About 15 miles from out campground is Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. It is a large expanse of wetlands (according to the sign about 30,000 acres); just the kind of place the migratory birds like. It is right on the Atlantic Flyway of birds migrating between South America, the Canadian Maritimes and the Arctic Ocean. Like most well managed refuges, there are a few fields planted in whatever birds like to eat. There are two fairly large, relatively shallow pools (about 1,000 acres each) with a lot of open water as well as vegetation around the perimeter. Another area was more swamp-like but without the Spanish moss so typical in the southern coastal swamps of Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. There was another area which was mostly dry when we visited with small pools of water from a recent rain. I can imagine this area being completely wet in March from melting snow and spring rains. Near the northern edge of the refuge, ran a connector barge canal from the Erie Canal.
|Red-winged black bird|
As is our luck with places like this, there are no flocks of migratory birds here right now. This is going to sound like the story of Creamer Wildlife Sanctuary in Fairbanks when we missed the swans by just 2 weeks. I chased all over Alaska looking for those swans. Finally caught up with them 2 years later in Yellowstone in February. Who would have thought. Anyway, spring brings some 100,000 snow geese which were here a few weeks before we arrived. The Osprey are nesting right now, so the trail to see them was closed. They do have a few nesting eagles; perhaps we’ll see one before we leave. There are several Canada geese here now roaming the streets, but 150,000 should show up in the fall.
|Grasses on the perimeter of the main pool|
|We're thinking this might be a beaver.|