COVID Protocols

Join Naturalist Journeys for a coastal Georgia birding and natural history tour on the Colonial Coast Birding Trail. The highlight of our journey is three nights booked at Little St. Simons Island, a private barrier island preserved for wildlife; we cap off the trip with time in the southern jewel of Savannah. Visit inter-dune scrub and maritime forest for migrant land birds, salt marsh for rails, tidal creek and river shoreline for wading birds, and watch for seabirds and shorebirds from long, golden beaches—a tremendous variety of wildlife and habitats awaits your exploration. Georgia’s barrier islands are designated as Landscapes of Hemispheric Importance for shorebirds by the Western Shorebird Reserve Network … visit and see why!

Superb birding sites include Harris Neck NWR where easily accessible managed freshwater ponds and saltwater marsh feature a range of waterfowl, waders, and other waterbirds including all the herons and egrets, Glossy Ibis, and Mottled Duck. Brushy fields and paths in classic maritime forest habitat give entry to resting and feeding areas for a wide range of wrens, sparrows, and migrating landbirds. The Altamaha Wildlife Management area, a former rice plantation, is managed to attract and feed waterfowl and shorebirds. Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Mottled Duck, Wood Stork, American Bittern, four species of rails, and more await.

On this Georgia nature tour, we reach St. Simons Island, a barrier island, by causeway, which provides expansive marshlands and waterways, sandbars, and beaches. Gould’s Inlet on the southeast corner of the island is known as the best beach viewing in Georgia for shorebirds, gulls, loons and terns. During migration this is a good place to see Red Knot and Whimbrel. Spend two relaxing nights in an uniquely decorated, stately room at the charming St. Simons Inn by the lighthouse. Enjoy a boat tour from Jekyll Island on the Intracoastal Waterway for possible dolphin and manatee sightings, and close up views of shorebirds and waterfowl.

The crown jewel of the journey is a three-night stay on Little St. Simons Island, where only 32 guests at a time reside overnight in order to preserve its quiet character. More than 300 species of birds have been recorded on the 11,000-acre Little St. Simons Island, one of Georgia’s stunning “Golden Isles,” accessible only by boat. Join naturalist-led tours to many of this extraordinary natural sanctuary’s best viewing areas, observation towers, and blinds. A birder’s paradise, miles of paths and boardwalks on this magical island await you! Return to the lodge for cocktails and social hour before sitting down to delicious gourmet organic meals of low-country, farm-to-table cuisine and a serene environment in which to rest for the next day’s adventures.

Round out the tour with an afternoon in and around Savannah, the oldest city in Georgia. Tour the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, with towering live oaks, wading birds, and American Alligator. And take time to enjoy the historic district surrounding the Marshall House, with classic local cuisine at the farewell dinner.

Tour Highlights

  • Enjoy three lovely boutique hotels and indulge in classic low-country cuisine
  • Look for migrating Red Knot and Whimbrel, Wood Stork, Black Skimmer, and American Oystercatcher along with Painted and Indigo Buntings
  • Visit key sites along the Colonial Coast Birding Trail, including St. Simons Island, the best beach viewing location in Georgia for shorebirds, gulls, and terns
  • Board a ferry to the private Little St. Simons Inn located on its own island, where 11,000 acres of almost entirely undeveloped wilderness, miles of beach, and established trails await
  • Explore gracious Savannah, the oldest city in Georgia, established in 1773 and a strategic port city in both the American Revolution and the Civil War
  • Enjoy cooler weather and migration diversity, timed to maximize your enjoyment

Trip Itinerary

Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary may occur to account for weather, road conditions, closures, etc. and to maximize your experience.

Fri., Sept. 27    Arrivals in Savannah | Savannah NWR

Welcome to Georgia! Upon your arrival at the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), gather your bags and take a free shuttle to your nearby airport hotel. Those arriving by 2:00 PM will join our guide for several hours birding locally at nearby Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, the largest wildlife refuge on the Georgia coast. The refuge is a short distance from Savannah and one of a chain of seven refuges that stretch 100 miles along the coastline, featuring fresh and saltwater marshes, tidal rivers and creeks, bottomland hardwoods, maritime forests, barrier island beaches, and more. 

