Vacation Trip Report

I’ve been away for the past few weeks visiting my Daughter in Boston and managed to sneak in quite a bit of birding on my way up and coming home.  I may have mentioned it before but I really would prefer not to fly if I have the time as I find driving to be so much more relaxing and I certainly see much more using this form of transportation.

I left the house at around midnight with the plan of reaching Jekyll Island in Georgia close to sunrise.  My trip up was very uneventful and I was standing on the causeway leading out to the island just after the sun came up.  There were a few Clapper Rails calling and quite a few wading birds around, unfortunately there was also millions of mosquitos biting so I didn’t manage any pictures before being driven back into the car.

Driving around the entire island I managed to record 50+ species including these …

Caspian Tern ,,, I also saw Royal and Sandwich Terns

Caspian Tern … I also saw Royal and Sandwich Terns

Spotted Sandpiper ... I also had 6 other species of shorebirds on the island.

Spotted Sandpiper … I also had 6 other species of shorebirds on the island.

Boat-tailed Grackle ... I know it's "just" a Grackle but where I'm from in Florida none of them have yellow eyes.  You have to go North of the Florida border to see one and I was very excited to see this variation on a bird I see often.

Boat-tailed Grackle … I know it’s “just” a Grackle but where I’m from in Florida none of them have yellow eyes. You have to go north of the Florida border to see one like this and I was very excited to see this variation on a bird I see often.

Jekyll Island seems like it would be a fabulous place to visit at the correct time of the year.  I think I was in between the breeding birds and the Winter birds that will be down in a month or so and look forward to a return visit maybe over the Winter.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

I then drove north and made it to the Virginia border by nightfall which set me up perfect for being on the Blue Ridge parkway by sunrise.  I was hoping for a little more fall color but I would have to wait till I got closer to Boston to see a large amount of color.  I really hadn’t expected very much in the way of birds but I had the first of a couple “WOW” moments that I would experience during the rest of my vacation.

The Blue Ridge Parkway has many places to pull off and admire the scenery and I took full advantage of these.  I found one of the pulloffs that I remembered from a previous trip had some birds around and watched and waited for half and hour or so when a few Warblers started cresting the ridge and diving down for cover right where I was standing.  The few grew in numbers until they were coming over in the dozens at a time.  I have never experienced so many migrating Warblers at one time and all I could say was WOW!!!  Most of the Warblers were Black-throated Blues with a few Magnolias, Parulas and Tennessee as well. They didn’t stay long but I managed a couple of pictures of two very different looking Black-throated Blues.

Black-throated Blue ... This is a nice looking adult male.

Black-throated Blue … This is a nice looking adult male.

Black-throated Blue Warbler ... This on the other hand is a first year bird.  I had to look this one up in my Sibley's Guide as I'd never seen this plumage!

Black-throated Blue Warbler … This on the other hand is a first year bird. I had to look this one up in my Sibley’s Guide as I’d never seen this plumage!

I left the Parkway around 2pm and headed northeast to my next stop which was one exit before Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania.  I’ll leave you with one more picture from today and continue the rest of the trip report soon.

Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia

Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia

Thanks for the visit and God Bless!

 

 

 

 

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About sheriffsmith

I have worked for the Broward County Sheriff's Office the last 13 years and spend most of my free time birdwatching / naturewatching and photographing the birds and nature that I encounter. I believe God has blessed us with a world that is so absolutely fascinating and wonderful and I'm doing my best to discover and show others all that he has provided us with in nature.
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One Response to Vacation Trip Report

  1. beatzkane says:

    Reblogged this on Beatz kane Blog 143.

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