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Hi Clint,

As a Georgia native and one who was just on Jekyll for a few days in mid-May I hope I can help you a bit. First, it's a great area to visit! Now that we have that settled I'll try to give more specifics...

I don't know how you'll be approaching Jekyll (from Savannah, or Jacksonville?), but either way you'll have to drive out the seven mile causeway. There are spots to stop (though none 'official') along the causeway and check for large waders during high tide. During lower tide, look for sandpipers and plovers on the exposed mudflats. There is one tidal creek you cross on the causeway. Just before you reach the bridge is a pullout where one can safely pull aside and check for the Marsh and Carolina Wrens commonly found there.

I would suggest stopping at the Welcome Center/GA Highway Patrol office on the north side of the causeway about a mile from the bridge onto the island. They have a map of the island and a couple of nice brochures descriping the GA coastal birding trail and a checklist I believe. Also, look behind the center for more shorebirds.

If you've never been to Jekyll, it's a simple island to navigate. There is a main road that runs a ring around the whole island and one main road to bisect it (there are smaller sand/dirt roads, but they are trickier to find). The south end of the island (especially land side) is much less developed than the north end, though because the entire island is a state park, only 35% of it can be developed at all by state law. During spring migration trees drip with warblers. During fall, less so, but still can be impressive. Near the southern point is a utility pullout/trail. Try to park here and walk to the beach (not too far). You'll definitely need a scope, but this area is traditionally a great area for terns, gulls, and migratory seabirds.

On the north end be sure to drive up through the area by the pier. Once again there are a few tidal creeks along here which often have interesting birds. During low tide many people go crabbing on the mud flats. On the northeast side of the island just past the Villas By the Sea condo complex (as you're heading north) is an area called driftwood beach. Lots of debris collects here during storms and it has created an interesting area for smaller, shy birds. Lots of cuckoos, flycatchers, warblers, and more Brown Thrashers than you can imagine can be found here.

There is only one gas station on the island. Immediately adjacent to the west side of the building is a trail that one can drive up to a pumping station (just a couple hundred yards). Park near the station and walk the past it to the north. A trail there goes through scrub and a couple of marshy areas. These parts of Jekyll are freshwater, not saltwater. If you walk about 1/4 mile of the trail shortly after crossing a creek there will be a pond on your left. There are a couple of alligators in this pond (usually easily seen). When I was there in May there was also a Green Heron that walked within 5 feet of me. This trial loops around and comes out near the stables for the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.

Rent a bike and enjoy the island at a leisurely pace if you have the time. Also, look for Giff Beaton's "Birding Georgia" at the library and photocopy the pages on Jekyll. He is one of the premier GA birders and has good tips for the Jekyll, St. Simon's, and the surrounding area.

If you need more tips on the area, food, lodging, activities, etc. let me know. Hope you have a great trip!

Steve
Kansas City, MO

-----Original Message-----
From: Clint Trammel <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Aug 4, 2004 7:53 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Trip east

Planning a trip soon to Jekyll Island area of Georgia.  Any thoughts
or suggestions about birding the area.  Thanks.

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__________________________________________________
*        Audubon Society of Missouri's           *
*         Wild Bird Discussion Forum             *
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* To unsubscribe send the message                *
*    SIGNOFF MOBIRDS-L                           *
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* To subscribe send the message                  *
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