Though the refuge is undergoing repair and renovation of the 3,000 freshwater impoundments system, access is available to several special sites. Take the less-than-one-mile walking loop around Kingfisher Pond seeking open water species, and ramble on easy trails around the visitor center for a view into cypress swamp along with pollinator and bird-attracting gardens. Watch for Black-bellied Whistling-duck, Little Blue Heron, White Ibis, Red-belied Woodpecker, White-eyed Vireos and Carolina Wren among many other species, including your first alligators of the tour! Later arrivals are encouraged to arrive by 6:00 PM to join the group for a welcome dinner at a nearby restaurant. 
Accommodations at the Hyatt Place Savannah Airport (D)

Sat., Sept. 28    Harris Neck NWR | St. Simons Island

This morning we drive to the southern tip of St. Simons Island, birding along the way as we work out way south. Options for stops depend on recent sightings and may include a return visit to Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. About half way to St. Simons Island, Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge encompasses six man-made freshwater ponds, as well as extensive salt marsh, open fields, forested wetlands, and mixed hardwood/pine forest. This diversity of habitat makes the refuge an important resource for over 340 species of migratory and resident birds. We can expect to see our first of many Wood Storks,—Harris Neck is home to the largest Wood Stork colony in Georgia—plentiful waders, woodpeckers, Eastern Towhee, and warblers like American Redstart, Northern Parula, Common Yellowthroat, and more, all in muted fall plumage. These sites are stops on the Georgia’s Colonial Coast Birding Trail, steeped in human and natural history, and promise a range of species along with easy walking to stretch your legs as you travel south.

We arrive in time to settle into your charming and unique boutique accommodations, home for the next two nights. St. Simons Island is the largest of the “Golden Isles of Georgia.” St. Simons Inn by the Lighthouse has only 34 spacious and uniquely decorated rooms in a boutique setting. It is located across the street from the St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum, an historic property. Settle in, take a stroll, and then enjoy dinner as a group to go over our daily checklist and to discuss plans for tomorrow.
Accommodations at St. Simons Inn by the Lighthouse (B,L,D)

Sun., Sept. 29    St. Simons Island & Jekyll Island

We spend the day birding St. Simons Island. From inter-dune scrub and maritime forest for migrant land birds to salt marsh, tidal creek and river shoreline for rails and wading birds, to watching for seabirds and shorebirds on the beach, there is a wide variety of wildlife and habitats to explore. 

In a full day, we see much of the island’s natural and historical sites. Birding sites today are chosen depending on recent sightings and weather conditions. Gould’s Inlet on the southeast corner of the island is known as the best beach viewing in Georgia for shorebirds, gulls, loons, and terns. During migration this is a good place to see the Arctic nesting Red Knot and Whimbrel, too. A island rich in history, original coastal Native American tribes, Spanish missionaries, colonial and American Revolution soldiers, cotton plantations and the slave trade, as well as the Coast Guard and other WWII facilities have all left their mark. 

We will cross the Jekyll Island causeway, a great location for wading birds and Wood Stork. After birding on the island and lunch, as a special treat, we take an hour and a half calm water boat trip in a Coast Guard certified vessel along inland waterways and mashes to bird, and to enjoy close views of dolphins and other wildlife (manatees are a possibility!), and enjoy the low-country scenery from the water. Return to the inn with time to relax before an early dinner. 
Accommodations at St. Simons Inn by the Lighthouse (B,L,D)

Mon., Sept. 30 – Wed., Oct. 2    Little St. Simon Island

We depart St. Simons Island today for a short, mid-morning ferry ride to Little St. Simons Island, your base for three full days. A crown jewel of Georgia’s famed Golden Isles and accessible only by boat, Little St. Simon Island’s pristine beaches, undeveloped wilderness, and abundant wildlife provide many opportunities for exploration and birding. The entire 11,000-acre island is under easement protection by The Nature Conservancy, ensuring that the ecological integrity of the island endures. The island's undisturbed beaches and woodlands are a haven for a number of threatened and endangered species.

Half and full day trips on foot and by boat with local naturalists let us explore the island’s 330 plus bird species and wildlife. Evening owl prowls add excitement and new species to your trip list; possible species include Great Horned, Eastern Screech, and Barn. Roseate Spoonbill are common on the island, and depending on the course of migration, flocks of Tree Swallows may be present. We decide at breakfast each day which of this extraordinary natural sanctuary’s best viewing areas, observation towers, and blinds to visit. And if you want to take some time to relax or bird and explore independently; there are bicycles, fishing tackle and kayaks available for your use, a map of birding hot spots, and the seven acres of private beach to stroll.

