The Birds of 30A.
Whenever you’re relaxing on 30A, it is inevitable to see some breathtaking wildlife. In the autumn, many different breeds of migratory birds fly south to the South Walton area. While 30A is always a rich ecosystem, it really thrives this time of year. I have often seen and heard beautiful birds flying around the area, wondering what breed they are. Here are a few favorites of local birdwatcher (and president of the Choctawhatchee Audubon Society), Walt Spence.
– Prothonotary Warbler
Bright yellow in color, this attractive little bird can be found in swamp areas. It is native only to the Americas, and it’s chirp is quite high pitched.
– Great Horned Owl
This owl is sleeping, and specially good at camouflage during the day, so it may be hard to spot. During the night, however, he is out and about, and gives himself away with the bright yellow eyes and the distinctive hoots.
– Red-Headed Woodpecker
This gorgeous bird is quite easy to spot with its bright red head. Listen out for pecking and a shrill call in the oak and pine forests that line 30A, and hopefully he doesn’t choose your house as a pecking post.
– Laughing Gull
You can find these along the beaches of 30A year round. Like their name suggests, their call is akin to a laugh. They are generally unafraid of people and stay on the beach, weaving through sunbathers, while sometimes swooping over the ocean to pick up a meal of fish.
These hunters will circle over bodies of water, looking for their next meal, and when they spot it, this predator will dive straight down into the water to fetch it. Often you will hear a high chirp on the beaches coming from one of these birds.
– Bald Eagle
You are more likely to spy a bald eagle around 30A than in most parts of the country. Thanks to preservation efforts, these birds are much less endangered than a few years ago. During the summer, you might even see a group of them, as the summer is their mating season.