Savannah – My father and I drove over to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge yesterday around midday; we drove the Laurel Island Wildlife Drive and walked the Raccoon Island trail. The tide was very high and the temperatures were warmer than it has been recently, so it made for some different viewing than recent trips. First of all, we didn’t see as many migratory waterfowl as the last few trips; there were a lot of Northern Shovelers but not as many Blue Wing Teal, Ring-necked Ducks, or Ruddy Ducks. A lot of the usual heron and egret spots were covered by the high tide, but they were to be found along areas like the trail and diversion canal where water levels are lower than on other trips. Finally, the warmer temperatures resulted in a higher number of alligator and turtle sightings; we saw 14 alligators and 12 turtles along the way.
This next photo is from an interesting encounter. I almost got fixated on a Little Blue Heron and Snowy Egret on the other side of the canal along the Raccoon Island Trail and almost didn’t notice this large alligator on the same side of the canal as we were. I was using a 100-300mm zoom lens and had dial it all the way back to 100mm to get this photo; it was definitely uncomfortably close. I got this photo then we gave it as wide a berth as possible as we continued down the trail.
This was a fun series of photos to take. Usually I see more Tri-Color Herons at the Harris Neck NWR than I do at the Savannah NWR, but we saw a number of them yesterday. This one was foraging at the water’s edge along the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive and decided to “shake it off” at one point; I just clicked along as it did.