Loggerhead Shrikes were everywhere in Savannah National Wildlife Refuge over the fall. I’d see at least one every day and sometimes up to four. It was the same in the early winter, but as winter went on, the birds must have found somewhere else to go. I also never had the best luck photographing this species. Since they are relatively skittish, most of my attempts were from inside the car. This worked fairly well, but the shrikes were always on the most jumbled perch or a fence post. And even then the light usually was coming from a poor direction. Today luck was on my side, both to find a Loggerhead Shrike so late and to get the beautiful bird on a nice perch.
I had some luck with some ducks as well. The ducks are starting to leave for their trip north, so of course they wait until now to cooperate. I’m not complaining though. I spent a bit of time with this beautiful iridescent Northern Shoveler drake.
The big flocks of ducks can be hard to work as they tend to fly off at the slightest hint of danger, especially when the eagles are hunting them so heavily. If you’re in a blind, you can have some luck, but at Savannah NWR the ducks vary their patterns so much that you may wait all day in a blind and never see a duck. It’s the small groups or solo birds that you have the best chances with. This Northern Shoveler drake was with two females and they were feeding at one end of a marshy section. A slow and careful approach through the cattails got me close to the birds for a magical end to the day. I’m going to miss the ducks when they’re all gone in less than a month.