

Two Purple Martin houses stood ready, waiting for their returning occupants. Loved the feathery clouds, like wings, overhead.

With some patience, I got a glimpse of this White-eyed Vireo.

Here's the face. It just skulked in the Wax Myrtle shrub.

A fiesty Northern Mockingbird looked out from it's perch,

then flew to the ground.

It was hunting for insects.

Then it took off and went back to the perch. (This shot required a very anticipatory trigger finger on my part.)

Leading up the the viewing house was another interpretive sign, showing some of the waterfowl that use the marsh.

Nice house! Could've stood there all day.

Green-winged Teal are one of the species of ducks that use the area. After this, we went across the street to the big impoundments.


Connie said...

Wonderful photos. I enjoyed them immensely. My sister and close friend are bird lovers and photographers. They can see birds when I have no idea they are around! I sit and wait for the photos. :)

Stacy said...

I love mockingbirds! Feisty and tough & rugged as they are those little 'beeper' tails just get me every time! Great Shots!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I love the Mockingbird on take-off.