Little St. Simons Island: Oct 02—06, 2014
A Fall Migration Workshop
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Please contact us if you would like more information on upcoming departures for this tour.
Main lodge, Little St. Simons Island— Photo: LSSI
A weekend getaway to a private island on the Georgia coast promises an abundance of privacy and nature during the peak of fall migration.
A secluded barrier island along the southern Georgia coast, Little St. Simons Island is heralded for its unspoiled natural beauty, abundant wildlife, and superb hospitality and amenities. Here nature reigns across 10,000 undeveloped acres of ocean beach, river frontage, marshes, pinewoods, and hardwood groves—habitats home to a diverse ensemble of birds, mammals, butterflies, amphibians, and other creatures.
For this special trip, VENT has reserved the entire island for a relaxed weekend of birding and exploration at one of the most dynamic times of the year: the peak of fall migration. We will spend three full days exploring the wealth of habitats found on different parts of the island, seeking a tremendous assortment of shorebirds, raptors, and Neotropical migrants. Both Peregrine Falcons and Merlins should be seen in good numbers, with over a dozen Peregrines a day possible.
Fronting onto the Atlantic Ocean, seven miles of uninhabited beach offer sanctuary to thousands of shorebirds and other waterbirds. A visit to Sancho Panza Beach at the mouth of the Altamaha River is a terrific place to see aggregations of pelicans, cormorants, herons, egrets, Wood Storks, Bald Eagles, and shorebirds just before and after high tide. So rich is this site that more than 20 species of shorebirds, gulls, and terns can be observed on a single small sandbar as the tide comes in.
Inland, the woods offer excellent opportunities for discovery, where numbers of migrating warblers and other Neotropical migrants may be observed. Among the more likely warblers possible are Palm, Prairie, Yellow-throated, Black-and-white, and Cape May warblers, Northern Parula, and American Redstart, in addition to a suite of thrushes, orioles, and sparrows.
Complementing our focus on migrant birds, the island is also home to a collection of resident landbirds representative of the southern forest including Red-shouldered Hawk; Wild Turkey; Common Ground-Dove; Eastern Screech-Owl; Red-bellied, Hairy, and Pileated woodpeckers; Fish Crow; Brown-headed Nuthatch; Carolina and Marsh wrens; Blue-gray Gnatcatcher; Eastern Bluebird; and White-eyed Vireo.
For all its birding and natural history offerings, Little St. Simons Island is more than a destination to see wildlife. Rated by some as one of the country’s top lodges, the irresistible charm of the guest accommodations and services also defines the Little St. Simons Island experience. Guest quarters include six cottages, with rooms for 32 overnight guests, tucked beneath centuries-old oaks draped in Spanish moss. Each cottage is uniquely different in setting and décor, fully air-conditioned, and situated close to the dining room, library, and pool.
A single-site stay offers excellent accommodation and cuisine; lots of walking; mild to warm conditions with little or no precipitation expected.