Friday, May 11, 2007

Ottawa NWR this weekend

This is just a note about Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, the main unit of which lies immediately to the west of the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area / Crane Creek State Park complex in n.w. Ohio. The whole staff at Ottawa has been insanely busy recently, preparing for the grand opening of their new visitors' center this weekend. I don't know if anyone there will find time to post something official to the listserve, but I wanted to "unofficially" mention that the auto tour route at Ottawa NWR is supposed to be open this weekend, from 8 to 5 on Saturday and from 9 to 4 on Sunday. (This info is from the Ottawa NWR Association, a membership group that helps support the refuge; Kim and I are members, of course.)

As for birding at Ottawa, remember that it's not just about water birds. The woods near the beginning of the auto tour can be excellent for migrant songbirds -- birds are not as concentrated there as they are on the immediate lake shore but they may stay longer. In between "waves" of arriving migrants, I've sometimes had more birds there than at the Magee boardwalk. This week, on the walking trails through those woods at Ottawa, I've seen a wide variety of warblers, including Kentucky, Hooded, and Orange-crowned, plus all the brown thrushes and many other migrants.

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