Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge

This past weekend, my husband and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary by visiting the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Shiawassee/visit/plan_your_visit.html

More specifically, we took their Wildlife Drive. It’s well worth the time if you happen to be in the Saginaw area. If you’d like to make a day of it, you could easily combine a trip to the Wildlife Refuge with a stop at Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland: https://www.bronners.com/ , the Birch Run Outlets: https://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlet/birch-run/about, Frankenmuth: https://www.frankenmuth.org/, or all of the above.

We arrived at the refuge early on a misty, foggy morning. The glass half empty view of it was the damp chill.

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But the glass half full view of it was the assortment of delicate spiderwebs brought to life by the clinging dew.

 

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This one reminded me of one of those Native American Dream Catchers.

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When I was finally able to pull myself away from the spiderwebs, we were treated to a really spectacular array of wild birds. With the help of my Merlin bird ID app, I’m guessing my first shots here are of a Pied-billed Grebe.

Whatever he is, I watched him struggle for about ten minutes with a fish nearly the size of his own head. I wish I’d been able to get a better shot, but my zoom wasn’t up to the challenge.

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Some of the birds were so large and flying so low, I was reminded of the pterodactyl scenes from Jurassic Park.

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This beauty was the supermodel of the day. She waited patiently while three carloads full of bird loving paparazzi took aim, my husband and I included.

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We spotted several Great Blue Herons on the drive. This one was fishing not far from where we were parked.

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Even in areas without birds, the refuge itself is just plain picture worthy.

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If you do decide to make the trip, I have two important tips to remember.

1.) Don’t forget the bug spray. No, seriously, don’t forget the bug spray!

2,) Watch out for wildlife on the road.

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If you’d like to see more from our trip, I’ve posted additional shots on the My Photography tab of this site.

 

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