Photography Workshop

March 8th - 10th, 2019

Come join local photographer Ben Galland for this two day workshop and capture the beauty of Little St. Simons Island's landscapes and wildlife through photography.

The workshop is limBen Galland Photoited to eight participants who will have the opportunity to join Ben on excursions around the island to photograph exquisite shots like these shown here that Ben took on a recent visit.  Participants of all skill levels will receive guidance and instruction while photographing the spectacular island views including the marsh, maritime forest, beach, birds and wildlife.  In addition, there will be photography discussions and processing tutorials.

 

 Participants may also take part in any of our daily naturalist-led activities such as hiking, kayaking, fishing, birding and truck based tours.

 

Friday:

  • Meet and Greet
  • Discuss weekend and review itinerary
  • Afternoon excursion

Saturday:

  • Pre-Breakfast excursion
  • Morning excursion
  • Afternoon excursion and/or optional processing tutorial
  • Post-dinner discussion with show-n-tell and/or night photography

Sunday:

  • Pre-Breakfast excursion
  • Departure after breakfast

 

Two-night package:  $1,290 for January 25-27 and $1,600 for March 8-10, 2019

-Arrive on Friday and depart on Sunday.

Package rates include lodging, three meals daily prepared by our chefs, beverages including soft drinks, beer and wine, all Island activities including guided Naturalist excursions and use of recreation gear as well as boat transfers to and from the island.

**All rates are for double occupancy in The Hunting Lodge, River Lodge, Cedar House or Helen House. The Tom House and Michael Cottage rates are higher.  An additional adult in the same room is $200 per night and children under 12 are $100 per night. An 18% service charge plus applicable taxes will be added to the above rates. 

Availability is limited, so call 888-733-5774 between 9:00am and 5:00pm ET daily or click "Book Now" at the top of this page for availability and reservations.

Ben Galland

A native of St. Simons Island, Benjamin Galland grew up photographing the pristine and unparalleled beauty of the Golden Isles. After graduating from Berry College with a degree in visual arts, Galland moved back home to the Isles and co-founded h2o creative group, an advertising and marketing firm in Brunswick, Georgia. As the agency’s in-house photographer, Galland has spent the past 15 years honing his skills in a variety of techniques and genres. He has also had three books published by the University of Georgia Press: Island Time: An Illustrated History of St. Simons Island, GA (2013), Island Passages: An Illustrated History of Jekyll Island, GA (2016) and Sapelo: People and Place on a Georgia Sea Island (Spring 2017). Galland is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys kayaking, fly-fishing, biking and exploring. He loves spending time with his wife, 7-year-old son, and baby daughter.


Spring Birding Days

April 28th - May 4th, 2019

Celebrate the spring migration on Little St. Simons Island! Guest ornithologists join our staff naturalists on excursions highlighting the abundance of species that flock here during this special time. 

SEVEN-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $4,900**

~Arrive April 28th and depart May 5th.

FOUR-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $2,750**

~Arrive April 28th and depart May 2nd. 

THREE-NIGHT WEEKENDER ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $2,300**

~Arrive May 2nd and depart May 5th.

 Package rates include lodging, three meals daily prepared by our chefs, beverages including soft drinks, beer and wine, all Island activities including guided Naturalist excursions and use of recreation gear as well as boat transfers to and from the island.

**All rates are for double occupancy in The Hunting Lodge, River Lodge, Cedar House or Helen House. The Tom House and Michael Cottage rates are higher.  An additional adult in the same room is $200 per night and children under 12 are $100 per night. An 18% service charge plus applicable taxes will be added to the above rates. 

Availability is limited, so call 888-733-5774 between 9:00am and 5:00pm ET daily or click "Book Now" at the top of this page for availability and reservations.

Possible Sightings Include:

  • black-crowned night heron
  • reddish egret
  • Caspian tern
  • royal tern
  • long-billed curlew
  • piping plover
  • black-bellied plover
  • glossy ibis
  • marbled godwit
  • black-necked stilt
  • American oystercatcher
  • Northern harrier
  • red knot
  • American bittern
  • marsh wren
  • great black-backed gull
  • nighthawk
  • osprey
  • brown thrasher
  • ruby throated hummingbird
  • yellow warbler
  • American redstart
  • Eastern kingbird
  • blue-winged teal
  • bald eagle
  • anhinga
  • and many, many more!

    Photo by Ian Davies

Guest Ornithologist Scott Weidensaul

Scott Weidensaul 

Author and researcher Scott Weidensaul has written more than two dozen books, including his widely acclaimed "Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds" which was a finalist for the 2000 Pulitzer Prize. 

