Savannah – On Wednesday afternoon, I visited the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge and enjoyed a trip through the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive. I saw 36 Alligators of various sizes, but this visit was notable for its bird sightings, particularly my first time catching Purple Gallinules this year. I also saw two more Soras, but I was only able to get a photo of one. The smaller of the two I saw scampered into the sawgrass before I could get the camera up. Greater Yellowlegs are also making appearances at the refuge and I snagged a photo of one them as well. All of these came from the last third of the wildlife drive on the opposite side of the road from the Diversion Canal (I’ve also seen Yellowlegs in the area between the drive and the Raccoon Island Trail, however).
Even though I saw the Purple Gallinules, which are always a pleasure to catch because of their Technicolor plumage, the highlight of Wednesday’s visit was watching a female Red Bellied Woodpecker hollowing out a dead tree limb, presumably to build a nest. She would peck away around the hole and inside the hole, sometimes going in and coming back out with a beak full of sawdust and shavings. It was absolutely fascinating to watch and I came away with this series of photos: