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Bring on the birds: Wildlife Drive reopened at Forsythe

Officials will celebrate with bird walks and a ceremony on Saturday.

Probably the best bird-viewing drive in the region is back in operation.

Earlier today, officials at the E. B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Galloway, N.J., announced that they're celebrating the re-opening of the eight-mile drive around several impoundments this Saturday.

The drive, which is atop dikes, giving folks a great view of the birds, was heavily damaged in Superstorm Sandy. The dikes were breached. Refuse washed in.

The Federal Highway Administration funded $1.4 million in repairs through the Emergency Relief to Federally Owned Roads program. Texas-based Sabre Holdings, a global travel technology company, added $10,000 more for repairs, via a gift to The Conservation Fund.

The drive opened April 20, just in time for the arrival of many spring migrants. The $4 vehicle admission fee is a bargain.

Common species this time of year include great egret, snowy egret, mute swan, green-winged teal, blue-winged teal, northern pintail, northern shoveler, gadwall, bufflehead, hooded merganser, black-bellied plover, willet, sanderling, short-billed dowitcher, and many, many more.

Saturday's events start with an 8 a.m. bird walk and a 9 a.m. ceremony. More bird walks will be held at 10 and 11. There will be children's activities.

Keep up to date on refuge happenings at . The refuge website is .