His latest book is the "Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean," which was published in 2015. In 2012 he published "The First Frontier: The Forgotten History of Struggle, Savagery and Endurance in Early America" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), which tells the ambitious story of the earliest contacts between Natives and Europeans along the Eastern seaboard - two and half centuries of conflict and coexistence that forever shaped what would become America. 

Other recent titles include "Return to Wild America: A Yearlong Search for the Continent's Natural Soul" (North Point 2005), and "Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding" (Harcourt 2007) which traces 400 years of ornithological history. 

Weidensaul's writing has appeared in dozens of publications, including Audubon (for which he is a contributing editor), Bird Watcher's Digest and National Wildlife, among many others. He lectures widely on conservation and nature, and directs the ornithological programs for National Audubon's famed Hog Island Center on the coast of Maine. 

In addition to writing about wildlife, Weidensaul is an active field researcher whose work focuses on bird migration. He is a co-director of Project Owlnet, a collaborative effort among nearly 125 banding and research stations across North America studying owl migration, and for nearly 20 years he has directed a major effort to study the movements of northern saw-whet owls, one of the smallest and least-understood raptors in North America. 

Weidensaul co-founded Project SNOWstorm, which uses cutting-edge tracking technology to study the winter ecology of snowy owls, and is a founder of the Critical Connections project, which is tracking the migration of birds that breed on National Park lands in Alaska. He is also part of a continental effort to understand the rapid evolution, by several species of western hummingbirds, of a new migratory route and wintering range in the East.


Shark Days

July 9th - 14th, 2019

The fourth annual Shark Days on Little St. Simons Island begins on Tuesday, July 9th for five nights!  

Join special guest experts, Captain Brooks Good, Dr. Eric Reyier, Dr. Bryan Franks and Bonnie Ahr to learn more about, and interact with, these fascinating creatures.

 Shark tagging

Highlights of Shark Days Include: 

  • Presentation by local captain and biologist Brooks Good, focusing on the various sharks species found in nearby waters.
  • Charter fishing excursion where all participants will join Captain Brooks on one of his fishing boats to catch and release sharks in local waters.  Researchers will tag sharks and collect data before releasing the animal.
  • Learn about and observe Dr. Reyier’s research project on Little St. Simons Island, evaluating the potential for the Island’s creeks to be vital pupping ground for newborn lemon sharks.
  • Learn about shark reproduction and life cycle, including exciting topics like oophagy and intrauterine cannibalism!  
  • Surf fishing and shark tagging from Little St. Simons Island’s beach with  staff naturalists and Drs. Reyer and Franks. 

 

FIVE-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $2,825**  (Special Offer:  Save $500 when booked by 4/1/19)

~Arrive July 9th and depart July 14th.

THREE-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $1,635**

~Arrive July 9th and depart July 12th. 

TWO-NIGHT WEEKENDER ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $1,340**

~Arrive July 12th and depart July 14th.

Package rate includes lodging, three meals daily prepared by our chefs, beverages including soft drinks, beer and wine, all Island activities including guided Naturalist excursions and use of recreation gear as well as boat transfers to and from the island.

In addition to the typical inclusions, this special event includes:

  • Two spots on the charter fishing trip 
  • Presentations by special guest experts
  • Scientific data collection and observation with special guests

**All rates are for double occupancy in The Hunting Lodge, River Lodge, Cedar House or Helen House. The Tom House and Michael Cottage rates are higher.  An additional adult in the same room is $200 per night and children under 12 are $100 per night. An 18% service charge plus applicable taxes will be added to the above rates. 

**Charter fishing trip is subject to weather.

Availability is limited, so call 888-733-5774 between 9:00am and 5:00pm ET daily or click "Book Now" at the top of this page for availability and reservations.

Shark Days Guest Experts

Brooks Good

Captain Brooks Good

In addition to having over 25 years’ experience fishing around the Golden Isles, Captain Brooks worked as a state biologist for over a decade.  His scientist-sportsman perspective is both fun and enlightening.  Brooks and his crew at Coastal Outdoor Adventures catch and release thousands of sharks each summer. (Below: Capt. Brooks demonstrating fish size exaggeration technique.)

Dr. Eric Reyier

Dr. Eric Reyier

Eric Reyier works as a fisheries biologist at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center near Cape Canaveral, Florida. Originally from Seattle, he fell in love with sunshine and is now on year seventeen of a planned two year Florida adventure where he has studied everything from tiny larval fishes to adult sharks.

