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Family Visits to the Savannah NWR and Harris Neck NWR

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Savannah – On Monday afternoon, I visited the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge with my folks and thoroughly enjoyed it. With the warming temperatures, the refuge is turning green again, the migratory waterfowl are all but gone, and young wildlife are beginning their lives. During Monday’s trip, we saw a lot of juvenile Alligators of various sizes; I love taking photographs of young Alligators, they have wonderful coloration and their eyes are amazing! There seem to be more Wood Storks at the Savannah refuge than in recent years and yesterday we saw a good number of immature ones in additions to adults. Glossy Ibis, White Ibis, and Great Egrets are also still gathering in large numbers.

Adult Alligator floating in one of the Savannah NWR's canals

Adult Alligator floating in one of the Savannah NWR’s canals

Snowy Egret at the Savannah NWR

Snowy Egret at the Savannah NWR

Juvenile Alligator at the Savannah NWR

Juvenile Alligator at the Savannah NWR

Immature Wood Stork at the Savannah NWR

Immature Wood Stork at the Savannah NWR

Juvenile Alligator at the Savannah NWR

Juvenile Alligator at the Savannah NWR

Juvenile Alligator at the Savannah NWR

Juvenile Alligator at the Savannah NWR

Large Alligator at the Savannah NWR

Large Alligator at the Savannah NWR

This last photo from Monday’s visit to the Savannah NWR emphasizes why you should take it slow when visiting the refuge. A good rule of thumb is move slow, and listen while you look. Can you see the American Bittern in this photo? I stopped when I heard rustling in the grass without seeing anything. After tracking the rustling, I eventually saw this Bittern walking through the grass. As well camouflaged as it is, I’d have never seen it had I not heard the rustling in the grass. When I learned to hunt as a kid, I learned to keep my ears as well as my eyes open. Those skills suit wildlife and nature photography just as well.

American Bittern walking through the grass at the Savannah NWR. Can you see it?

American Bittern walking through the grass at the Savannah NWR. Can you see it?

After seeing the Wood Storks on Monday, I decided to give my folks a ride down to Harris Neck NWR earlier today to see the Wood Storks and Egrets nesting there. It was a beautiful day for a visit; we saw a massive number of nesting Wood Storks and Egrets at Woody Pond, some good-sized Alligators at Bluebill Pond along with a mother Wood Duck with some chicks in tow, some immature Roseate Spoonbills at Teal Pond (which made my Mother’s day!) and more. The back side of Woody Pond has so many Wood Storks and Egrets nesting that it looks like it has snowed on the trees(!) and there were Wood Storks taking advantage of the warm day by riding the thermals above the refuge. It’s always amazing to go by there this time of year and see them all. We also saw Black Necked Stilts at both Bluebill and Teal Pond.

Turtles sunning at Harris Neck NWR's Bluebill Pond

Turtles sunning at Harris Neck NWR’s Bluebill Pond

Tri Colored Heron at Harris Neck NWR's Bluebill Pond

Tri Colored Heron at Harris Neck NWR’s Bluebill Pond

Alligator sunning at Harris Neck NWR's Bluebill Pond

Alligator sunning at Harris Neck NWR’s Bluebill Pond

A Mother Wood Duck with chicks at Harris Neck NWR's Bluebill Pond

A Mother Wood Duck with chicks at Harris Neck NWR’s Bluebill Pond

Alligator resting in the shade on an island in Harris Neck NWR's Bluebill Pond

Alligator resting in the shade on an island in Harris Neck NWR’s Bluebill Pond

Female Anhinga scratching an itch at Harris Neck NWR's Woody Pond

Female Anhinga scratching an itch at Harris Neck NWR’s Woody Pond

Wood Storks and Great Egrets nesting at Harris Neck NWR's Woody Pond

Wood Storks and Great Egrets nesting at Harris Neck NWR’s Woody Pond

Immature White Ibis walking near Harris Neck NWR's Woody Pond

Immature White Ibis walking near Harris Neck NWR’s Woody Pond

Immature Roseate Spoonbills at Harris Neck NWR's Teal Pond

Immature Roseate Spoonbills at Harris Neck NWR’s Teal Pond

Immature Roseate Spoonbills, and an immature Wood Stork wtih a Black Necked Stilt in the background at Harris Neck NWR's Teal Pond

Immature Roseate Spoonbills, and an immature Wood Stork with a Black Necked Stilt in the background at Harris Neck NWR’s Teal Pond


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