Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Trip to Magee Marsh Wildlife Area

I was going to head down to the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge yesterday but the driving trail was closed and it wont reopen until March 18th.  Apparently the driving trail is only open one weekend per month.  Then I remembered that there was an Ohio Wildlife Refuge a little further east on Ohio Route Two.
 Magee Marsh Wildlife area is right on the shores of Lake Erie and it looks very similar to the Ottawa Marsh Area.  Well except for this part because it's the Lake Erie shore.
 Looking to the east.  It was a pretty nice looking day yesterday but cold.
 You can even see a little bit of ice on the branches.  It was also pretty windy yesterday.
 In fact, I think it's normally pretty windy on Lake Erie and it made some interesting patterns on the sands.
 I was looking at a map of the bird migration patterns and Ohio is on the way large portions of two of the main migration patterns.  Pretty large branches of the Mississipi River and Atlantic paths fly over Ohio.  During the 1960s, a small flock of geese was released at Magee as part of the Canada Goose Re-introduction program.  Between 9,000 to 11,000 goslings are born in this area making Ohio's program one of the more successful.
Since the marshes are a good stopping point before crossing Lake Erie and Lake Huron as the birds continue into Canada, you can see several species of different birds here.  This particular bird is a Northern Shoveler.
 It didn't take to long before it took to flight.  I think it has a pretty neat pattern.
 But what I didn't realize, there were a couple of eagle nests here.  you can see her peaking out every so often.  I think we got there too late to see too much activity.
 In the 1800s, the Lake Marshes gained some degree of fame because of the amount of wildfowl that flew over.  As a result, several hunting clubs sprung up.  By 1951, over 30,000 acres of marshland was in private hands.  The Magee Marsh Wildlife area was bought by the State of Ohio in August of 1951.
 One of the immature eagles flying over.
 The proud father keeping watch over his nest.
 Almost directly to the east is the Besse-Davis nuclear plant.
 The marsh is also home to a bunch of trumpeter swans.
 I think there were 100's of them.
 I managed to get a robin picture.
A pair of swans flying away.

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