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Birding on the New Colonial Coast Birding Trail in Coastal Georgia

Program Number: 11700RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/17/2013 - 2/22/2013; 3/29/2015 - 4/3/2015; 4/12/2015 - 4/17/2015; 10/11/2015 - 10/16/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: St. Simons Island, Georgia
Price starting at: $796.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Birding Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

The Colonial Coast Birding Trail of Georgia is renowned as the best on the East Coast. Led by an experienced birding expert, explore key bird-watching habitats on St. Simons, Sapelo and Jekyll islands to spot birds of prey, shorebirds, songbirds, waders, waterfowl, woodland birds and migrants. This trail aptly weaves bird watching into a fascinating exploration of the state’s historical roots.




Highlights

• Set off on morning bird walks in the Altamaha River Delta on old earthen dikes in rice plantation country.
• Explore beach, forest and pond habitats on Jekyll Island — the jewel of Georgia — and visit the Rookery, where many wading birds nest and raise their young.
• Experience a ferry ride to Sapelo Island to enjoy birding and learn about the historic Gullah community of tiny Hog Hammock.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile on uneven terrain.



So you can get the most out of your experience, all of our birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1.




Date Specific Information

2-17-2013

Boat into Okefenokee Swamp instead of Sapelo Island due to abundance of Sandhill Cranes.



Coordinated by Center for Educational Adventure.




St. Simons Island

Pristine waters and white sandy beaches make St. Simons Island a popular destination. Part of the Golden Isles, the landscape’s moss-draped oaks, shady lanes and creek-fed pockets of marsh create a thriving habitat for birds, turtles, armadillos and deer.



Accommodations
Lovely retreat center on 47 acres amid moss-draped live oak trees, meandering walkways and gardens on the Frederica River.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Ann Wilson

A resident of St. Simons Island, Georgia, Ann Marie Wilson has been leading Road Scholar groups for the last 10 years. Acquiring degrees in biology, forestry and secondary education while attending Clemson and Coastal Carolina Universities gave Ann Marie the perfect background for her birding and naturalist excursions. She owns and operates Driftwood Education Center, a residential science and environmental education center for youth from all over the Southeast.
 
Michele Johnson

Michele Nicole Johnson is an artist, librarian and writer on Sapelo Island, Georgia, where she manages the Hog Hammock Public Library. She also works as a public relations specialist at Georgia Sea Grant at the University of Georgia and as an information specialist at College of Coastal Georgia. Michele is the author of “Sapelo Island’s Hog Hammock” and “Kindred Spirits: Family Legends & Childhood Memories.”
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Epworth by the Sea Methodist Center
  St. Simons Island, GA 5 nights
 Epworth by the Sea Methodist Center
Type: Conference Center
  Description: The conference center hotel, meeting and conference rooms, and dining rooms are interspersed on forty acres of live oak covered, beautifully manicured and maintained grounds on the banks of the Frederica River.
  Contact info: 100 Arthur J. Moore Drive
St. Simons Island, GA 31522 USA
phone: 912-638-8688
web: www.epworthbythesea.org
  Room amenities: Rooms are tastefully decorated with two double beds, a private bath, table and chairs, reading light, telephone with voicemail, Cable TV, AC, and daily maid service.
  Facility amenities: Epworth is a gracious, warm place devoted to serving its guests. Amenities include a fishing pier, landscaped walkways, gift shop, email access center for laptops, and delicioius, freshly prepared buffet meals. Tennis courts, fishing pier, walkways are on-site.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Prices vary. Call. Please call Epworth by the Sea reception desk at 912-638-8688.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Prices vary. Call. Please call Epworth by the Sea reception desk at 912-638-8688.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel check-in is at 4:00 pm Sunday You will be staying at Epworth by the Sea Methodist Center that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at 10:00 am, and hotel check-out is 11:30 am. You will be staying at Epworth by the Sea Methodist Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free at site. Parking near hotel rooms.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  St. Simons Island, GA
  Nearest city or town:  Brunswick, GA
  Nearest highway: US 17, Interstate 95
  Nearest airport:  Glynn County Airport in Brunswick, GA
  From End of Program
  Location: St. Simons Island, GA
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Savannah, GA

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
A2B Transport
phone: 912-223-3271
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$100 for one person and $5.00 for each additional person
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

About 1 hour 35 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

85 miles

   

Advanced reservations required. They accept all major credit cards. There is a $5.00 fee for credit card use.

 

Jacksonville, FL

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
A2B Transport
phone: 912-223-3271
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$90.00 for one person and $5.00 for each additional person
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

About 1 hour 25 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

77 miles

   

They require advanced reservations and accept all major credit cards. There is a $5.00 fee for credit card use.

 

Brunswick, GA

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
A2B Transport
phone: 912-223-3271
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$30.00 for one person and $5.00 for each additional person with a max up to $50.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

10 miles

   

Advanced reservations required. They accept all major credit cards. There is a $5.00 fee for credit card use.

 
Driving Directions
  From I-95 to Epworth by the Sea Approaching St. Simons Island from the South: I-95N from Jacksonville, FL, take Exit 29 (says to Brunswick and Waycross), turn right at end of exit ramp, pass Jekyll Island entrance on right, go over Sidney Lanier Bridge, continue north and turn right onto St. Simons Island Causeway. Get in left lane at end of causeway, turn left at stoplight onto Sea Island Road, turn left into 2nd Epworth entrance marked "Booth Gate," proceed to 4-way stop sign, turn left. Registration Building is first building on right (pillared porch with rocking chairs.) Approaching St. Simons Island from the North: I-95S, take Exit 38 (to Brunswick and Golden Isles), turn left at end of ramp onto Spur 25, go 4 1/2 miles through 6 traffic lights. Spur dead ends into US 17, turn right onto 17 South, go 1 1/2 miles to 3rd traffic light easing into left turn lane, turn left onto St. Simons Torras Causeway, get in left lane at end of causeway, turn left at stoplight onto Sea Island Road, turn left into 2nd Epworth entrance marked "Booth Gate," proceed to 4-way stop sign, turn left. Registration Building is first building on right (pillared porch with rocking chairs.)
Elevation Note: St. Simons Island is at sea level.

