Savannah photographic field trips

Great blue heron fishing along the Diversion Canal  down the embankment of Wildlife Drive.

Great blue heron fishing along the Diversion Canal down the embankment of Wildlife Drive.

Savannah has a vast variety of playgrounds for photographers. If wildlife photography is your passion, there are many refuges, sanctuaries and state parks within an hour’s drive or less. The images here are from a recent trip to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, located just over the Savannah River on SC Highway 170. There are seven trails that are accessible by foot or bicycle along the main Wildlife Drive which can be driven by car. Habitats include marshland, hard woods and open water. During this short trip there were coots, herons, ibis, black birds, finches and alligators. There are so many species enjoying the spring weather it is hard to keep track.

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Common gallunile enjoying a diet of water plants along the John Hill Canal at the Savannah NWR

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American alligator has moved from an endangered species to thriving. During this field trip there were four visible ‘gators along the canals at the SNWR but many more were unseen but audible.


Some things to keep in mind for photography field trips are not only bringing the right equipment but the smaller things to make the trek more enjoyable. These items include bug spray, water, and a hat.

This trip was a quick trip for me even though I thought I would be fine for the two hours I would be at the refuge, I realized afterward that I did need a few items. The temperatures here in May are still mild. The hotter days are still to come, but that doesn;t mean that being out in the open under the sun can not only wear you out it can dehydrate you. Water and a hat are essential even for short trips. Bugs at present are not bad- just wait for the sand gnats, no-see-ums, and mosquitos! Hiking through higher grasses and weeds and being in the hard wood areas, you may still have to deal with ticks, so don’t forget the bug repellent.

As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. So along with the longer lenses, filters and other photographic tools, pack a small cooler with water, maybe a snack to stay energized and your protective gear. I tend to also wear old clothes and comfortable, supportive shoes for the hikes along the trails. Happy trails!

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