View fall warblers, swallows, and other passerines moving through during migration, along with shorebirds staging and passing through, and huge numbers of Peregrine Falcon on migration. With luck, you may see a few last turtle nest excavations as their nesting season comes to a close. Butterflies abound including Zebra Longwing, Long-tailed Skipper, Gulf Fritillary, Monarch, White Peacoc and Little Yellows. And marsh plants are turning shades of yellow, red, and orange as fall proceeds. Keep an eye out for active reptiles including skinks, lizards, and snakes. For those interested in trying their hand at fishing, Bluefish, Tarpon, Reds, Spotted Sea Trout and Flounder are possibilities. 

Return to the lodge for cocktails and social hour before sitting down to delicious gourmet organic meals of low-country, farm-to-table cuisine and a serene environment in which to rest for the next day’s adventures. 

Your stay on the island features the privately-owned Lodge on Little St. Simon Island, the only accommodation on the island. This is a small boutique hotel serving no more than 32 guests at a time. All meals are at the lodge or taken out for picnics. Menus feature regional cuisine, organic produce, hand crafted cheeses and beer/cider, and local seafood. 
Accommodations at The Lodge on Little St. Simon Island (B,L,D)

Thurs., Oct. 3    Savannah

While it may be difficult to contemplate saying goodbye to this island paradise, a very special final day awaits you. With packed bags, we depart early morning for the ferry ride to the mainland and drive back to Savannah, the oldest city in Georgia, established in 1773 and a strategic port city in both the American Revolution and the Civil War. An optional stop on our way may take time for a bit of birding to fill in any missing species or search for new sightings. Once we arrive, enjoy a trolley tour of the waterfront and Historic District, where twenty-two park-like squares featuring moss-draped live oaks retain the original town plan prescribed by founder James Oglethorpe with pre-Civil War architecture at every turn, and learn about its storied and complicated history. Or take the afternoon to explore on your own. 

Our hotel for the night, Marshall House—build in 1851 and Savannah’s oldest historical hotel—is centrally-located in the very center of the historic district. Rooms are elegantly appointed and comfortable. Be sure to return from your explorations in time for the nightly wine reception in the library! Your farewell dinner tonight is at the Olde Pink House, a classic Savannah restaurant featuring local cuisine. After dinner, stroll back to the hotel with stops to visit shops along the cobblestone streets. 
Accommodations at Marshall House (B,L,D)

Fri., Oct. 4    Departures

For those departing the city of Savannah, while you may leave at any time, in order to have a relaxed breakfast and walk before returning to the airport, we suggest flights out after 1:00 PM. 

And we are glad to help you extend your stay as you wish. For those planning to remain, we can transport you to an airport hotel, or you can catch a taxi or shuttle to your destination from the hotel or the airport. (B)

 

  • Georgia, Little St. Simons Island, Savannah, Georgia Birding Tour, Georgia Nature Tour, Naturalist Journeys
  • Wood Stork, Georgia, Little St. Simons Island, Savannah, Georgia Birding Tour, Georgia Nature Tour, Naturalist Journeys
  • American Alligator, Georgia, Little St. Simons Island, Savannah, Georgia Birding Tour, Georgia Nature Tour, Naturalist Journeys
  • Wood Stork, Georgia, Little St. Simons Island, Savannah, Georgia Birding Tour, Georgia Nature Tour, Naturalist Journeys
  • Shorebirds, Georgia, Little St. Simons Island, Savannah, Georgia Birding Tour, Georgia Nature Tour, Naturalist Journeys
  • Dunes, Georgia, Little St. Simons Island, Savannah, Georgia Birding Tour, Georgia Nature Tour, Naturalist Journeys
  • Georgia, Little St. Simons Island, Savannah, Georgia Birding Tour, Georgia Nature Tour, Naturalist Journeys
  • Great Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, Georgia, Little St. Simons Island, Savannah, Georgia Birding Tour, Georgia Nature Tour, Naturalist Journeys
  • Sunset, Georgia, Little St. Simons Island, Savannah, Georgia Birding Tour, Georgia Nature Tour, Naturalist Journeys
  • Georgia, Little St. Simons Island, Savannah, Georgia Birding Tour, Georgia Nature Tour, Naturalist Journeys

