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2019 Winter Meeting

01/18/2019 - 01/21/2019

Description

2019 GOS Winter Meeting

The Georgia Ornithological Society’s Winter Meeting
January 18-21, 2019
Hotel Tybee, Tybee Island


Meeting Hotel Details

Hotel Tybee (formerly Ocean Plaza Beach Resort)

1412 Butler Ave.

Tybee Island, GA 31328

Call (912) 786-7777 for reservations, or visit the website at: 

http://www.hoteltybee.com/ 

Use the group code “GOS2019” to receive discounted rates:

$104.00/night for an inland room and $154.00/night for an ocean view.

There is no cutoff date.

 


SATURDAY NIGHT’S KEYNOTE PRESENTATION

 

"Taking the Pulse of Avian Aerial Passage in North America"

by

Dr. Kyle Horton

Rose Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Cornell Lab of Ornithology


Kyle Horton

 

Kyle Horton received his B.S. in Biology from Canisius College in 2011, M.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Delaware in 2013, and Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Oklahoma in 2017. He is currently a Rose Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. His work on migratory birds employs a range of tools and approaches, including the use of radar, acoustics, and citizen science data. He is currently working on tying these pieces of information together to better understand how many migrants fill the nighttime airspace, determine where and when migrants are impacted by artificial light, and how radar can be used to forecast and mitigate these impacts.

 

The notion of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of migratory birds passing in and out of broad geographic areas is of considerable public and ecological interest – and of conservation concern. Many species of migratory birds have evolved the capacity to migrate at night, and the recent and rapid expansion of artificial light at night has dramatically altered the nighttime sky through which they move. Capturing and quantify these large-scale movements has remained a principle challenge. Kyle Horton, Cornell Lab of Ornithology Postdoctoral Fellow, will discuss how he uses weather surveillance radar to quantify and forecast migratory movements across the United States.


 

FRIDAY NIGHT’S PRESENTATION

 

"Report on Recent GOS-funded Nature Conservancy Projects"

 

Malcolm Hodges

Ecologist & Land Manager

The Nature Conservancy

 

 

Malcolm Hodges grew up in coastal Mississippi, and has a BA in Biology from Rice University and a Masters in Zoology from Mississippi State. He has worked for The Nature Conservancy in Georgia as an ecologist and land manager since 1992. His current interests are conservation management of threatened biota in the Southeast US; lichen systematics, distribution and conservation in the Southeast; and just about anything to do with birds. He lives on a small farm in Riverdale, Georgia, with his partner, Keith Poole, their dog, and too many chickens.


SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE

Friday, 18 January 2019

6:45 AM - First Field Trip Meet in the Field

5:30 to 6:30 PM - Dinner on Your Own

6:30 to 7:30 PM - Registration in the Garden Room and Flocking (w/cash bar)

7:30 to 8:30 PM - Speaker: Malcolm Hodges

"Report on Recent GOS-Funded Nature Conservancy Projects"

8:30 to 8:45 PM - Discussion of Saturday Field Trips

 

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Breakfast on Your Own

6:15 AM - First Field Trip Departs

5:30 to 6:45 PM - Flocking (w/cash bar in the Garden Room).

6:45 to 7:45 PM - President’s Address, Announcements, and Banquet Dinner

7:45 to 8:45 PM - Keynote Speaker: Dr. Kyle Horton

"Taking the Pulse of Avian Aerial Passage in North America"

8:45 to 9:15 PM - Discussion of Sunday Field Trips and Species Countdown

 

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Breakfast on Your Own

6:15 AM - First Field Trip Departs

5:30 to 6:30 PM - Flocking (location TBD) and Discussion of Monday Field Trips

6:30 PM - Dinner on Your Own

 

Monday, 21 January 2019

Breakfast on Your Own

7:30 AM - First Field Trip Departs


FIELD TRIP INFORMATION

Unless otherwise noted, all times are departure/return times to Hotel Tybee.

*For all Friday field trips, please meet your Field Trip Leader at the birding location at the designated start time.

*For all Monday field trips, there will be no return trips to the hotel.

