Birding the Sacramento Valley

SacramentoNWR-CA_LAH_2056Ducks a few feet from my lens. Snow Geese, Canada (and Cackling?) Geese, Greater White-fronted Geese, all hanging out together. Beautiful weather. No crowds. And best of all, a new bird for my life list! The day I recently spent at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge complex was about as perfect as a bird photographer’s day can be.

The refuge complex has many locations along the Sacramento River and in the surrounding valley. I had time for two stops, at Colusa NWR and Sacramento NWR. (It took me a while to figure out that Sacramento NWR is part of the Sacramento NWR complex. Talk about confusing!)

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California Sunshine

I’ve been on a road trip the past week, driving from our snow-covered yard in Colorado west to a land of broad-leafed evergreens and warm sunshine. Wyoming was cold and windy, as expected. The I-80 corridor is desolate at any season. The slopes around Alta were crowded with skiers, Salt Lake City was smogged in, and Lake Bonneville had an inch of water in it, much to my surprise. Next morning, as I crossed Nevada, I encountered fog in the intermountain lowlands that had left hoar frost on every surface of the ubiquitous sagebrush. It was a desert fairyland. I wanted to grab some photos but there are few places to stop on the interstate, and besides, the car thermometer hovered at 3 degrees!

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