Cost of the Journey

Cost of the tour is $TBD, per person based on double occupancy from Savannah. The cost includes seven nights’ accommodation, all meals as noted in the itinerary, airport transfers, land and boat transportation during the journey, professional guide services, park and other entrance fees, and miscellaneous program expenses. Not included in the tour cost is round-trip airfare to and from Savannah, personal expenses such as laundry, telephone, drinks from the bar, and gratuities for luggage handling or other services. Guide gratuities are at your discretion.

Travel Details

Please plan to make air travel plans only after the minimum group size has been met. We will send you a confirmation email as soon as the trip has been confirmed.

Arrival and Departure Airport: Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV)


Arrival Details: Please plan flights to arrive September 27, 2024 no later than 2:00 PM


Departure Details: Please plan flights to depart October 4, 2024 after 1:00 PM


Travel Tips: If you want to arrive early and rest up from your travels, you can book an early night at our first night tour hotel, the Hyatt Place Savannah Airport. You can book a room online and send us the confirmation number, with the goal being you won’t have to switch rooms. Another option is to extend your stay in the historic part of Savannah and book additional nights at our last night tour hotel, The Marshall House. We’ll have the afternoon to explore historic Savannah on our last day of the tour, but there are plenty of things to see in the area if you want to explore more. River Street on the waterfront is great for shopping and dining. Bonaventure Cemetery, which sits on a bluff of the Wilmington River in east Savannah, has been a public cemetery since 1907 and famous for its tree-lined roadways, unique sculptures, and associated folklore. Forsyth Park is home to the city’s most famous fountain that was installed in 1858 and modeled after fountains in Paris. It’s also a good birding spot. Or you can spend more time strolling through the historic part of the Savannah with its 22 park-like squares with Spanish moss-draped live oaks that help make the city so beautiful and unique.

Browse below for trip reports and species lists from past versions of this and other tours from this destination.

Georgia

  • Andrew Haffenden

    Andrew has birded all the southern coastal states, from South Carolina to Texas, and more diverse states and habitats from the mossy rainforests and mountains of Washington to the conifers and bogs of Minnesota to the winter seabirds of New York's Long Island. The dry and desert states of the Southwest have been favorites of Andrew's, from the furthest southwest point in the US to the high mountains and plains of Northern Colorado. Further afield, numerous visits to Mexico, 25+ trips to Central America and 17+ trips to northern South America including Guyana has enabled Andrew to become familiar with the birds of those regions. Some 15 tours to Greater Antilles places him in the top 20 eBirded species in the Greater Antilles. Andrew’s also birded and led tours to several other Caribbean Islands. In addition to Dauphin Island he also leads Naturalist Journeys tours in the Southeast US and Central/Southe America. His many trips to Southeast Asia, and of course a lifetime of experience in Australia and New Zealand round out his wildlife experiences.

    Photo credit: Peg Abbott

    Other trips with Andrew Haffenden

  • Dan Donaldson

    Dan Donaldson is an accomplished naturalist-birder based in Northeastern Ohio and has been guiding for Naturalist Journeys for nearly 20 years. Dan has developed his skills while working as a naturalist for a local park district for 25 years as well as with his full-time job as director of the local soil and water conservation district. Acustomed to varied audiences from novices to experts, Dan incorporates much more than just identification in his tours and programs. Dan has led tours for The Nature Conservancy, National Parks Conservation, and other tour companies. While now an international guide, his specialization in birding locales ranges from the Great Lakes to coastal destinations ranging from the Maritime Provinces of Canada and Maine, to the Florida Keys.

    Other trips with Dan Donaldson

Map for Georgia Coastal Birding

Essential Information +

This information is important for being prepared for your journey; we want you to have Read more

This information is important for being prepared for your journey; we want you to have the best experience possible. If you only read one section, this one is key!