*For your personal comfort, safety, and enjoyment, always bring your binoculars, spotting scope, sturdy walking shoes, layers of clothing, rain gear, insect repellent, sun screen, water, and a sack lunch or snacks on all field trips.  Be advised that most trip destinations do not have bathroom facilities.

 

 FRIDAY, 18 JANUARY 2019

 

CORPS OF ENGINEERS DISPOSAL SITE, JASPER COUNTY, SC

Leaders: Steve Calver and Mary Richards.  Start time: 8:00 AM.  Return: 1:30 PM.  Limit: 20 people in 5 SUV-type vehicles with good clearance.  Cost: $0.00

Meet Steve and Mary at the gate to the disposal site (GPS coordinates 32.103, -81.084) at 8:00 AM for a rare chance to bird this restricted area.  The site is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge disposal facility.  Habitats include grassy levees, mudflats, and impoundments.  This area holds ducks, shorebirds, waders, sparrows, and raptors.  Expect to sign a couple of waivers at the site.  Trip rigor: Moderate with a good deal of walking.

 

FORT STEWART

Leader:  Larry Carlile.  Start time: 6:45 AM.  Return: 12:30 PM.  Limit: 15 people in 5 SUV-type vehicles with good clearance.  Cost: $0.00

Meet Fort Stewart Wildlife Biologist Larry Carlile at the Love’s Truck Stop in Richmond Hill (SW corner of I-95 Exit 90).  You’ll leave Love’s promptly at 7:00 AM and travel to a Fort Stewart Red-Cockaded Woodpecker cluster as the woodpecker family group exits their cavities at sunrise.  We’ll explore longleaf pine forests and also visit bottomland hardwoods associated with the Canoochee River.  Trip rigor: Moderate with some walking over uneven ground.

 

SAVANNAH NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, JASPER COUNTY, SC

Leader: James Fleullan.  Start time: 10:00 AM. Return: 3:00 PM. Limit: 20 people. Cost: $0.00

Meet James at the beginning of the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive, which travels along levees tops and affords great views of impoundments within the refuge.  Savannah NWR is a premier spot for wintering waterfowl, waders, rails, raptors, and sparrows.  Trip rigor: Easy.

 

SATURDAY, 19 JANUARY 2019

 

HARRIS NECK NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

Leader: Ed Maioriello  Depart 7:30 AM.  Return: 1:30 PM.  Limit: 20 people.  Cost: $0.00

Meet Ed at the Harris Neck NWR gate at 9:00 AM.  Harris Neck’s 2,762 acres consists of saltwater marsh, grassland, and mixed deciduous woods. Because of this great variety of habitats, many different species of birds are attracted to the refuge throughout the year. Large concentrations of ducks gather in the marshland and freshwater pools. Over 15 miles of paved roads and trails provide easy access to the many different habitats. Chosen for its accessibility and bird diversity, Harris Neck is one of 18 sites forming the Colonial Coast Birding Trail, inaugurated in 2000.  Trip rigor: Easy.

 

LITTLE TYBEE ISLAND BOAT TRIP

Leaders: Rene Heidt and Bob Sargent. Depart 1:00PM. Return 4:00PM. Limit: minimum 4, maximum 12. Cost: $70.00

Join us on a boat tour of our saltmarshes and Little Tybee Island, a 6500 acre uninhabited State Natural Heritage Preserve barrier island accessible only by boat. Land on Little Tybee to scope out large mixed flocks of shorebirds. Little Tybee hosts lots of wintering shorebirds, gulls, and terns. You should also see sparrows, wrens, loons, gannets, grebes, ducks and pelican. Trip rigor: Moderate, be prepared for any weather in an open boat. Note: The boat will depart at 1:00PM from the Back River Fishing Pier (GPS coordinates 31.992, -80.853. This will be a beach landing. Please provide your email and you will be sent a set of instructions.

 

SAVANNAH NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, JASPER COUNTY, SC

 

Leader: Malcolm Hodges.  Depart: 7:30 AM. Return: 2:00 PM. Limit: 20 people. Cost: $0.00

 

Meet Malcolm at the beginning of the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive, which travel along levees tops and affords great views of impoundments within the refuge.  Savannah NWR is a premier spot for wintering waterfowl, waders, rails, raptors, and sparrows.  Trip rigor: Easy.

