Friday, June 19, 2015

Day With Drew

In an earlier post we told you about running into Drew Williams working here...he invited us back for a refuge tour. That tour took place soon after, and I am just now reviewing the pictures and making our story about it.

The first stop was at Chase Lake and it covers over 2000 acres. It is highly alkaline meaning there no freshwater fish or invertebrates living in the water.

All that white color we see...all American White Pelicans.

We get our scope out...that is Drew trying to find a chick for me. Below is as close a look as we could get. 

Chase Lake is an important nesting area for American White Pelicans since the early 1800's. By the time over hunting them ceased, there were only 50 birds left. That is when the refuge was established in 1908. The population now fluctuates between 4,000 and 35,000 breeding birds. Drew is concerned this island won't be here much longer because of water levels, but feels something will all work out for the birds.

Being that there is no food in the lake for the pelicans, they must travel up to 100 miles for food.

Pelicans are not the only birds they manage for.

While traveling around the refuge, we spot this Upland Sandpiper. It was quite comical watching it try to perch on this pointed post.

Then this Wilson's Snipe gave us a good look.

This is the first one we have seen in North Dakota so we ticked him off. ha!!! The only duck we had not seen was the wigeon and Drew was determined to get us one on "his" refuge.  And he did!!! 

Oh, and a pheasant made his appearance, and added some color.               
We saw much more, but the highlight for us was the tipi rings.

I am standing in the center of a tipi ring where native American Indians once stood.

The rocks held the tipi's down. There is an adjoining one to my right with many more in this area. They are on a little hill with a good view of things around. One can see why this was a good spot for them.

Drew even hopped over a barbed wire fence to check out a flower I had spotted.

We had a wonderful time touring the refuge, and spending time with a great guy learning so much from him. We have made plans to get together here at Sullys Hill around the 5th of July. He has never been here so it will be our turn to show him around.

This caught my eye...on the mailboxes in this little town, sculptures depicting the agriculture of the area.

On our way back to our refuge, this is a sign we saw.

We did not even cross over a hill!!!

Until next time...


  1. The tipi rings are definitely the highlight of the day. How cool.

  2. I!d like that tipi rock place too.... Never seen one.

  3. Great pictures. Haven't seen american pelicans here, but we have a nesting trumpeter swan with 4 new signets.

  4. As the Continental Divide goes, that sopt is pretty darned low!!

    I recall a signed "pass" in the Everglades that had an elevation of +14'. But I think that one was a joke...

  5. Say Hello to Drew from Eric and Kathy! we really enjoyed working for him in Santa Ana! He taught us soooo much!