Visits to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge; 28/29 December 2015

While I was in Savannah this time, I made two visits to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. Both days saw overcast and rain as well as the well over normal temperatures we’ve had in the area for the last couple of weeks. The rain definitely seemed to reduce the amount of wildlife to be seen, although I didn’t have the opportunity this time to walk any of the trails so I don’t know what was hiding “off of the beaten path.” Additionally, one of the interior impoundments is still drained and waiting to be burned, taking away one of the great spots to see some of the migratory waterfowl.

I visited on the 28th with my parents, so we were there later in the day rather than my usual earlier morning visits. The tide was high, so there weren’t many wading birds in easy camera range at some of my favorite spots. We saw eight alligators total, including two large ones that were laid out on dry spots in the drained impoundment. The best bird photo I got was of two cormorants perched in a tree over the Diversion Canal.

This large alligator was taking a nap on the bank of a canal just before the wildlife drive's first left turn
This large alligator was taking a nap on the bank of a canal just before the wildlife drive’s first left turn
This large alligator was also enjoying the warmer than average temperatures we've been having
This large alligator was also enjoying the warmer than average temperatures we’ve been having
Two Cormorants perched in a tree over the Savannah NWR's Diversion Canal
Two Cormorants perched in a tree over the Savannah NWR’s Diversion Canal

On this trip, I also used my Samsung Note 4 to take some video of part of the wildlife drive. It isn’t very steady and there’s a lot of wind noise, but the first part of the video was taken at one of my favorite spots for photographing wading birds (unfortunately none were there because the tide was high).

 

 

My visit on the 29th was earlier in the morning, but it was book-ended by showers and increasing overcast. During the first half of the wildlife drive, I saw a number of small to medium sized alligators and some wading birds feeding as the tide was rising at one of my favorite spots. The overcast definitely effected photography, making it hard to get good exposures on darker birds at times.

Female Anhinga drying her wings at the Savannah NWR
Female Anhinga drying her wings at the Savannah NWR
Snowy Egret hunting in one of the Savannah NWR's canals as the tide comes in
Snowy Egret hunting in one of the Savannah NWR’s canals as the tide comes in
Snowy Egret hunting in one of the Savannah NWR's canals as the tide comes in
Snowy Egret hunting in one of the Savannah NWR’s canals as the tide comes in
Great Blue Heron hunting in one of the Savannah NWR's canals as the tide comes in
Great Blue Heron hunting in one of the Savannah NWR’s canals as the tide comes in
Great Blue Heron hunting in one of the Savannah NWR's canals as the tide comes in
Great Blue Heron hunting in one of the Savannah NWR’s canals as the tide comes in
Great Blue Heron hunting in one of the Savannah NWR's canals as the tide comes in
Great Blue Heron hunting in one of the Savannah NWR’s canals as the tide comes in
Tri Colored Heron hunting near a small alligator at the Savannah NWR
Tri Colored Heron hunting near a small alligator at the Savannah NWR
Snowy Egret (front) and Glossy Ibis (back) feeding at the Savannah NWR (lighting conditions prevented me from getting a better exposure for the Glossy Ibis)
Snowy Egret (front) and Glossy Ibis (back) feeding at the Savannah NWR (lighting conditions prevented me from getting a better exposure for the Glossy Ibis)
Great Blue Heron hunting in one of the Savannah NWR's canals as the tide comes in
Great Blue Heron hunting in one of the Savannah NWR’s canals as the tide comes in
If you got an itch, scratch it... Great Blue Heron at the Savannah NWR
If you got an itch, scratch it… Great Blue Heron at the Savannah NWR
Great Blue Heron at the Savannah NWR
Great Blue Heron at the Savannah NWR
Great Blue Heron at the Savannah NWR
Great Blue Heron at the Savannah NWR

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