This week’s rain created sheet water in low places across central Kansas, a critical element as ducks, geese, and cranes migrate south. Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, normally home to nearly a million waterfowl in early November and one of the nation’s best wildlife viewing spots at this time of year, is at desperately low levels with a dry feeder source. But the rain added water to the Little Salt Marsh on the south end and provided a few shallow pools on the north end.
So right now, as geese steadily build in the area, Quivira is still a good place for a day trip. White-fronted and Canada geese, sandhill cranes, and snow geese are present in large numbers near the refuge headquarters. This is also adjacent to the large observation tower, which makes a great place to see and hear waterfowl in all its glory. The tower is handicapped-accessible and has a spotting scope, though a pair of binoculars is a good idea. If you catch a warm day, I’d take some snacks and plan on staying for several hours to experience the wonder of migration.
Quivira is also a great place to observe rutting white-tailed deer. Right now, bucks are visible along roadways as they seek out does in mating season.