Ahead of Your Tour

  • Please talk with your doctor about general health needs. It is a good idea to consult with your doctor about general vaccinations recommended for travel.
  • Please plan to make air travel plans only after the minimum group size has been met. We will send you a confirmation email as soon as the trip has been confirmed. After you make travel reservations, please send a copy of your travel itinerary to the Naturalist Journeys office at clientservices@naturalistjourneys.com.
  • Travel insurance in case of serious medical emergency is recommended. Full health coverage and repatriation is available through Allianz Travel Insurance.
  • Soft sided luggage/duffel bags are easiest for packing the vans. Remember to pack essential medications in your carry-on luggage, as well as one day of clothing and optics in case of luggage delay.

Health Information

We will share a copy of your health and emergency contact information with your guide. This information will be kept confidential but is very important in case of a medical emergency. In addition to bringing any prescription medications with you, we recommend that you have a copy of the prescriptions in case of loss.

Pace of the Tour & What to Expect

You will receive a Schedule-at-a-Glance and list of hotels (our eContact List) a few weeks before your departure. This will serve as an outline for each day and alert you to any recent changes made in the schedule or to our hotels, if needed.

Our journeys are set up to follow the rhythm of nature. Our focus is on birding and nature; we offer full, well-planned field days and often get up early for that magical time around dawn. We generally follow the published itinerary, but we stay flexible to the weather, wildlife opportunities and the interests of the group. Your guide will keep you apprised of the next day’s schedule at each evening meal, noting what to bring and what to prepare for. Questions and/or concerns are welcome.

The pace of our Naturalist Journeys tours is moderate; to fully participate you should be able to get in and out of vehicles several times a day, and walk 1-3 miles over uneven terrain. It is important to participate with a flexible attitude as adjustments may be made in our schedule to make the most of our time in the field or for other purposes at your guide's discretion. We are not a “listing” bird company that drills down on target species, but at times we do wait for those special species unique to the places we visit. During the day, we take time to stop for photos and for educational opportunities to learn about conservation projects, landscapes, and geology. We appreciate other taxa as well as birds, with mammals often the biggest draw but plants and butterflies are also very popular. Our clients often lend their own expertise to the mix.  

We like to make meals a fun and memorable part of the experience, too. Breakfasts are often at hotels, and we carry snacks, fruit, and water in the vans each day. Lunches are a mix of picnics in the field (weather dependent) and a chance to dine with locals at small cafes and restaurants. For dinner, we pride ourselves in our homework to keep up with the best choices for dining, choosing restaurants with atmosphere that specialize in local foods. On occasion we keep dinner simple to go back out in the field for sunset wildlife viewing or night walks. In some remote locations, our choices are limited. If you are tired, room service for dinner may be an option you can choose.

Food & Drink

We carry water and juices/cold drinks in the cooler each day, and sodas if people like them. Please also plan on bringing and filling your water bottle for hiking each day. We try to use as few plastics as possible!

Packing, Clothing & Laundry

Soft sided luggage/duffel bags are easiest for packing the vans. Please pack essential medications in your carry-on luggage, as well as one day of clothing and optics in case of luggage delay.

Dress is informal and is casual even at restaurants. Layering is a great way to stay comfortable. Protective clothing is essential, whether it be from from sun, rain, cold, insects, or vegetation. You need closed toe shoes, and we comfortable walking shoes with good tread. Hiking boots with good support for hiking and on rocky terrain can work well.

Spending Money

Many people ask how much to plan to bring as spending money. Part of that depends on how much you want to shop. Most shops will take VISA and MasterCard or American Express. Typical items people purchase include local souvenirs and T-shirts, caps, and natural history books.  You may want to bring cash for drinks with dinner (if available) or smaller local purchases.

Gratuities

Expect the normal tipping protocol to apply for hotel maids and bar service. If at the end of the tour, you would like to show your appreciation to your guides, tipping is entirely appropriate but at your discretion. We hope that you will be pleased with all professional services. Gratuities for group meals are included. For your birding tour guide, we suggest $10-$15 per day per guest. Note that if there is more than one guide, this amount can be split among them.

Cell Phones & Internet Service

Wi-Fi and cell phone service are available in most US destinations, although there are some exceptions in remote locations. Wi-Fi is generally provided in all hotels, lodges, and restaurants you visit, at least in public areas. Please refrain from taking or making cell phone calls in the vehicles when traveling with other passengers unless it appears to be an emergency as this disrupts other guests – please plan cell phone calls on your own time.

