Local birders are witnessing how Mentor Marsh is being made new again thanks to ongoing restoration efforts. Blackbrook Audubon invites everyone to a newly created, emerging wetland at the western end of Lake Erie during a special field trip to Howard Marsh Sunday, August 18th. Meet at Lakeland Community College’s front parking lot along Rt. 306 at 7:00 a.m. to carpool or head straight for Howard Marsh, 611 S. Howard Road in Curtice, 43412 for the walk at 9:30 a.m.
Shorebirds like Black-necked Stilt and sandpipers as well as Caspian Terns and Yellow-headed Blackbirds will be on the must-see list during Blackbrook’s inaugural visit to this new coastal wetland. Birders will scan the marsh from the quarter-mile boardwalk, two overlooks and dike-top trails. The park has flush restrooms. Blackbrook will record the day’s bird list on eBird.org. Bring binoculars and a spotting scope if available.
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge will be open that day for auto tours. Participants will have the option of seeing what they can find from the comfort of their vehicle along the 7-mile, one-way route. Everyone should bring a sack lunch and beverage since restaurants are not nearby.
Metroparks Toledo acquired Howard Farms in 2008 and is transforming 750 acres next to Lake Erie back into wetlands with the help of several partners and grants. Another 250 acres will be restored in phase two. Howard Marsh opened in April 2018 and is next to Metzger Marsh Wildlife Area. These areas are part of what was the Great Black Swamp, which was drained by 1900.
For more information, email [email protected] or look for updates on Blackbrook Audubon Society’s Facebook page. Blackbrook Audubon is the local chapter of National Audubon Society covering Ashtabula, Geauga and Lake counties.
Pictured In Cover Photo: Black-necked Stilt
Photo Credit: Debbi Schuster