Sunday in the Saginaw Basin

12 Sep

It was another good day, although it began cold and rainy.  It was 8 C (46 F) when I got on the tour bus this morning.  Our destination was the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge.  This is an area with nearly 10,000 acres of marsh, bottomland hardwood forests and grassland.  We slowly made our way along the 7 mile auto route “Wildlife Drive”.  We stopped repeatedly to disembark and examine the surroundings.  There were numerous Bald Eagles in the area.  There were shorebirds in the wet areas.  We noted Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpipers, Black-bellied Plovers, Stilt Sandpipers and a lone American Avocet.  We saw only one Northern Harrier and just one Red-tailed Hawk.  We got a little wet from time to time as the light rain would start, stop, start and stop again.  Oh well.  Good weather for ducks.  And the Ducks were everywhere.  Puddle ducks.  At one stop, I counted 20+ Wood Ducks in a flooded, wooded area.

I went to a talk by Alvaro Jaramillo from 3:30 to 4:30.  He spoke on bird identification.

After a great dinner, Dr. Doug Tallamy presented the key-note address on the relationship between birds, insects and plants.  It was very interesting.

Heading home tomorrow

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