Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ocmulgee Audubon Field Trip to the Piedmont Wildlife Refuge

Jerry Payne, Bill Flatau, Anne Armstrong, and Paul Hoinowski
Our May field trip took us to the Piedmont Wildlife Refuge.  A unique place to see the Red-cockaded Woodpeckers (on the "Endangered" list) and the Bachman Sparrows.

The above picture shows, among others, Jerry Payne.  As a quick disclosure, he was not on the field trip with us but we ran into him in the refuge.  He is legend and he just organized a "butterfly count" the day before our field trip.  And there he was, already out in the field, birding.  We were happy to see him!
Red-cockaded Woodpecker.  Courtesy Lynn Rivenbark
  We were eleven birders in the group.  We spent the first part of the trip at Pond 2A where we picked up the most birds including Tree Swallows nesting in tree cavities, Bachman Sparrows, Prairie Warblers singing their heart out, Northern Bobwhites calling loud and clear, Yellow-throated Warblers, and many more.
Bachman Sparrow.  Courtesy Lynn Rivenbark
The last two pictures, the Red-cockaded and the Bachman, were seen and appreciated toward the end of our field trip in an area marked for "Red-cockaded Colonies".  (Also seen earlier at Pond 2A). Matt Esterline recommended that spot and I'm glad we made it our last spot as we enjoyed some of the birds seen at a much closer range...Red-cockaded and Bachman in trees 15 feet from us at almost eye level.
Yellow-throated Warbler.  Picture by Lynn Rivenbark.
At one point, we enjoyed an Osprey circling over Pond 2A.  One of our "birding moments".  Anne Armstrong has a recording of this on our Facebook Page.  Check it out!
Black-and-white Warbler.  Picture by Lynn Rivenbark.
Before we knew it, the time has passed and we had to leave this beautiful place.  We drove through creek fords, lingered by a nice pond, walk a path by wooded areas, saw butterflies, ran into nice folks, enjoyed birds you don't see in your backyards.  If you missed any of this, just join us on our next outing.
Our newsletters are posted on this site and they have our scheduled field trips.

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