Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Savannah in South Carolina

This is the fifth stop in our Great Birding Adventure.  You can click the links to read about Jekyll, St. Simon's, Harris Neck, and Skidaway Island.
Savannah isn't in South Carolina, but Savannah National Wildlife Refuge is. 
We were up before sunrise again on this, our last day of coastal birding, having fallen soundly asleep before 8 p.m. again the night before!  We drove a few minutes, crossed the state line into South Carolina, and entered the refuge just as the sun was peaking over the horizon.
Although this picture is one of my favorites from the trip,
it does not do justice to the real thing.
The beauty of this sunrise brought to mind a favorite hymn.
Fair is the sunshine, Fairer still the moonlight,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring:
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heav’n can boast.

Fairest Lord Jesus
August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben and Ernst Richter
What do I love most about nature study?
The beauty of the creation causes me to reflect
on the beauty, power, and love of our
This is one of our favorite birds because of its unique
coloring and bill.

At first, we thought we had spotted another golden bird:
the Purple Galinule.
However, it is missing the defining white patch at the top of the bill.
Such a slight difference makes it a Common Moorhen.
Not a new bird that we are actively seeking,
but still golden.


The refuge consists mainly of a drivable path (5 miles long),
and we spent most of the morning driving v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y
along this path as we birded through the car windows.
We pulled over to the side of the path about 100 times
so we could step out to scan ponds, trees, and fields.
However, there is one designated parking area
within the refuge. There is a stone path
which winds through a beautiful crop of trees.
We saw and photographed many birds in these tree tops.
Our camera autofocused on the twigs in the foreground,
causing the Northern Flicker in the background to blur.
This is one of my faves, even though the bird isn't clear.


The trees in this area were filled with woodpeckers.
In fact, we saw every species that could be present.

We also saw several species of songbirds,
both along the stone path
and the driving path.
Even the birds we see almost daily at home,
like the Northern Cardinal pictured above,
seemed more beautiful in such gorgeous surroundings!
After lunch we headed to Tybee Island.  Its beaches draw oodles of tourists to Savannah during the summer, but in October, only locals and nature enthusiasts walk its sands.  Thus, the birds are out in droves!
I'll be back soon to take you to Tybee!

1 comment:

Kellie said...

Stunning! I love that hymn and it suits these pictures perfectly.