His current research focuses on using acoustic telemetry and other emerging technologies to resolve the habitat preferences, seasonal migrations, and spawning locations of estuarine and coastal fishes in east Florida and throughout the southeastern United States.

Dr. Bryan Franks

Dr. Bryan Franks is the Assistant Professor of Biology and Marine Science in the College of Arts and Sciences at Jacksonville University where he teaches oceanography and collaborates with Ocearch on shark tagging and monitoring.

Dr. Franks studied shark biology while doing doctoral research in Bimini, Bahamas, and later served as managing director of the field station in Bimini overseeing shark research at the station. He later taught at Rollins College and then Florida Southern College.

Among his many awards for shark research are major grants from the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, The National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration, The Henry Foundation, The Pew Foundation and The Institute for Ocean Conservation Science.

 

Bonnie Ahr

Bonnie Ahr

Bonnie Ahr joined NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Ecological Program in 2016 as a fisheries biologist. Prior to moving across the US, she lived in California where her main focus was tracking fish species susceptible to contamination. Her current research focuses on the movement of shark and sportfish species in estuarine and coastal habitats using acoustic telemetry and an unmanned surface vehicle. While she works on a variety of species, her favorites are the sharks and red drum and particularly enjoys investigating long distance migrations, site fidelity, and schooling behaviors.


Turtle Days

August 1st - August 19th, 2019

Loggerhead Sea Turtle

Loggerhead sea turtles were federally listed as a threatened species in 1978 as the result of significant declines in nesting populations.  Federal and state agencies developed and implemented a recovery plan for sea turtles in the early 1980's.

Since then GA DNR Non-Game Conservation Section of the Wildlife Resources Division began a coast-wide monitoring project to determine nesting success on all Georgia beaches and to ensure conservation efforts through education, law enforcement and research.  Now, decades later, the number of nests in Georgia suggest that these long term efforts are proving fruitful.  

Come celebrate the success of sea turtles on Little St. Simons Island.  Turtles begin laying eggs in May, and by July and August, many of these nests will hatch.  In addition to our regular naturalist-led activities such as birding, fishing, hiking and kayaking, we will be offering special sea turtle focused activities and educational opportunities August 1 - August 19, with the anticipation that many of our nests will hatch during this time frame.   

 During this time, you may have the opportunity to:

·        Experience sea turtle monitoring techniques

·        Participate in a post -hatch nest excavation and data collection

·        Learn about sea turtle nesting and conservation efforts to restore populations in evening presentations

There may also be the chance to:

·        View sets of tiny turtle tracks from a nest to the ocean

·        See a hatchling making his way out of a nest to the ocean

Baby sea turtle

What you should know: Wildlife-based events cannot be guaranteed, as they are dependent on location, weather and timing of the hatch.  Staying more nights increases your odds of seeing a hatch and nest excavation.  While we have a two-night minimum, we advise those particularly interested in witnessing a turtle event to book five to seven nights.

Because of conservation initiatives, Little St. Simons Island does not permit motorized vehicles on our beach. Therefore, getting to and from nests will be on foot or bicycle.  This can be a terrific workout!

To make reservations, call 888.733.5774 between 9:00a and 5:00p EST, or click on the "Book Now" tab at the top of the screen.

 


Fall Birding Days

September 27th - October 4th, 2019

Celebrate the fall migration on Little St. Simons Island! Guest ornithologists join our staff naturalists on excursions highlighting the abundance of species that flock here during this special time. 

 

SEVEN-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $4,900**

~Arrive September 27th and depart October 4th.

FOUR-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $2,750**

~Arrive September 30th and depart October 4th. 

THREE-NIGHT WEEKENDER ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $2,300**

~Arrive September 27th and depart September 30th.

 Package rates include lodging, three meals daily prepared by our chefs, beverages including soft drinks, beer and wine, all Island activities including guided Naturalist excursions and use of recreation gear as well as boat transfers to and from the island.

**All rates are for double occupancy in The Hunting Lodge, River Lodge, Cedar House or Helen House. The Tom House and Michael Cottage rates are higher.  An additional adult in the same room is $200 per night and children under 12 are $100 per night. An 18% service charge plus applicable taxes will be added to the above rates. 

Availability is limited, so call 888-733-5774 between 9:00am and 5:00pm ET daily or click "Book Now" at the top of this page for availability and reservations.