Equipment Requirements: Bring binoculars, a bird field guide, and scope if you have one. (Scopes are optional).
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Registration/Birding Orientation
(Sunday, February 17)
   
 Afternoon: Check-in begins at 4:00 pm. A packet of the week's activities and name tags will be distributed at check-in. At 5:00 pm a Welcome to Epworth meeting and orientation will be held in the classroom.
 Dinner: A buffet style dinner will be served in the Epworth Dining Room. Choices include hot entrees, a soup and salad bar, and desserts.
 Evening: The weeks activities and schedule will be reviewed with your birding leader in preparation for your birding field trips.
   
Accommodations: Epworth by the Sea Methodist Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Epworth Birding Walk/St. Simons Island /East Beach Birding
(Monday, February 18)
   
 Breakfast: A full southern breakfast is served buffet style in the dining room including eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, oatmeal, cereal, waffles/pancakes, toast, sweet rolls, fruit, juice and coffee.
 Morning: Learn the mysteries of Epworth, as we wander bird spots right here on property.
 Lunch: Lunch is served buffet style in the dining room and includes hot entrees, a soup and salad bar, and desserts.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a guided tour of historic St. Simons Island. Spend time at various beautiful locales which may lend themselves to birding. Then meet your bird guide for a birding walk on East Beach.
 Dinner: Dinner is served buffet style in the dining room. Choices include hot entrees, a soup and salad bar, and desserts.
 Evening: End your day with an evening birding at a selected spot on St. Simons Island.
   
Accommodations: Epworth by the Sea Methodist Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Morning Birding on St. Simons/Evening In The Okefenokee Swamp
(Tuesday, February 19)
   
 Breakfast: A full southern breakfast is served buffet style in the dining room including eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, oatmeal, cereal, waffles/pancakes, toast, sweet rolls, fruit, juice and coffee.
 Morning: A presentation on the Barrier Island Dynamics will give you a better understanding of the ecology and dynamics of the Georgia coast.
 Lunch: Lunch is served buffet style in the dining room and includes hot entrees, a soup and salad bar, and desserts.
 Afternoon: Leave for Okefenokee Swamp birding that will continue into the evening.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at Okefenokee Swamp.
 Evening: Continue birding in the swamp. See the birds come to roost.
   
Accommodations: Epworth by the Sea Methodist Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Jekyll Island Tour/Jekyll Historic District and Rookery/Free Evening and Homework Time
(Wednesday, February 20)
   
 Breakfast: A full southern breakfast is served buffet style in the dining room including eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, oatmeal, cereal, waffles/pancakes, toast, sweet rolls, fruit, juice and coffee.
 Morning: Visit the jewel of Georgia. Jekyll Island boasts some of the best birding in the south. Beach, maritime forest, pond and even a campground are just some of the habitats we will bird on this trip.
 Lunch: Lunch at a popular Jekyll Island restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some free time on your own in the Jekyll Island Historic District followed with a visit to the Rookery where many wading birds nest and raise their young.
 Dinner: Dinner is served buffet style in the Epworth dining room. Choices include hot entrees, a soup and salad bar, and desserts.
 Evening: Enjoy a free evening on St. Simons Island. Take in the beach, sunset over the marsh, or just sit back and relax. Be sure to check out one of the fabulous local restaurants. Take some time to work on your "Bird Homework."
   
Accommodations: Epworth by the Sea Methodist Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Harris Neck NWR and Altamaha River Delta/Old Rice Plantation/Low Country Boil/Entertainment
(Thursday, February 21)
   
 Breakfast: A full southern breakfast is served buffet style in the dining room including eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, oatmeal, cereal, waffles/pancakes, toast, sweet rolls, fruit, juice and coffee.
 Morning: Enjoy morning bird walks in the Altamaha River Delta on old earthen dikes in rice plantation country. Bird Woody Pond in Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge for opportunities for waders and dabblers.
 Lunch: Enjoy a picnic lunch.
 Afternoon: Continue birding at an old rice plantation and enjoy the historical tour of the state site.
 Dinner: A special "Low Country Boil" is a great way to end a week of exploration and birding.
 Evening: Sit back and relax with local entertainers.
   
Accommodations: Epworth by the Sea Methodist Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Bird List and Quiz Check
(Friday, February 22)
   
 Breakfast: A full southern breakfast is served buffet style in the dining room including eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, oatmeal, cereal, waffles/pancakes, toast, sweet rolls, fruit, juice and coffee.
 Morning: Check your birding list for the week, then review your Bird Quiz and see how you did! Program ends by 10:00 a.m. Epworth checkout is 11:30 a.m.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America


Author: David Allen Sibley


Description: The Sibley Guide to Birds has quickly become the new standard of excellence in bird identification guides, covering more than 810 North American birds in amazing detail. Now comes a new portable guide from David Sibley that every birder will want to carry into the field. Compact and comprehensive, this new guide features 650 bird species plus regional populations found east of the Rocky Mountains. Accounts include stunningly accurate illustrations—more than 4,200 in total—with descriptive caption text pointing out the most important field marks. Each entry contains new text concerning frequency, nesting, behavior, food and feeding, voice description, and key identification features. Accounts also include brand-new maps created from information contributed by 110 regional experts across the continent. The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America is an indispensable resource for all birders seeking an authoritative and portable guide to the birds of the East.





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