Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ottawa NWR this Saturday

This Saturday (June 21) the auto tour at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge will be open, and as always, if you're in the area it's worth taking advantage of this chance to traverse the back sections of the refuge. A few of us made a nighttime visit to the refuge on June 14, and heard surprising numbers of Common Moorhens calling in the marsh, as well as a scattering of Virginia Rails. A Least Bittern was calling actively near the start of the auto tour (or about halfway between that road and the observation tower on the dike to the north) on both the 14th and the 18th. According to biologists who have been back in the interior of the refuge recently, Yellow-headed Blackbirds are again present near the northwest end of the auto tour. Our BSBO birding map of the refuge is not finished yet; we hope to have it available before the July date of the auto tour, and that will make it easier to communicate about specific locations there. But regardless, Ottawa NWR is a wonderful area of marshes, woods, fields, and water, and it's always worthwhile to visit.

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