We always say that the wildlife at The Landings is one of the best parts of living on the island. But sometimes it’s hard to put the magic of the marshland into words. Here, Landings residents Nancy McGirr and David Goslin write about an evening on their back porch in a letter to the editor––and we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Letter to the Editor
This Week at The Landings Volume XXXVIII, No. 41 – May 9 2021 – May 15, 2021
It’s 6:15 as we nestle into our chairs on the back porch overlooking the lagoon. We are reminded of nature’s bounty on Skidaway Island and how lucky we are to witness wildlife’s evening rituals, especially the birding variety. Over the course of an hour, 15 different species visit the birdbath, some more than once (including one thirsty squirrel), making sure they are clean and refreshed before turning in for the night.
Happy hour on the porch is like observing a tennis match from mid-court as birds zoom back an forth in both directions on their way to our multiple feeders. Mom and dad bluebirds pass by 25-30 times bringing food for their five nestlings in the backyard nesting box. Even a few blue jays get into the new mealworms tonight. Hummers are checking out the newly blooming black and blue salvias. A flock of cedar waxwings swoop into the Savannah holly to see if there are any red berries left on the tree.
In addition to the usual cardinals, chickadees and titmice, the rarely seen red-headed woodpecker decides to “cherry-pick” the peanuts in the freshly refilled bird feeder, while painted buntings and brown-headed cowbirds compete for the millet in the other feeder.
On the ground, towhees and brown thrashers are devouring dropped tidbits. Blue herons and egrets fly overhead on their way to larger Shellwind lagoon where many will roost for the night.
The star of the show, however, is the pair of ospreys tending eggs in the tall pine next to the lagoon two houses away. We are pretty sure we’ll see baby ospreys this month!
Later, a little blue heron tiptoes along the edge of the lagoon hoping to find a few small frogs or other delectable morsels before heading off for the night. Turtles pop their heads up for a few breaths of fresh air and the fish are jumping.
Not a bad way to enjoy cocktail hour at The Landings.
Nancy McGirr and David Goslin