6 - Seawatching, Pelagics, Tides/Marine Forecasts

NGR Regional Seawatching Sites
(NC, SC, and FL, east coast, north to south, under construction)

Cape Hatteras NS NC
Huntington Beach SP SC
Cape Romain NWR SC
Folly Beach Pier SC
Hunting Island SP SC
Ponce de León Inlet FL
Canaveral NS FL

Georgia Easy Access Seawatching Sites

While the easternmost beaches or points on any Georgia barrier island can be good for seawatching, only 4 of the islands (Tybee, Sea, St. Simons, and Jekyll) have easy access via road, however of those Sea Island is private. Cumberland Island is a National Seashore and requires a ferry ride to reach it. See Wings Over Georgia on the web, or the Falcon Guide Birding Georgia for more information!

The other Georgia barrier islands may mostly be reached as well, by boat, but may require much investigating as to how to access the island legally or properly. Attending a special event on the island, and sometimes even sponsorship, may be required for access to some of the islands. Much special planning, and usually expense, is needed for trips to most of these more remote islands. GPS locations are listed for each site and are for the actual seawatching spots, not for parking areas, etc.

Tybee Island

North Tip - N 32 01.726 W 80 51.139
North Jetty - N 32 01.417 W 80 50.539
Tybee Pier - N 31 59.491 W 80 50.680
South Tip - N 31 59.220 W 80 50.998

St. Simons Island

Gould's Inlet Park Pier - N 31 09.296 W 81 21.939
East Beach - N 31 08.717 W 81 22.068

Jekyll Island

North Seawatch - N 31 06.120 W 81 24.211
Public Beach - N 31 02.697 W 81 24.670
South Beach - N 31 00.708 W 81 25.933

Cumberland Island

Cumberland Island is a National Seashore, is open to the public, but is reached by ferry only. Little Cumberland Island, at the north end of Cumberland Island is a private island. Some of these points are very remote and require a lot of planning and effort to reach, but are located on what should be, even with shifting dunes, tides, and beaches, the most prominent features on the island shore to seawatch from.

Long Point - N 30 57.260 W 81 24.110
North - N 30 54.617 W 81 24.245
Central - N 30 49.943 W 81 25.907
South Tip/Jetty - N 30 43.110 W 81 26.893

Georgia Easy Access Seawatching Sites - Birding Information

Jekyll Island Seawatching !

Seawatching at Tybee Island !

Pelagic Birding

Ocean Wanderers (older site, lots of good information)
Seabirding Pelagic Trips - NC
Shearwater Journeys - CA
Preparations - Patteson.com
Preparations - Paulagics.com
Pelagic Trip Preparation - SoCalBirding.com
Helpful Hints - ShearwaterJourneys.com

Georgia Seabirders
Georgia Pelagic Trip - Navy Tower R3 - 9/14/08

Georgia Pelagic Birding

*** SOUTHEAST Pelagic Checklist Comparison ***
*** My GEORGIA Pelagic Big Year Planning Checklist ***

GOS Pelagic Trip Reports

Russ Wigh's Skidaway.Net
Skidaway.Net - Trip Planning

Reef Maps and Coordinates - by the Coastal Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources

SkIO - US Navy TACTS grid of towers built on the middle to outer Georgia continental shelf (Map)
SkIO - Navy Tower Info

HotSpots Charts - Sea Surface Temp Charts
HotSpot Charts - Georgia Blue Water Charts
HotSpots Charts - Triple Ledge and Deepwater Wreck

Georgia Pelagic Trip - On The Road Again - 9/14/08
Georgia Pelagic Trip - Approaching Navy Tower M2R6 - 9/14/08

Recent Georgia Pelagic Trips
5/30/09 - Map/photo follow-up
6/23/07 - Carter's follow-up
6/23/07 - Carter's Lake (pelagic species inland)
2/11/07 - Photo follow-up
2/11/07 - Follow-up

Recent Georgia Inland Pelagic Strays (Storm Birds)
*** Under Construction ***

South Polar Skua - Carters Lake, GA - 6/12-24/07

South Polar Skua - Reports

Joshua Spence's 1st Report
Joshua Spence's 2nd Report
My 6/18/07 report, finally figured out that I should be chasing rare birds, this was the first bird I ever chased!

Carter's Lake is located on the border of the Ridge-Valley and Mountain regions in northwest Georgia and is a minimum of 280 miles from the Atlantic coast, and 310 miles from the closest point on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico! The surface of the reservoir lies at an elevation of about 1100 feet above sea level! The only major storm of the period just before the skua was sighted was Tropical Storm Barry which passed along the Georgia coast coming up from the Tampa, Florida area. This skua is the only one which has been seen inland in Georgia. In 1998 a South Polar Skua was found at Jekyll Island South Beach and was observed in both October and November. The other 3 sightings were all far offshore and prior to 1998! Quite a find for inland Georgia!

National Hurricane Center
Archive of Hurricane Seasons - Storm Tracks and Reports


NOAA Tide Predictions - GA

NOAA's NWS Marine Forecasts

MS/AL/FL (panhandle west)

NOAA Office of Coast Survey Nautical Chart On-Line Viewer - Atlantic
Cape Hatteras to Straits of Florida

Zoomable Nautical Chart showing the 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (click or tap here on text for zoomable chart)

GEORGIA OFFSHORE BATHYMETRIC MAP SECTION to approximately 135 miles east of Tybee Island in the north and to approximately 170 miles east of Cumberland Island in the south (includes the Charleston Bump which is centered roughly due east of Sapelo, Blackbeard, and St. Catherines Islands, Georgia), click or tap on map for zoomed view:
Enlarged from zoomable map below:

Map, with GPS Points, of Georgia's Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary,
the WW and DW deeper water artifical reefs,
and the 8 US Navy TACTS Towers

Click or tap image for larger size.