Thursday, January 5, 2012

Jeepers Creepers!

After we made the big move to Savannah and Christmas had passed, Nick and I took the opportunity to bird as much as possible before he officially started his new job. In fact, the day Nick accepted the job, he contacted the coordinator for the Savannah Christmas Bird Count (CBC)! Now that's dedication! And lucky for us, it was on January 2nd, before Nick's first day of work. We explored some local areas as we prepared to familiarize ourselves with the birds that are around before the CBC. We had some really awesome birding trips in such a short time, and all very local. Before we moved up here, we had no idea that Savannah had so much to offer in the ways of birding. There are several different kinds of habitats -- beach, marsh, pine woodlands, and urban parks. 

Ring-billed Gull in the sun on the day of the CBC

Ring-billed Gull

We have much more to share about our other Savannah birding, but for now I'll discuss our little gem of the CBC. On the day of the count, the actual numbers for of birds were a little lackluster -- the wind seemed to blow quite a bit the whole day, and it appeared that the birds were mostly out of view as they were hunkering down. We got almost all of the birds that we had seen in the week before, but one especially was apparently a great find, more than we even knew at the time. The little unassuming bird who turned out to be one, if not THE, star of the Savannah CBC was none other than the Brown Creeper!

Can you spot the Brown Creeper???

Here he is!

Here's a little visual aid

The lovely brown creeper

Nick and I had explored a nearby wooded area called the Whitemarsh Preserve. There really hadn't been any mention of this place on any of the local hotspot lists, but it was just a couple of minutes from our place, and it looked nice and woodsy. We had some great days there, finding Hermit Thrush, lots of Ruby Crowned and Golden Crowned Kinglets, an Eastern Towhee, White Throated Sparrows, and of course the Brown Creeper. Actually, before the day of the count, we had actually found 2 Creepers, but we only spotted one on the day of the count. 
Brown Creeper blending oh so well

Here you can see that thin curved bill of the Brown Creeper

Nick and I found it funny that this little bird was listed as one needing additional notes for the count. We had seen these little guys in Albany, NY and thought not much of them when we saw them here in Savannah. It was definitely a treat to see them, don't get me wrong. But we had no idea that it was such a rarity in these parts. And at the CBC compilation dinner, we caused such a stir when Nick and I called out that Yes, we had found a Brown Creeper! Heads turned and there were gasps and ooohs and ahhhs from the crowd… And I'm not exaggerating THAT much. We knew then that we had definitely gotten in good with the in crowd with that finding. We gave ourselves a nice pat on the back for starting off on the right foot, and hopefully we'll be making a name for ourselves as the new kids in town. We hope that we can keep it up and start to build our reputation as we continue to bird our way through Savannah. Three cheers to our little friend that made this all possible, the Brown Creeper! =)

Another lovely bird of the day of the count: The Hermit Thrush

The ever-so-foxy, Male Hooded Merganser

Male Hooded Merganser strutting his stuff


  1. It took a sec to find that there surreptitious Brown Creeper. The Hermit Thrush is lovely too.

    One of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands-reminds me of the Brown Creeper:

    Thanks for Sharing,
    Laurence Butler

  2. Thanks, Laurence. Also, great song - love the Kinks