Monday, September 19, 2011

2011-09-16 & 17 Ottawa NWR (Ohio)

2011-09-16/17 Friday & Saturday -  Ottawa NWR (Ohio)

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We left the Michigan Hawkwatch on Friday to head off to Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (northwest Ohio) to be able to drive the auto tour. Based on a blog posting by Kenn Kaufman, we knew that Ottawa NWR was probably going to open a special part of the drive in conjunction with the Midwest Birding Symposium. They did - and it was great! Many (most?) people had not read Kenn’s posting, or neglected to pick up the orange sheet at the beginning of the drive (!), and did not know they were allowed on the special part of the drive around pool MS5 that had been especially pumped to create shorebird habitat. Judy and I mostly felt we had it to ourselves. A ranger at Ottawa said it should be best tomorrow (Sunday) based on weather conditions, but we really enjoyed what we saw. Snowy Egret was up close and personal (great pics!); a Long-billed Dowitcher (LBDO) was probably the best shorebird for us, but many Yellowlegs and tons of Killdeer were reflected in the still water and made great pics! And, of course, Great Egrets were literally everywhere. Throw in a Bald Eagle and what a great weekend! (Pics later…) Thanks SO MUCH Ottawa NWR for opening this special place to us!!! It was a life time memory, yet we will do it again! And thanks Kenn for inspiration!

Kenn’s post:

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