I speak for everyone when I say ‘it’s great to be back!’ We are working hard at getting back on schedule. The birds are here in full force, the waterfowl hunting season has opened, birders and photograhpers are here as well. Water levels are being checked and adjustments made. The L-line construction project will start up again. And at the Wildlife Education Center we are the getting back to business as usual.
It was an interesting 16 days during the Government Shutdown. Everyone but our Project Leader Bob and LEO Greg were sent home. Lucky for us Zone Officer Lisa was able to stay on the job as well. Together they spent countless hours at the Refuge gates upholding the shutdown status.
During the closure the waterfowl migrated into the Refuge in large numbers. It was a ‘duck-nado’ said one officer. The arrival of waterfowl signaled the departure of other birds. Shorebirds, egrets, and pelicans are all moving to warmer climates. The swallows are gone, but the American pipits are arriving and whether we are open or closed, the seasons march on.
In the past week since we re-opened, visitor's are reporting Rough-legged hawks, Tundra Swans by the hundreds, and the diving ducks are starting to arrive as well. Plus, double-crested cormorants and great blue herons are gathering in flocks. Its a good time of year to see the Mule deer that frequent the Refuge as well. Come on out and see the Refuge for yourself.