Today was an awesome day!
Believe it or not we all went to bed early and we all got up early. We usually have a few stragglers each day, so it was quite a shock when we were ready to head out the door by 9:30 this morning.
We began by venturing over to the Newman Wetland Center in Clayton County. Although the interpretive center is closed on Saturdays this time of year, the trail is still open (and free) so we hit the trail. All 1/2 mile of it. We spent a good 45 minutes strolling through the wetlands and got some good photos. It was a bit cold so we walked back to the truck after the first round to warm up a bit, then we hit the trail a second time. Three-quarters of the way around we were greeted by more than 300 red-winged blackbirds.
After spending a few minutes greeting all 300 of our new friends we decided to head down the road to the E.L. Huie ponds to see if we could see any waterfowl (which were strangely absent from the wetland center today).
When we pulled in the first pond held nothing but water. As we ventured down the dirt road around the ponds we came to the second pond, which had three Pied-Billed Grebes. That was it. We were very disheartened, but figured we would just complete the loop around the ponds and then head back to our neck of the woods.
As we passed the second pond, we saw the third pond and it was filled with Ring-Necked Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, and a very hungry Great Blue Heron.
The next two ponds were far from disappointing as well. We saw Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, Buffleheads, Gadwalls, Green-Winged Teals, and much more. We saw so many birds it took us another hour and a half to get our fill.
We decided we are definitely heading back to Clayton County in the not too distant future, to see what else might be visiting their excellent wetland areas. In the meantime, it was getting close to time to head home, so we decided to venture back over to Sweetwater Creek State Park, our “home base”.
When we want to get out of the house and watch birds (or let them watch us) we head over to SWCSP. It didn’t take long to realize we were being watched.
It seemed colder at the state park than we thought it was going to be. The wind was blowing in from across the lake making it for a chilly time scouting the water for migrating birds, so we stopped by the visitor center, and then we decided to call it a day.
We stopped by Lake Paradise for a quick check and saw our first real sighting at the lake, which turned out to be a Great Blue Heron.
All in all, it was a great day. It would have been nice if the wind died down a bit and if the sun had peeked through the clouds from time to time, but we had a great time.We’re definitely keeping Clayton County on our preferred birding hotspot list.
Have a great night!
Everybody needs to feel like they’re somebody…
There’s no such thing as an unimportant person.
There’s so such thing as a nobody.
Everybody is somebody in the eyes of God.
— Dr. Charles Stanley