It’s 9:00 Saturday morning (May 13), and my husband and I are seated in the Country Kitchen near Pine Mountain, Georgia having breakfast. Many camping folks get up and start a fire, “brew” pour-over coffee, and sizzle bacon and eggs over a campfire or outdoor camper kitchen, awakening all the tent campers and anyone sleeping with open windows to a mouth-watering stirring of a new day.
We’re heading out birding for Global Big Day, so we came to the Country Store for their famous Callaway Gardens signature grits, scrambled eggs, sausage with sage, buttermilk biscuits with muscadine jam, muscadine muffins, percolated coffee, and iced water in lidless mason jars. We finally got a window seat on the top of this mountain after all the times we’ve wanted one, and as luck would have it, it’s foggy outside and we can’t see fifty feet out. But it’s okay – we’re busy filling up on food for when the fog lifts. It’s going to be a big day full of feathered species as we work together with Merlin Bird ID and the eBird app to create checklists of bird identifications at birding hotspots nearby to help researchers track bird migration patterns and species population densities.
I completed the free eBird Essentials course on the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology eBird website Friday night – something I’ve been meaning to do since I opened my account and created a profile – and then texted Fran Haley to see if she was planning to participate today, too. She is. It’s her birdday birthday May 13, and she and her husband are journeying to a dam to see if they can spot any eagles.
I submitted 3 checklists (one for each morning Schnoodle walk on the back loop of F. D. Roosevelt State Park Campground), with 15 species combined, before breakfast. When she texted at 6:48 (we’re both early birds), shortly after I had returned from walking the dogs on their morning outing along the back loop of the camp, Fran had already recorded 23 species. I’d prayed she would see some rare sightings on her adventures – the best birthday blessings for an avid birdwatcher!
We finished our breakfast, and right there in the Country Kitchen I found a fully stocked table of 50+ UV Protection adventure hats – just the kind I have been hoping to find. I tried several on, but I couldn’t land on a decision. Both Maureen Ingram and Stacey Shubitz made some helpful suggestions last week about hat brands – Outdoor Research and UVSkinz, and I’d gotten both too busy and too tired over the week to give either more than a passing glance. I remained as lidless as my Mason Jar after trying on several kinds and not finding one that grabbed me.
But alas, there are still birds to count and trails to hike, so off we go!
I’ll share Part 2 of the day’s adventure – and the species I found present on Global Big Day – tomorrow. For now, we are headed over to Dowdell’s Knob to begin hiking at the trail with the boys.
let’s count birds!
2 Replies to “May 15 – Global Big Day – Part 1 of 2”
Kim, before I read Part 2, I had to come to view Part 1. So fun! I love the set up here, and the breakfast sounds so yummy! Funny that it was foggy on the day you got to sit by the window. I look forward to learning how Boo Radley, Fitz and Ollie do with bird watching, and I guess I might find out in Part 2.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Denise, thanks for reading Part 1 also. Indeed, these three boys are quite the “helpers” when it comes to birdwatching. 🙂