Savannah – After catching the departure of a couple of Hawaii ANG F-22s from Savannah International Airport, I visited the Savannah NWR yesterday afternoon to “recharge the batteries” after another not-so-good week and take some photos. With winter winding down, there weren’t as many migratory waterfowl to see but there were still some Blue Winged Teal and Northern Shovelers around as well as the always present Anhingas, Coots, Egrets, Gallinules, and Herons. Although Friday had been cold, the general trend of the last week or so has been warmer weather, so I saw more alligators and turtles than I have the last few trips over. By my count, I saw 19 alligators during my drive around the wildlife drive and while walking the trails.
This group of birds was fun to watch, it was almost like a game of follow the leader. The Great Egret was moving along and it was like the Glossy Ibis were saying “let’s just go wherever the Egret goes and do whatever the Egret does.” Wherever the Egret went, that group of Ibis were right behind it. I also had fun watching the juvenile Little Blue Heron below hunting; I just pulled over and stayed in the car to take photos to keep from spooking it because it was right along the edge of bank.
I came up on a pair of raccoons during the drive around the wildlife drive but they weren’t as at ease with me as the one I saw at Harris Neck awhile back. As soon as I moved around the back of the car to take some photos, they took off across a trail and into hiding.
I saw a lot of turtles during this visit to the NWR, I didn’t keep count but I probably saw more turtles than I did alligators. I saw turtles all over the place but I didn’t see many alligators until probably the last 1/3 of the Laurel Island Wildlife Drive. On the last few trips, most of the alligators were on the left side of the road but this time, there were also quite a few in the diversion canal on the right side of the road.
Warning, Radio Geek stuff to follow
The Laurel Island Wildlife Drive at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge has recently added some low power AM transmitters on 1610 kHz at various locations along the drive to provide information on the refuge and the wildlife within it. There are five of them, mostly located in inconspicuous places; some are obvious but all of them are visible if you’re looking for them. They’re all configured the same with one exception, some have solar panels and some don’t. I’m guessing the ones near commercial power sources run off of commercial power while the ones in the interior of the refuge use solar power.