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This park is mainly for birding and photography. The Refuge sits in an active area on the Atlantic Flyway’s flight path, and migratory birds just loooove hanging out there.

I’d looked up the park ages ago and found only a few short trails listed so it was not even on our “to-hike” list as it was too far to drive for a mile hike.

But the park caught my attention again with the influx of a large number of snowy owls – a rare occurrence. We’d never seen a snowy owl in the wild and we'd been trying to find the time to head down there. And now when I looked up the park there were more trails listed, so we wouldn't be driving down just for a quick stroll.

Miles: 5.8 (Songbird loop plus Grassland and the boardwalk part of Leeds Eco trail)

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Comment by TJ Karakowski on January 29, 2014 at 12:14pm

Nice shot of the (I believe) Red Tail. Sadly now that ice fishing season is on, I have to give up the hunt to shoot a Snowy Owl this winter (unless it shows up at Budd Lake) sadly! Shame you forgot your 300!

Comment by njHiking.com on January 29, 2014 at 1:12pm

Thanks. Oh i was kicking myself. We never hike with the 300 because we're already carrying too much photo junk (you know how it is) but this trip had a drive-n-shoot aspect to it suitable to chucking a lens in the car. Which I thought of... but then forgot.

Though everyone else there had those massive lenses that cost a small fortune so I don't know if the 300 would have done it anyway!

--Dawn

Comment by TJ Karakowski on January 30, 2014 at 9:23am

Yeah the difference between a 200 and 300 is probably just 2 steps towards the subject anyway! I'm waiting for a dslr with a 10-500mm 1.8 lens that weights less than a pound and cost less than a car, instead of carrying a 10-22, 24-105 and a 50. And as you'll see in my next blog, I seem to end up using just my iPhone anyway!

Comment by njHiking.com on January 30, 2014 at 3:59pm

we use our iphone a lot too, especially on short winter trips, we only hike with that. It takes some really nice shots w/o having to drag around a big cam and mess with settings etc.

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