Saturday, July 31, 2021

Montezuma NWR - New York

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge is 15.6 square miles of mostly swamp located five miles east of Seneca Falls at the northern end of Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York. It is one of the best examples of swamp woodlands in New England. It is along the Atlantic Flyway and provides crucial habitat for migratory waterfowl.  
Montezuma NWR map from the official website. 
We were staying in Horseheads, 17 miles south of Watkins Glen, which is at the south end of Seneca Lake. I got up early on a Wednesday morning in late July and left about 4:15 a.m. for a 64 mile drive north to Montezuma, a drive which took me along the eastern ridge above Seneca Lake and through Fayette and Seneca Falls. I arrived a little before sunrise and drove the 3.5 mile Wildlife Drive. I also drove to and stopped briefly at the South Spring Pool Trail and Esker Brook Trails and climbed a large tower to look out over Tschache Pool. The mosquitos were as heavy as I've ever seen before and I did not have any Deet with me. The couple of times I got out of the car I was covered with them, so avoided any prolonged time outside of the car. Toward the end, time was getting short as I needed to be back to Horseheads by 9:00 a.m. But I realized I wanted to get a photo of a swamp rose, a beautiful flower I'd never seen before. So I went back and drove the Auto Tour road again, but that time much faster. I noticed that the lighting was much better for photography and there were more birds the second-go-round, but I did not have time to stop, other than briefly for the swamp roses. 

A walkway near Shorebird Flats just off Hwy 90. 

An eagle statute near the Shorebird Flats walkway. 

A blind I visited early and got eaten alive by mosquitos. 

A beautiful area near North Spring Pool. 

A view east from Hwy 89. The area covered in mist. 

Near Shorebird Flats. 

Canada goose

Female mallards. 

Great blue heron. 

Swamp rose mallow

Female red-winged blackbirds.

Lincoln sparrow

It is a gorgeous refuge and I would love to visit when I had more time.  

1 comment:

  1. These pictures almost make me wish I'd given up three hours of sleep to go with you. ALMOST.