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Georgia's Colonial Coast Birding Trail

Melon Bluff Nature Preserve

Description: This 3,000-acre privately-owned nature preserve is located on lands that were once part of an old rice plantation. The area offers opportunities to view birds in saltmarsh, woodland and creek swamp habitats.

Types of Birds: Songbirds, wading birds, waterfowl, shorebirds, birds of prey, marsh birds

Best Birding Seasons: Songbirds (all), wading birds (all), marsh birds (all), waterfowl (winter), birds of prey (winter)

Specialties: Wild turkey, wood stork, clapper rail, roseate spoonbill, painted bunting

Tips: Look for warblers during spring and fall migrations. Listen for marsh wrens and clapper rails.

Fee: $3 per person

Hours: 12-5 p.m. on Saturdays Sept. 15-May 15. Closed May 15-Sept. 15 (but open by appointment year-round).

Telephone Number: (912) 880-4500

Fun Things to Do: Check out the Nature Center for special events (such as river tours, birding hikes or picnics). Book a room in the Palmyra B&. Rent a sea kayak.

Directions: Take Exit 76 and travel east on Islands Highway approximately 3.2 miles. The Nature Center is on the right. See the map.