Savannah National Wildlife Refuge; 28 November 2017

Savannah – Yesterday, I visited the Savannah National Wildife Refuge’s Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive on a dismal, rainy day. I didn’t know how much I’d see, but it turned out to be a pretty good visit. Since I hadn’t seen very many migratory waterfowl except for Coots on recent visits, I was hoping to catch some ducks. Not long after starting down the wildlife drive, my hopes were fulfilled when I saw a couple of Blue Winged Teal. A while later I saw what I believed to be a single Ruddy Duck and farther along on the other side of the diversion canal, there was a large group of Ring Neck Ducks. Along the way, I also saw two Sora Rails; it’s rare to see one, much less two Sora Rails, so that was a treat! Even though it was almost noon, I also saw a Whitetail Deer moving along a woodline into the woods; unfortunately it had its head in the woods so I couldn’t tell if it was a buck or a doe. It was also a good day for raptor sightings; most were too far away, but one Red Shouldered Hawk was just within range even though the lighting wasn’t very good.

A pair of American Coots feeding at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge
Red Shouldered Hawk, taken at long distance in poor light. It was one of several raptors I saw on 28 November 2017
One of the 2 Sora Rails I saw at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge on 28 November 2017
The second of 2 Sora Rails I saw at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge on 28 November 2017
The second Sora Rail moving into the grass, it didn’t appreciate the attention it was getting.

Conditions haven’t been very good for alligator sightings lately. I don’t think they like the current in the diversion canal since the dike that seperated it from the Savannah River was damaged during Hurricane Matthew. It’s also been a bit too cool for them to be active.  Anyway, I hope the temperatures continue to drop a bit and more ducks and other migratory waterfow start making their way south. It seems that they come later and later each year.

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