 

 

 

SAVANNAH NATIONAL WILDLIFE, SOLOMON TRACT, CHATHAM COUNTY, GA

 

Leader: Andrew Theus.  Depart: 7:30 AM.  Return: 1:30 PM.  Limit: 20 people.  Cost: $0.00

 

Andrew will lead you to the Chatham County portion of the Savannah NWR.  This is a heavily wooded site with upland and bottomland hardwoods, a Ducks Unlimited impoundment, and a couple of open fields.  Target species include rails, bitterns, sparrows, wintering warblers, and ducks.  Trip rigor: Moderate, with a lot of walking.

 

SKIDAWAY ISLAND HOTSPOTS

Leader: Russ Wigh.  Depart 7:15 AM.  Return 12:00 PM, Limit: 15 people, Cost: $0.00

Explore The Landings, a gated community on Skidaway Island, with resident Russ Wigh.  Locations include 2 marinas, numerous lagoons, salt marshes and tidal creeks, and the “Sparrow Field”.  Bring water and snacks.  Meet Russ at The Village shopping center, the traffic light before The Landings at 8:00 AM. There is ample parking at The Village, the traffic light before the entrance to The Landings.  Participants should turn left into The Village at the light, then a right just past the BP station, and an immediate left into a parking area.  Trip rigor: Easy.

 

SUNDAY, 20 JANUARY 2019

 

FORT PULASKI NATIONAL MONUMENT / TYBEE ISLAND

Leader: Bob Sargent.  Depart: 11:00 AM.  Limit: 20 people.  Cost: $7.00/person entry fee (unless you have an annual pass).  Also prepare to pay Tybee Island parking meters.

 

Join Bob Sargent at historic Fort Pulaski, a 5400-acre National Monument situated on the Savannah River.  The timing will get us to the Fort about an hour before high tide increasing our chances of finding marsh sparrows. Also, Fort Pulaski is a great place to find scoters, ducks, and shorebirds, and the occasional brown creeper.  After Fort Pulaski, you’ll visit Tybee Island for gulls, terns, and purple sandpiper.  Trip rigor: Moderate with quite a bit of walking.

 

HARRIS NECK NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

Leader: Patrick Maurice.  Depart 7:30 AM.  Return: 1:30 PM.  Limit: 20 people.  Cost: $0.00

Meet Patrick at the Harris Neck NWR gate at 9:00 AM.  Harris Neck’s 2,762 acres consists of saltwater marsh, grassland, and mixed deciduous woods. Because of this great variety of habitats, many different species of birds are attracted to the refuge throughout the year. Large concentrations of ducks gather in the marshland and freshwater pools. Over 15 miles of paved roads and trails provide easy access to the many different habitats. Chosen for its accessibility and bird diversity, Harris Neck is one of 18 sites forming the Colonial Coast Birding Trail, inaugurated in 2000.  Trip rigor: Easy.

 

LITTLE TYBEE ISLAND BOAT TRIP

Leaders: Rene Heidt and Malcolm Hodges.  Depart 7:00AM.  Return 10:00AM.  Limit: minimum 4, maximum 12. Cost: $70.00

 

Join us on a boat tour of our saltmarshes and Little Tybee Island, a 6500 acre uninhabited State Natural Heritage Preserve barrier island accessible only by boat. Land on Little Tybee to scope out large mixed flocks of shorebirds.  Little Tybee hosts lots of wintering shorebirds, gulls, and terns. You should also see sparrows, wrens, loons, gannets, grebes, ducks and pelican. Trip rigor: Moderate,  be prepared for any weather in an open boat.  Note: The boat will depart at 7:00AM from the Back River Fishing Pier (GPS coordinates 31.992, -80.853. This will be a beach landing. Please provide your email and you will be sent a set of instructions.

 

SAVANNAH CHRISTIAN PREPARTORY SCHOOL

 

Leader: Stan Gray. Depart: 2:00PM. Return 5:00PM.  Limit: 20 people. Cost: $0.00

1599 Chatham Parkway, Savannah, GA 31408

 

Meet Stan Gray at this highly reliable wintering site for Rusty Blackbirds. Stan has been observing and recording the winter presence of Rusty Blackbirds at this site since 2011, and will share his observations with you during an overview of the site in preparation for observing typically large congregations of Rusties as sunset approaches. Meet Stan just inside the entrance to the school property, where we will move to a parking area that is in close proximity to the late afternoon foraging location of these precipitously declining blackbirds. Typically, the school property has harbored the largest wintering Rusty populations in the entire southeast coast, as per eBird records. Observe and discuss the environmental conditions that make this site so attractive to these blackbirds, as well as winter foraging patterns, so that it may lead to discovering other sites throughout the state that could positively inform the monitoring of the Rusty Blackbird. Trip Rigor: Easy

 

SAVANNAH NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, JASPER COUNTY, SC

Leader: Larry Carlile.  Depart: 7:30 AM.  Return: 2:00 PM.  Limit: 20 people.  Cost: $0.00

 

Meet Larry at the beginning of the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive, which travel along levees tops and affords great views of impoundments within the refuge.  Savannah NWR is a premier spot for wintering waterfowl, waders, rails, raptors, and sparrows.  Trip rigor: Easy.

 

SUPERIOR LANDFILL SITE

 

Leader: Stan Gray, Depart 8:30; Return 12:30. Limit: 15 people. Cost: $0.00

3001 Little Neck Road, Savannah, GA 31419   

 

Join members of the bird survey team from Ogeechee Audubon as they monitor the mid-winter population of bird species at this 800-acre Waste Management property in western Chatham County. The team has been conducting bird surveys on this property since 2013 in order to inform WM of ecological impacts of landscape changes , and to date has recorded more than 160 species. Led by team leader Stan Gray, we will explore the varied environments and ecological communities that comprise this dynamic landscape. The field trip will begin with a briefing by the site’s Waste Management District Manager on the overall plan for utilization of the property. We will then explore newly capped grasslands, powerline rights-of-way, wetland buffers, and manmade ecotones. This is a reliable wintering site for Rusty Blackbirds, Bald Eagles, Eastern Meadowlarks, and other grassland species. Trip Rigor: Easy with some walking.

 

 

MONDAY, 21 JANUARY 2019

 

LITTLE TYBEE ISLAND BOAT TRIP

Leaders: Rene Heidt and Larry Carlile.  Depart 7:00AM.  Return 10:00AM.  Limit: minimum 4, maximum 12. Cost: $70.00

 

Join us on a boat tour of our saltmarshes and Little Tybee Island, a 6500 acre uninhabited State Natural Heritage Preserve barrier island accessible only by boat. Land on Little Tybee to scope out large mixed flocks of shorebirds.  Little Tybee hosts lots of wintering shorebirds, gulls, and terns. You should also see sparrows, wrens, loons, gannets, grebes, ducks and pelican. Trip rigor: Moderate,  be prepared for any weather in an open boat.  Note: The boat will depart at 7:00AM from the Back River Fishing Pier (GPS coordinates 31.992, -80.853. This will be a beach landing. Please provide your email and you will be sent a set of instructions.

 

RICHMOND HILL WASTEWATER TREATMENT FACILITY

Leader: Bob Sargent.  Depart: 7:00 AM.  No return trip to hotel.  Limit: 20 people.  Cost: $0.00

Bob will lead you from Hotel Tybee to Richmond Hill.  This is a great site for ducks, rails, and wintering warblers and sparrows.  Trip rigor: Easy.

 

TYBEE ISLAND HOTSPOTS

Leader: Diana Churchill.  Depart: 7:30 AM.  No return trip to hotel.  Limit: 20 people.  Cost: $0.00, but be prepared to pay the Tybee Island parking meters. 

Diana, a Tybee Island resident, will lead you to the best birding spots on Tybee Island.  Expect to find shorebirds (including purple sandpiper), gannets, ducks, and more.  Trip rigor: Moderate, with quite a bit of walking on the beach.

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