Savannah NWR Visits; 23 and 25 January 2016

It’s been a couple of weeks since I visited the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, so even though the weather was dismal on Saturday, I made an afternoon trip centered around low tide anyway. The “feels like” temperature was in the 30s and the skies were cloudy but the sun was beginning to try to break through. Not surprisingly, it was not a good day for alligator or turtle sightings, but it did turn out to be a decent day for bird sightings. Glossy Ibis were out feeding, female Anhingas were in abundance, there were a few Great Blue Herons out and about, plenty of Northern Shovelers and Blue Wing Teal were in the flooded impoundments, and there was the usual abundance of American Coots. I even saw my first Green Wing Teal of the winter.

Glossy Ibis feeding at the edge of one of the Savannah NWR's canals
Glossy Ibis feeding at the edge of one of the Savannah NWR’s canals
Female Anhinga
Female Anhinga
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Duck butts! Northern Shovelers, Blue Wing Teal, and Green Wing Teal feeding in one of the Savannah NWR's flooded impoundments
Duck butts! Northern Shovelers, Blue Wing Teal, and Green Wing Teal feeding in one of the Savannah NWR’s flooded impoundments
American Coot
American Coot
A headless Anhinga!
A headless Anhinga!
Not really, it just had it's head against its back trying to stay out of the wind
Not really, it just had it’s head against its back trying to stay out of the wind

Monday afternoon’s weather around low tide was much better than Saturday’s, so I made another trip to the refuge and it turned out to be a good one. The temperature was pleasant and there was some wonderful golden late afternoon sun for lighting. Once again, there were plenty of Anhingas to be seen and a lot of Blue Wing Teal and Northern Shovelers. Both mature and immature Little Blue Herons were plentiful and several Great Blue Herons were feeding in the tidal canals and flooded impoundments. Killdeer were also seen along the edges of the canals in several areas. It was a somewhat better day for alligator sightings (we saw 3 including one very large one) and turtles (we saw about 6 enjoying the late afternoon sun). What really made the day was getting to see a Northern Harrier enjoying a late afternoon meal on a log; in the next to last photo below, you can just see the white patch at the base of it’s tail between its wings as she bends down to take a bite.

Turtles taking in the afternoon sun
Turtles taking in the afternoon sun
Female Anhinga drying her wings
Female Anhinga drying her wings
Killdeer along one of the Savannah NWR's canals
Killdeer along one of the Savannah NWR’s canals
Male Northern Shovelers
Male Northern Shovelers
Great Blue Heron and Little Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron and Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron fishing in one of the Savannah NWR's canals
Little Blue Heron fishing in one of the Savannah NWR’s canals
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron along one of the Savannah NWR's canals
Little Blue Heron along one of the Savannah NWR’s canals
Snowy Egret fishing in one of the Savannah NWR's canals
Snowy Egret fishing in one of the Savannah NWR’s canals
A very large alligator taking in the afternoon sun along one of the Savannah NWR's canals
A very large alligator taking in the afternoon sun along one of the Savannah NWR’s canals
Blue Wing Teal
Blue Wing Teal
Female Northern Harrier having a meal on a log
Female Northern Harrier having a meal on a log
A pair of Blue Wing Teal
A pair of Blue Wing Teal

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