Wildlife and Marshes

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Altamaha Wildlife Management Area

 

Driving around this area, we see a lot of marshes and wildlife areas. While many of them look alike, there is always something different to see. The picture above shows a wildlife management area but used to be Butler Island Plantation, one of the largest plantations in the South, It is fun to see the birds, ducks, alligators and try to identify them. (The alligators are easy to identify.) Some birds we are successful finding what they are and other birds we can only guess at looking at the bird book.

Walking around this WMA we heard a huge splash into the water and moments later an alligator popped his head up. After that, we were on alert for not only splashes but we kept looking behind us to make sure they didn’t follow us. A few times even though I was expecting the splash it scared me as I didn’t see the gator.

A small alligator that ran into the water after he heard us. He had a twin just to the right of him not in the picture.

 

This big guy just sat watching us. His claw sticking out of the mud was a little intimidating.

 

Here are some birds that were in the trees right outside our deck at the house.

 

Hard to see this bird but as he sat there, we identified it as a Louisiana heron. Better picture below.

 

Louisiana Heron

 

Cattle Egret

 

This lizard appeared on the deck so he could get his picture taken as well.

 

 

We thought this was some exotic bird …but upon closer look it was a bobber in the trees!

 

Catbird

 

Outside of Savannah is a park called Skidaway Island State Park.The hiking in this park was like much of the hiking in Georgia–marshy areas amongst live oaks, palmettos and pines. They do offer an observation tower to view wildlife on the barrier island. Only problem was that the walkway to the tower got destroyed by the hurricane in October so there was no viewing from the tower for visitors.

Observation tower that you can only observe from a distance until they fix the damage from the hurricane.

 

View along the Big Ferry Trail.

 

During prohibition liquor stills were built on this secluded island. In the 1930s there were 31 liquor still sites located throughout the island. Boaters could easily sneak on and off this island with their illegal moonshine. Many stills fell victim to police raids. You can see ax marks on this still.

One of the remaining stills.

 

Some days we opt to stay home and choose to ride bikes and kayak. (OK maybe not John but Sharon and I got to do those activities.) John stayed back and played photographer. It was a beautiful sunny day, the bugs stayed away and the paddling was just perfect.

 

View from our house of the marshes where Sharon and I were kayaking.

 

Cheryl paddling back home.

 

Sharon working hard in the kayak.

 

View from the kayak of John on the dock. (I brought a little camera to take pictures.)

Jekyll Island and St. Simon’s Island (again)

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View of bridge to Jekyll Island

 

We visited Jekyll Island last year on our way to Florida but there is always something different to see so we opted to go back to this island. It is not a large island (7 miles long by 1.5 miles wide and has 8 miles of beaches. We went to Driftwood Beach which was a really unique looking beach to walk on and it is described as   “beautiful driftwood and trees that resemble a tree graveyard.” Looking down the beach all you can see is dead trees.

Driftwood Beach

 

 

 

Sandpiper testing the water.

 

As we walked along, we were able to imagine different animals in the driftwood.

 

One of the driftwood “sea creatures”

 

John and Cheryl at Driftwood Beach (photo by Sharon)

 

Sharon at Driftwood Beach

 

Our attempt at posing the shells for a picture.

 

Can you see the fiddler crabs in this picture?  They are no bigger than your thumb. Males have one enlarged claw that can grow to 1.5-2 inches long while females’ claws are equal size.

 

We revisited St. Simon’s Island since Sharon had never been there before. The beach has a great shape which unfortunately doesn’t show in the pictures. But is is not a straight beach like we are used to.

 

Another beach view.

 

Cargo ship from Panama moving by swiftly in St. Simon’s.

 

Pelican in flight.

 

Another view of the lighthouse. (Couldn’t pass up the opportunity to photograph it again.)

 

We identified these as elegant terns. (Anyone agree or disagree?)