Our Aviation Site

Photographic Resources

Site Information

Free e-book Download

| Shiawassee National Refuge
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-18728,single-format-standard,nouveau-core-1.0.6,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.9.0,vc_responsive

Shiawassee National Refuge

Shiawassee National Refuge

The 10,000 acre Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1953 for use as an inviolate sanctuary and for any other management purposes of migratory birds. The refuge also serves as an ideal destination for recreation. As a designated Important Bird Area, it is a place of global significance for migratory waterfowl. This is not far from the home I grew up in, about 20 minutes, and ironically enough, I never visited in my youth. Older and hopefully a bit more wiser, now was the time during a visit with my parents. The refuge has trails and a wildlife drive through the entire property that is about 8 minles with a numer of pull offs if you wish to exit your car. Overall the rangers frown on leaving the vehicle as the sanctuary is prime habitat. During my trip there, my elderly mother wanted to go so we just did the wildlife drive using the car as the blind.

Right off the bat, we could see that wading birds as well as a number of mammals liked to call this place home. Great white egrets, blue herons and common gallinules were extremely abundant. Egrets and herons were not only in the trees roosting, but doing there typical shoreline walks along the watershed. Using the Nikon Z8 with t e400/4.5 S with 1.4 TC, I had the reach that I needed to get some great shots. My goasl for this beautiful partly sunny day was to add species to my files that I did not have, or to better shots of species that I already had but knew I could improve on.

One of those was the belted kingfisher. What a cool bird and watching it perch and dive for fish was very entertaining. Making itself very streamline like a missle, this little guy never failed to come up with a fish. One tricky scenario with using the car as a blind is that you are limited to your position when photographing. Not the worst scenario but next visit I will edefinitely be using the trails and can hopefully improve upon what I was not satisfied with. More than 280 species of migratory birds and more than 100 songbirds have been observed on the refuge. The refuge supports numerous species of colonial nesting waterbirds such as ring-billed and herring gulls, great blue herons and great egrets. The refuge is home to several pairs of nesting eagles. In the spring and summer visitors may see eastern fox snakes (non-venomous) or white-trailed deer while on the trails. Muskrats are active throughout the year, swimming along drainage and the wetlands. Visitors might observe American white pelicans resting during the summer in Maankiki Marsh. Definitely a little gem close to home and I will be going back.