September 22nd was the first official day of Fall, and we’re starting to see the effects here on Little St. Simons Island. The Muhlenbergia (also called Muhley grass) is starting to bloom, the Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes are making more appearances along Beach Road, and the shorebirds are starting migrate in large numbers. Just three days ago, we counted 70 American Oystercatchers, 125 Marbled Godwits, and 211 Black Skimmers–all in one group at Sancho Panza!
Another fall staple is the fallow deer rut. The bucks have full antlers now that they use to mark and defend their territory. Just yesterday, we came across a spotted buck who left behind this excellent example of territorial behavior:
You can clearly see where the buck used his antlers to scrape the ground beneath this tree. He then left his urine for scent and marked the tree as well; can you see all the broken branches?
Fall on Little St. Simons Island is a time of stunning floral and faunal changes. We look forward to sharing these with you over the coming weeks, stay tuned!