Smoking

Smoking is not permitted in any vehicle or in any situation where the group is participating in an activity together, such as a vehicle excursion or a guided walk. Please respect all designated smoking areas at hotels and restaurants.

Transportation

For this tour, your guides will drive travelers in either full-size or mini-vans or a combination of those two. We ask all attendees to please rotate your seating, so you ride with different drivers and alternate between front and back seats.

Photo Release & Sharing

We take many group photos and will share photos with the group. And after your tour, we will organize a chance to share photos via Dropbox or Google Photos. Please note that this is our policy and if you prefer to be excluded, we need to know ahead of your tour.

By registering for this tour, you agree to grant to Naturalist Journeys and its authorized representatives permission to record photos and/or video of your participation in the tour. You further agree that any or all of the material photographed may be used, in any form, as part of any future publications, brochures, or other printed materials used to promote Naturalist Journeys, and further that such use shall be without payment of fees, royalties, special credit or other compensation.

Questions?

Please contact Naturalist Journeys by email at clientservices@naturalistjourneys.com or telephone our office: (520) 558-1146 or toll free: (866) 900-1146 if you have any questions. Many thanks for traveling with us and we hope you enjoy your journey.

 

Packing List +

Please Pack Light! Soft luggage is easiest for us to pack in the vehicles – duffle Read more

Please Pack Light!

  • Soft luggage is easiest for us to pack in the vehicles duffle bags are a great choice
  • Include your name and address on the inside of the bag and the luggage tag
  • Most airlines charge for checked bags over 50 pounds
  • We recommend that you double check with your airline a week or so before departure to verify luggage size and weight restrictions
  • Pack medications, airline tickets, binoculars, camera, emergency contact information, and other essentials in your carry-on you’ll want a daypack for field trips, so this can serve a dual purpose
  • Dress is very informal
  • In general, the weather during your stay should be warm to moderate, highs in the 80s during the day with overnight temperatures in the 60s. Rain may very well occur, but usually comes in short stints.
  • Lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and long pants make ideal field clothing; they protect you from sun, insects, and vegetation
  • Choose clothes you can get dirty and things that are comfortable and easy. Layering is your best strategy for comfort
  • For our evening in Savannah, nice-casual attire and comfortable walking shoes are appropriate

Clothing and Gear

  • Lightweight long pants, 2 pair
  • Lightweight long-sleeved shirts (2-3)
  • Shorts (optional)
  • T-shirts or equivalent (4-5 – remember you may be buying some anyway!)
  • Personal underclothing
  • Socks – lightweight and easy to wash and dry
  • Lightweight raincoat or poncho (great if this doubles as windbreaker)
  • Comfortable clothes for evening (a cleaner version of your field clothes or a skirt, sundress, etc.)
  • Bathing suit (optional)
  • Hat with broad brim
  • Bandana (they now make these with a gel inside that you wet to keep you cool – great to have!)
  • Comfortable walking shoes (such as tennis shoes)
  • Lightweight hiking boots
  • Sandals for evenings, travel days (optional)
  • Lightweight Jacket; fleece fabric is ideal, but a sweater or sweatshirt will do

Equipment and Miscellaneous

  • PHOTO IDENTIFICATION
  • E-Ticket Verification
  • Passport with copy of this kept elsewhere, if international traveler
  • Binoculars
  • Small daypack or fanny pack for carrying your field gear
  • Small flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Alarm clock, or use your cell phone
  • Umbrella- compact & not brightly colored (a great option for occasional rain as you can keep using your binoculars)
  • Sunscreen/lip balm
  • Sunglasses with neck strap
  • Insect Repellent
  • Toilet articles
  • Spotting scope and tripod (optional)
  • Walking stick (optional)
  • Camera and extra batteries/battery chargers, memory cards, lens cleaning supplies and your instruction manual (optional)
  • Water bottle (or use one we buy, and refill during the journey – we do try to save on plastics!)
  • Notebook or journal and pen (optional)
  • Field guides (optional)
  • Earplugs (if hotel noise or roommates snoring may bother you; these are optional)
  • Cell phone
  • Laundry soap if you plan to do hand washing
  • Ziplock bags, a few large ones often come in handy!
  • Rechargeable power bank (optional)

 

WE DO NOT RECOMMEND TRAVELING WITH PRECIOUS OR VALUABLE JEWELRY – don’t tempt anyone and don’t bring things you’d regret losing, and your mind will be at ease!

