Brunswick – On Saturday morning after work I visited Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, drove through the wildlife drive and walked some of the trails around Bluebill, Woody, and Snipe Ponds. It was a wonderful morning for a walk with temperatures in the 40s, clear blue skies, and the sun just beginning to come up over the trees. There was a good variety of wildlife to be seen. Gray squirrels were all over the place and even though I didn’t see any deer or pigs, there were plenty of deer and wild pig tracks and evidence around. Bird-wise, I saw American Coots, Night Herons, Blue Winged Teal, Green Winged Teal, Tricolored Herons, Glossy Ibis, Green Herons, Bufflehead, Great Blue Herons, Northern Harriers, and Turkey Vultures.
I started out by walking the Bluebill Pond Loop from the Woody Pond end, around Bluebill Pond, then back up to where I had parked by Woody Pond. There were a lot of Black Crowned Night Herons roosting in the trees along the edge of Woody Pond and on the pond’s islands but none were within good range of the lens I had. There was a large group of Coots grooming themselves on some driftwood in the warmth of the rising sun and by the time I made it back around to Woody Pond they were in the water feeding in a tight group. As I walked around Bluebill Pond, I saw more Coots plus Blue and Green Winged Teal in addition to Tricolored Herons, Green Herons, and Glossy Ibis.
While walking around the Snipe Pond trails, I saw a pair of Bufflehead and a Grebe swimming along together as well as a Great Blue Heron and a pair of Turkey Vultures. Unfortunately, the Great Blue Heron took off before I could a photo of it. The vultures were roosting on a piece of concrete in the middle of the pond and hung around long enough to get some good photos of them before they decided I was too close and flew off. The Turkey Vultures, believe it or not, were a nice catch because I usually see more Black Vultures than Turkey Vultures at Harris Neck.
If you visit Harris Neck NWR, I highly recommend getting out at the trails along its wildlife drive and walking around the ponds. You’ll see a lot more than you would otherwise. It was a short trip because I had to get back and catch some sleep before my next shift but it was productive and well timed with the warmer and rainy weather over the next couple of days. My next refuge visit wouldn’t be as pleasant…