Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, southeast of Great Bend, was the setting for a Southwind day outing on Saturday, November 22. The trip was led by Ellie Skokan. Participants were Dave & Mary Kirkbride, Tom & Grace Kneil, Allison Lemmons, Jay Moreland, Don Skokan, Judy Streeter and Vernie Wollard. For most of the group, this was their first visit to the Refuge
The refuge features salt marshes surrounded by sandhills, grasslands and grain fields. The area attracts migrating birds, particularly waterfowl, during the spring and fall. Whooping Cranes were not at the refuge on this particular weekend; however, as many as fifteen visited the area earlier in November. We did see the beautiful Tundra Swans which have been very dependable visitors the past few years. Other birds seen at the refuge were Bald Eagles; an American White Pelican; Snow, White front and Canada Geese; Sandhill Cranes; and numerous ducks and hawks.
Most of the time was spent driving the Wildlife Drive along the Big Salt Marsh, making numerous stops to observe and listen to the birds. Before leaving the area, we visited the Migrant’s Mile Nature Trail and went for a short hike and took some pictures. We found that humans made a much easier photographic subject than the smaller and more distant birds.
We had car pooled from the Great PlainsNatureCenter, Wichita, and one of our treats was a stop on our return at the Carriage Crossing Restaurant, in Yoder, for a late lunch and a short visit across the street for shopping at Yoder Meats and Kansas Station for local products.
By Don Skokan