Medical and First Aid Items

  • Personal medications
  • Motion sickness preventatives if likely to be needed on bus, van drives, etc.
  • Personal first aid kit and medications for general ailments
  • Copy of eyeglass prescription, copy of medical prescriptions, vaccination records, and any medical alerts
  • Insurance information
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses or contacts
  • Band-aids, moleskin to protect against blisters
  • Antibacterial gel, small vial

 

Suggested Reading List +

There are many titles of interest for Georgia; the following are a few that we Read more

There are many titles of interest for Georgia; the following are a few that we have enjoyed that can get you started

Top Picks

Field Guide to the Birds of North America

Merlin App. A phone-based birding app from Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology. You can download it here.

General Reading

Explorer's Guide Charleston, Savannah & Coastal Islands: A Great Destination 

Field Guides

Sibley Guide to Birds

Lives of North American Birds

Birds of Georgia Field Guide

Common Birds of Coastal Georgia

Wildlife & Nature

Nature Guide to the Carolina Coast: Common Birds, Crabs, Shells, Fish, and other Entities of the Coastal Environment

A Field Guide to Southeastern and Caribbean Seashores:  Cape Hatteras to the Gulf Coast, Florida, and the Caribbean

Marsh Mud and Mummichogs: An Intimate Natural History of Coastal Georgia

Tracking the Golden Isles: The Natural and Human Histories of the Georgia Coast

Natural History

 The Birder’s Handbook: A Field Guide to the Natural History of North American Birds

The Complete Birder: A Guide to Better Birding

Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior

History & Culture

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil:  A Savannah Story

Partisans & Redcoats:  The Southern Conflict That Turned the Tide of the American Revolution

Saving Savannah: The City and the Civil War

Memoir/Non-Fiction

Two Roads to Sumter:  Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis and the March to the Civil War

Your guide will also have a selection of reference books and materials for participants to share. As an Amazon Associate, Naturalist Journeys earns from qualifying purchases, and may get commissions for purchases made through links on this page at no added cost to you.

 

Useful Links +

Learn more about your destination at these external websites, carefully researched for you. Read more

General

Savannah, Georgia – An Encyclopedic Overview

St. Simon’s Island

Little St. Simons Island

Georgia’s Golden Isles

Nature, Wildlife & Biology

Ogeechee Audubon – Birding locations in the Savannah Region

Birds of the Ogeechee

Life Traces of the Georgia Coast (Blog)

Red Knot

Georgia’s Barrier Islands

Conservation, Parks & Reserves

Georgia Conservancy

Stewards of the Georgia Coast

Coastal Conservation Association | Georgia – Savannah Chapter

Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge

Geology & Geography

Interactive Map of the Geology of Georgia

Geology of Georgia Coast

Geography of Savannah

History & Culture

History of Savannah

Savannah Historic District

St. Simons Island Timeline

History of the Savannah Ogeechee Canal

Helpful Travel Websites

Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV)

Homeland Security Real ID Act

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

ATM Locator

Date, Time, and Holidays


Photo credits: Dunes, courtesy UnSplash; Roseate Spoonbills, Carlos Sanchez; Savannah, courtesy UnSplash; Red Knots, Bob Hill; American Avocets, Delsa Anderl; American Oystercatcher, Bob Hill; Black-throated Blue Warbler, Homer Gardin; Clapper Rail, Carlos Sanchez; Marbled Godwit, Susan Hartley; Whimbrel, Carlos Sanchez; Sunset, courtesy UnSplash; Group Birding, courtesy littlestsimonsisland.com; Wood Stork, courtesy littlestsimonsisland.com; American Alligator, Pat Lueders; Wood Stork, Pat Lueders; Shorebirds at Sunset, Richard Becker; Dunes, courtesy littlestsimonsisland.com; Wetlands, courtesy littlestsimonsisland.com; Great Egret and Roseate Spoonbills, courtesy littlestsimonsisland.com; Sunset and Spanish Moss, courtesy littlestsimonsisland.com; Dirt Road, courtesy littlestsimonsisland.com.

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