Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fall in Ft. Morgan

Fall is full of beginnings and ends here at Ft. Morgan. It is the end of the major tourist season, which makes me sad for the tourists because it is one of the most enjoyable times here at the beach. It is the beginning of the winter migrations of birds and butterflies to this area and South America. The temperatures are wonderful not to hot or cold and you are surrounded by beautiful wildlife, everywhere you turn.
I had the opportunity to participate in the biannual bird banding just inside the Ft. Morgan gates. For all of you early risers, jump up throw on a few layers, and some bug spray, grab your coffee, a chair, and your camera. As the sun comes up the birds start landing on their trips from the north. Wood hatches, Warblers, and hundreds of other little feathered miracles are caught and banded by a dedicated group of conservationists. This all volunteer group arrives before the sun each day for two weeks in the Spring and Fall, to take measurements, band, and get statistics on the many different birds that come through the area.
We spectators get to watch all this go on while getting a free lecture about each bird and it's habits. Then each bird's status turns into that of a super model, at least in the eyes of the spectators, who are snapping thousands of pictures of their little subjects. They can even choose to adopt a bird and keep track of it as it moves across the world through banding stations. Then the ultimate high in the bird of the adventure happens. Mr. Sargent, the gentleman in charge of the program chooses a spectator to let the bird go. There is a bit of a tricky hand off, a few more quick pictures. The lucky person opens his or her hand and for just a second these beautiful little birds sit still on your hand. Just as quickly they get reoriented and fly away again new jewelery and all.
For an adventure that you can talk about for a lifetime plan a trip to Ft. Morgan, Alabama, where wildlife abounds and sunsets inspire.


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