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Johnd

Spring Migration location Closings

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looks like im not going to be getting much watching done during Migration this spring.

most of the  parks I frequent are either already closed or will be by mid april.

Houston Audubon has entirely closed their parks   at High Island, Boy scout Woods and the rookery 

https://houstonaudubon.org/about/health-safety-updates.html

 

So far Aransas NWR and Anuhauc NWR are still open but  no visitors centers are open.

 

 

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They have  closed the local parks here in  N Texas too.

not even the trails are open.

 

 

 

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The most popular / easily accessible parts of Congaree NP here are closed.  The 'backcountry' trails are open and a couple of them start at the main parking lot. 😉

All SC state parks are closed.  Regardless of where you are, definitely check before you head out.

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The state  parks, National Parks, county parks  and NWR are all closed.  All the fishing has closed.  Washington is kind of scary right now.  

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2 hours ago, Seattle said:

The state  parks, National Parks, county parks  and NWR are all closed.  All the fishing has closed.  Washington is kind of scary right now.  

dang , im officialy on furlough from my job till 4-30.

i was so hoping at least  trails would be open , but they closed them here after bigger then normal crowds were showing up at all the parks.

So far the NWRs on the coast are still not completely  shut to the public

 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Johnd said:

i was so hoping at least  trails would be open , but they closed them here after bigger then normal crowds were showing up at all the parks.

So far the NWRs on the coast are still not completely  shut to the public

You gotta get out of that 'parks and refuges' mindset!

  • https://www.everythingbirds.com/articles/weird-places-to-go-birding/  One of my favorite hot spots is an underdeveloped industrial park that's on my route home.  Fishing docks are good, esp. ones where the commercial fishermen tie up.  Most of my Prothonotary Warbler sightings were at Darlington Raceway on race weekends; there's a swamp that cuts through the middle of the property.  There's a block of soccer fields that are unused during the week, adjacent to where I have the car's oil changed.
  • While the parks and NWRs are / may become closed, are the public beaches still open?  The birds don't know where the park boundaries end.
  • I've only visited Houston twice but I had luck just standing on suburban sidewalk bridges that overlooked bayous.  (Incidentally, when my sister moved from SC, she bought a home that the realtor said 'overlooked the bayou'.  Sis looked over the back fence and said, "So that's a bayou. In South Carolina, we call that a 'drainage ditch'.")
  • Speaking of drainage ditches, consider runoff retention ponds.  The bigger the better, but I've had herons, egrets, blackbirds, sparrows, and sandpipers on ones as small as a quarter-acre.  Look for ones with a good growth of cattails and similar marshy plants.
  • Use eBird's hot spot tool and look for other unusual locations.  Filter for this month only.  You'll have to do a lot of clicking on the markers to separate the closed parks, etc. from the less likely but possibly still open sites, but that will help fill some of the idle time.  A couple of the best hotspots in my area are stretches of public road over looking private property.  You drive along the road and stop every few hundred feet at gaps in the brush, pond or field overlooks, likely clumps of trees, utility line rights-of-way, etc.

Good luck, both with the birding and with getting through April.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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Posted (edited)

I haven't looks to see if the beaches are closed , but i suspect they are ( california closed thiers),the texas coastal beaches were crowded when even when  people had other stuff to do.

Im sure there are still a lot of areas were they cant completely close off access. Anahuc NWR is in the middle of nowhere but is surrounded  by  some marshy areas/ship channels along the roads around it. Im sure ill find some places to go there.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Johnd
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On 3/29/2020 at 6:08 PM, Seattle said:

The state  parks, National Parks, county parks  and NWR are all closed.  All the fishing has closed.  Washington is kind of scary right now.  

They've also closed the nearly 1.4 million acre National Forest 😠  As if that's not enough room for the entire state population to socially distance in! About the only thing open around us is our little green space trail that is now so overrun with people trying to find somewhere to go that you can't even hardly walk anymore.

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Posted (edited)

SC opened the beaches this week, with state parks scheduled for next weekend.  A little early, in my opinion.  Still, I'm impressed with how most Carolinians are complying.  'Drive Time' traffic is around 20% of normal volume.  Before someone asks how I know, I work for an company that supports freight rail and mass transit systems so we've been declared essential.

Edited by Charlie Spencer

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Jersey has basically shutdown most everything, the wildlife refuge in brigantine is open for wildlife drive and  trails but it’s so crowded you can’t go three feet without running into someone, kinda defeats the purpose. The wildlife management areas are open but again, so crowded you can’t hide anyplace.no state local or county parks are open, I’m afraid there will be no migration watching for most of us...

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Posted (edited)

I hit Phinizy Swamp in Augusta GA yesterday.  1,100 acres, I covered 3.5 miles in 4 hours, and I estimate I saw under 100 people.  That doesn't sound like many but in nine trips over three years, that the most people I recall ever seeing there.  HamRHead says he saw several checklists.  Obviously it was no problem maintaining distancing, even when working with one or two other birders.  About half the people had cameras or binos or both, the  rest were just getting out on a perfect day. 

33 species, and I know at least two of my directional decisions cost me three species reported by people coming down other trails.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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Posted (edited)

I did get to a few spots a right after Easter. Sebine forrest was the best spot.

http://www.texasbirds.org/locationDetail.php?locationId=20

 

 

Even with the state opening  parks back up some of them are remaining closed till 5-15-20 anyways.

I think they know the crowds will be big and probbaly dont have enough staff to enforce the distancing rules.

 

 

Edited by Johnd

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13 minutes ago, Johnd said:

I think they know the crowds will be big and probably don't have enough staff to enforce the distancing rules.

I briefly entertained the notion of hitting one of SC's coastal parks next weekend.  I realized everybody and his medically-masked grandmother will be there, and came to my senses.

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On 4/26/2020 at 2:17 PM, Charlie Spencer said:

I hit Phinizy Swamp in Augusta GA yesterday.  1,100 acres, I covered 3.5 miles in 4 hours, and I estimate I saw under 100 people.  That doesn't sound like many but in nine trips over three years, that the most people I recall ever seeing there.  HamRHead says he saw several checklists.  Obviously it was no problem maintaining distancing, even when working with one or two other birders.  About half the people had cameras or binos or both, the  rest were just getting out on a perfect day. 

33 species, and I know at least two of my directional decisions cost me three species reported by people coming down other trails.

I was at Phinizy on Saturday, too! I just wish they weren't closing it so early each day. To me, the rationale on that is a little. . .off. I had a good day there. So many Bobolinks!

The main thing the closures has me bummed about is Kennesaw Mountain being closed. I went for the first time last April, and the birding was phenomenal for spring migration.

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6 hours ago, meghann said:

I was at Phinizy on Saturday, too! I just wish they weren't closing it so early each day. To me, the rationale on that is a little. . .off. I had a good day there. So many Bobolinks!

The main thing the closures has me bummed about is Kennesaw Mountain being closed. I went for the first time last April, and the birding was phenomenal for spring migration.

The Bobolinks were one of the species I missed because I decide to go left instead of right.  As to closing early, I'm usually there when the gates open and gone by noon.

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