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8893Jefferson County Birding today

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  • Marvin T Smith
    Jul 7, 2014

      ​I drove down to Jefferson County from Valdosta today.  As I crossed the State line on Hwy 225, I almost immediately spotted a Wood Stork.  I continued to the Jeffco Dairy near the junction of Hwy 225 and 146.  This is usually a reliable place for multiple Swallow-tailed Kites, but I only found one today.  The ponds at the farm were dry, so the usual birds were missing.  I did see two Wood Storks and many Cattle Egrets.  A Green Heron flew over.  I next drove down Highway 146 toward Monticello.  I found a Mississippi Kite near a small airport only a couple of miles from Hwy 225.  When I crossed the Aucilla, I saw a Great Egret and a juvenile (white) Little Blue Heron.  About a quarter of mile down the road on the right is a small farm pond.  Today it had many, many Cattle Egrets and a Little Blue Heron.  About 10:15 I arrived at the Jefferson County Collection or Recycling Center.  The small farm pond nearby had 10 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (five obvious pairs), a Red-shouldered Hawk, 2 Cattle Egret, a Little Blue Heron, Great Crested Flycatcher, and both Vulture species.  I heard a Red-bellied Woodpecker and a Bobwhite Quail.  In the distance to the south (probably a quarter to a half mile away), I watched nine kites hunting past the tree line.  Most appeared to be Swallow-tailed Kites, but at least one was definitely a Mississippi Kite.  From the Recycling center, I retraced my path back toward Georgia.  I found three Swallow-tailed Kites on Hwy 146 and one more near the junction of 225/146.  I rechecked the Jeffco Dairy and added Eastern Kingbird. 

       If there are any Georgians out there, I found six Wood Storks, two Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks, two White Ibis, a Kingbird and a Little Blue Heron near Blackwater Plantation on Hwy 225.  Blackwater is perhaps two or three miles north of the Florida line.   Earlier in the morning a couple of miles south of Quitman, GA I found a juvenile Black-Crowned Night Heron sitting on a powerline near a bridge over a creek.  I had never seen one sitting on a Powerline before.

      Marvin T. Smith


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