Guest Ornithologists:  TBD

Possible Sightings Include:

  • black-crowned night heron
  • reddish egret
  • Caspian tern
  • royal tern
  • long-billed curlew
  • piping plover
  • black-bellied plover
  • glossy ibis
  • marbled godwit
  • black-necked stilt
  • American oystercatcher
  • Northern harrier
  • red knot
  • American bittern
  • marsh wren
  • great black-backed gull
  • nighthawk
  • osprey
  • brown thrasher
  • ruby throated hummingbird
  • yellow warbler
  • American redstart
  • Eastern kingbird
  • blue-winged teal
  • bald eagle
  • anhinga
    and many, many more!


Photo by Ian Davies

Possible Sightings Include

Photo by Pete Oxford

Photo by Pete Oxford

Photo by Tom Johnson

Photo by Tom Johnson

Photo by Brad Winn

Photo by Ian Davies

Photo by Ian Davies

Photo by Tom Johnson

Photo by Tom Johnson


Painting Workshop

November 3rd - 6th, 2019

Join us for a three-night plein air painting workshop on Little St. Simons Island, hosted by local artist Peggy Everett

A highly-respected artist  and instructor, Peggy is known as a great teacher for all skill levels.  Peggy will teach color mixing, composition, value changes, and techniques used in Plein Air to achieve a successful painting.

Peggy tells us, "I have been teaching plein air for 25 years.  The more the student knows about what they are painting along with how to portray it, the better the painting.  Also, I may note that "never ever" painters are the most successful."

Don't miss this opportunity to connect with nature on a pristine barrier island.  Not only will you and your companions have access to the eco lodge's facilities and naturalist-led activities, but you'll also have the opportunity to learn to capture it's beauty to take home with you.  Non-painting spouses and friends are welcome and, rather than paint, will be able to enjoy the island's many naturalist-led activities like kayaking, fishing, birding, beach combing and hiking.  

THREE-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $2,350** (Includes Workshop fee of $400)

~Arrive November 3rd and depart November 6th.

In addition to the workshop fee for one person, this package  includes lodging, three meals daily prepared by our chefs, beverages including soft drinks, beer and wine, all Island activities including guided Naturalist excursions and use of recreation gear as well as boat transfers to and from the island.  An additional participant is $400.

Peggy invites all skill levels, from participants who have never held a paintbrush to those who paint professionally.  Peggy will provide a list of materials for participants to bring. 

 **All rates are for double occupancy in The Hunting Lodge, River Lodge, Cedar House or Helen House. The Tom House and Michael Cottage rates are higher.  An additional adult in the same room is $200 per night and children under 12 are $100 per night. An 18% service charge plus applicable taxes will be added to the above rates. 

Availability is limited, so call 888-733-5774 between 9:00am and 5:00pm ET daily or click "Book Now" at the top of this page for availability and reservations.

Peggy Everett

Peggy Everett

Peggy is a resident of nearby Valona, Georgia, and has spent years capturing coastal landscapes and sharing her knowledge and well-honed techniques with others.  She also cares deeply about these landscapes, as her paintings have raised over $650,000 for wildlife and conservation organizations.

She sold her first painting at age fifteen, and embarked on an artist's life which included time at New York Studio School where she studied under Graham Nickson and Joseph Santore.  She has also been associated with New York Art Students League, Denver Art Students League and Florence Academy of Fine Art in Italy, in additon to being artist-in-residence at Roaring Fork Club, Woods Lake Resort in Colorado and Contentment Bluff in Georgia.  Peggy has learned much by studying under Marc Chatov, Bob Kuhn, Russell Chatham, Scott Christensen, Clyde Asp and others.  She shares this experience in the Plein Air workshops she teaches.


Saltwater Fly Fishing Clinic

December 5th - 8th, 2019

Are you interested in saltwater fly fishing?  Have you ever wanted to tie your own flies?  Whether you're a freshwater fly fisherman looking to test new waters, or a spinning reel fisherman looking to learn a new method, there is no better opportunity than this! 

In addition to the typical inclusions, this special event includes the following for one participant:

·        Fly fishing instruction

·        Fly tying instruction

·        Two days of guided saltwater fly fishing trips

·        If you don't have your own gear, we will supply fly rod, reel and flies at no additional charge. 

THREE-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $1,835**

~ Arrive Thursday December 5th and depart Sunday December 8th.

In addition to participation in the clinic for one person, this package includes lodging, three meals daily prepared by our chefs, beverages including soft drinks, beer and wine, all Island activities including guided Naturalist excursions and use of recreation gear as well as boat transfers to and from the island. 

