December 29th, 2011. Between Christmas and New Year we took an overnight trip down to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge in search of some sun and warmer weather. The weather was a little cool due to a northwesterly wind but it was sunny. The Savannah NWR is located on the east side of the Savannah River in Jasper County, South Carolina, just across the Savannah River from Georgia. We visited Argyle Island that is accessed from Alligator Alley.
The most exotic birds on the marsh were the ibises – White (Eudocimus albus) and Glossy (Plegadis falcinellus). The Glossy Ibises were feeding out on the marsh and were hard to sight. The White Ibis, on the other hand, were clustered in a couple of spots seemingly soaking up the heat from the sun. Some brave souls were feeding along the shore of the marsh and we got much closer views south of the tree grove and along the canal on the east margin of the drive.
On the afternoon of December 28th. White Ibis were soaking up the head in the afternoon sun. They weren’t active at all and weren’t in the same spot the next morning.
Another group on the south side of the tree grove, however, were there on the afternoon of the 28th and the morning of the 29th – in about the same place.
A closer look showed that there were not only White Ibis but a couple of Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus ibis) in the center of the group and a single Glossy Ibis to the right.
This was the best look we got of one of two Cattle Egrets that were feeding with a few White Ibis.
Several pairs or small groups of White Ibis were feeding and, although continuously on the move, gave us several nice sightings.
It’ll be interesting to visit this refuge at different times to see what other birds inhabit the marsh during the year.
Click on an image to view a larger image
Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology:
- White Ibis (Eudocimus albus)
- Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
- Savannah National Wildlife Refuge: The Evening Before
- Savannah National Wildlife Refuge: The Morning After
- Savannah National Wildlife Refuge: Alligator Alley
- Savannah National Wildlife Refuge: Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)