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Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge; 24 November 2013

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Last Sunday, I took a trip to the Harris Neck National Wildlife refuge and posted some photos from the smartphone on Instagram and Twitter while I was there. I also took some photos with the regular camera but I’ve been lazy and haven’t gotten around to posting them until now.

Since I was in Brunswick, I made a stop at the Huston Dairy Barn Viewing Platform in Darien to take some sunrise photos before I continued up US 17 to Harris Neck.  There wasn’t any water fowl to be seen but the cloudy morning sky made for some nice sunrise photos.  If you make a stop at this viewing platform around sunrise, don’t be surprised if you draw the suspicion of the Darien Police Department.  An officer saw me getting in the car and pulling away from the platform parking area after I took this photo, turned around and followed me halfway through Darien on US 17.  In retrospect, I was wearing an orange shirt under my jacket, maybe he thought I was hunting illegally.

Sunrise from the Huston Dairy Barn Viewing Platform

Sunrise from the Huston Dairy Barn Viewing Platform

By the time I got to Harris Neck, the sun was up and the skies were clearing, lending a beautiful golden glow to the marsh grass.  It was a chilly morning, but the marsh photos really don’t look like it.  The tide was low and it was obvious the mudbanks under the fishing piers at the Harris Neck NWR entrance had seen a considerable amount of attention from raccoons during the night or predawn hours; their tracks were all over the place (which I erroneously ID’d as bird tracks on Instagram and Twitter; I saw a heron take off from one bank and being tired, added 1+1 to get 3).

A view from one of Harris Neck NWR's fishing piers.

A view from one of Harris Neck NWR’s fishing piers.

Raccoon tracks in the mud below one of the Harris Neck NWR fishing piers.

Raccoon tracks in the mud below one of the Harris Neck NWR fishing piers.

Another view from one of the Harris Neck NWR fishing piers.

Another view from one of the Harris Neck NWR fishing piers.

On the entrance drive from the front gate to the Refuge offices, I saw a group of five or six wild turkeys moving into the wood line (appropriate for the week before Thanksgiving, isn’t it?).  They weren’t in a big hurry but due to the distance and being in the woods, I was only able to get a few shots and only one of them came out.

Wild Turkeys

Wild Turkeys

I made a stop at the path back to Bluebill Pond and made the short walk back to see if there was anything to see.  I saw few waterfowl, but the scenery made for some lovely late fall landscape shots.

Bluebill Pond, late fall.

Bluebill Pond, late fall.

Bluebill Pond, late fall.

Bluebill Pond, late fall.

Bluebill Pond, late fall.

Bluebill Pond, late fall.

I also stopped at Woody Pond, where there a good number of yellow crowned night herons and some gallinules to be seen.  Once again, there weren’t as many birds to be seen as there would have earlier in the year, but the scenery was beautiful.

Yellow Crowned Night Herons at Woody Pond.

Yellow Crowned Night Herons at Woody Pond.

Woody Pond, late fall.

Woody Pond, late fall.

Woody Pond, late fall.

Woody Pond, late fall.

Gallinules at Woody Pond.

Gallinules at Woody Pond.

It’s always worth a stop at the Harris Neck NWR, regardless of season.  In late fall there not be as many birds to see as there are earlier in the year and the colder temps reduce the alligator and turtle activity but it’s always beautiful and there’s always something to see.  It’s one of the wonderful things about living in coastal Georgia!


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