Both guests in a room may participate in the fly fishing clinic, or just one.  A second participant is an additional $250.  If you do not participate in the fly fishing clinic, you are welcome to join our naturalists on other guided activities such as: birding, kayaking, hiking, beachcombing and truck safaris.  

 **All rates are for double occupancy in The Hunting Lodge, River Lodge, Cedar House or Helen House. The Tom House and Michael Cottage rates are higher.  An additional adult in the same room is $200 per night and children under 12 are $100 per night. An 18% service charge plus applicable taxes will be added to the above rates. 

Space is limited to only 8 participants, so call 888-733-5774 between 9:00am and 5:00pm ET daily or click "Book Now" at the top of this page for availability and reservations.

Guest Guides

Robert Ramsay & Kenny Dodd

Robert Ramsay

For ten years, Robert Ramsay managed to be wherever the fishing was in season by bouncing between three continents. He has guided in Montana, Alaska, Russia and Argentina. Robert is former president of the American Fly Fishing Association, and is the current president of the Georgia Conservancy.

Kenny Dodd

Captain Kenny Dodd is a US Coast Guard-licensed and International Game Fish Association-certified, guide.  He operates Sapelo Light Charters and ties flies out of his McIntosh County home. Kenny specializes in quality flies for trout, redfish, tripletail, flounder, tarpon, bonefish and largemouth bass and sells them to local guides and their customers. His instruction caters to all ages and skill levels. Captain Dodd loves nothing more than turning a fisherman on to saltwater fly fishing.

He attributes his love for fly fishing to his mentor, Captain Larry Kennedy, Jr. His first fly fish outing with Kennedy was 25 years ago on Little St. Simons Island. Kenny believes strongly of being a good steward of our rich marine environment.


Marine Debris Cleanup

December 8th - 11th, 2019 & February 2nd - 5th, 2020

Little St. Simons Island’s many treasures include our seven-mile stretch of undeveloped beach and thousands of acres of marsh. More than just a beautiful landscape, these are prime habitats for a variety of species of wildlife. Although mostly pristine, it is not uncommon to find manmade debris on our island.

Because of the connectedness of the seas, marine debris is a widespread issue facing the world’s oceans and coastal ecosystems.  Last year alone, we removed over two thousand pounds of debris from our beaches and marshes. In cooperation with the Ocean Conservancy and Rivers Alive of Georgia, we have not only been cleaning up our beach, but documenting every piece of marine debris that we remove. This information is submitted to a database of debris collected from beaches around the world. By documenting the debris we collect, we are contributing to a debris profile of our oceans.  In addition to removing potential hazards to wildlife, this data helps us create more effective solutions.

Continuing with this effort, we would like to invite you to participate in a comprehensive sweep of our beaches. With your help, we can cover a greater distance making a more significant impact on the beach.  To show our gratitude for your participation, we’re offering a third night free.  Arrive on Sunday 12/08/19 or 02/02/20 and participate in the cleanup on Monday 12/09/19 or 02/03/20.

Marine debris has been documented affecting at least 267 species worldwide. This includes 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species, and 43% of all marine mammal species.

Entanglement and ingestion of plastic are two of the main dangers that debris poses to wildlife, and unfortunately we have seen examples of both pretty close to home. A couple years ago, a pygmy sperm whale stranded on Jekyll Island, and the necropsy revealed two large pieces of black plastic sheeting in its gut. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center has also admitted several patients suffering wounds from entanglement, and found small pieces of plastic and strands of monofilament in the digestive tracts of their patients. 

Now is a critical time for debris removal. Beginning in the spring, our beach becomes feeding and nesting grounds for several species of birds including red knots, Wilson’s plovers, and American oystercatchers. We’ll also see female sea turtles feeding in the coastal waters and nesting on our beaches. In order to minimize disturbance of wildlife, marine debris cleanup is best preformed during the winter.

We would like anyone interested in learning more about marine debris issues and solutions to take advantage of this special event.  In addition to everything you expect from a stay on Little St. Simons Island, there will be an evening “Trash Talk” presentation, discussions, and a chance to make a difference for wildlife. On the second day of your stay, we will spend a few hours on the beach surveying and removing debris.  While the workload will be light, it will have a great impact.

 As a special thank you for your hard work, participants will receive their third night free. The island is limited to 32 overnight guests, so call today to reserve your room, or click on the "Book Now" button at the top of this page.   Lodge@LittleSSI.com 912.638.7472.