Birding India: Okhla Bird Sanctuary

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India is a fascinating country, diverse, multicultural, and intense. It assaults your senses. From the flavorful, spicy food to the bright colors, honking cars and trucks (it’s considered polite to let others know you’re there), and constant motion of both pedestrians and traffic, it’s easy to overload. I love India, but it wears me out!

We landed in Delhi after an uneventful flight from Bangkok, collected our baggage, and piled into a taxi for the ride to the hotel. Because we were there primarily for my husband to attend some meetings, any birding I managed to fit in would have to be local. Would I find any birds in a city of 25 million? Continue reading

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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Birding Ramah SWA

RamahSWA-CO_LAH_7988I wanted to squeeze in at least one more field trip before the first snows, so I joined up with other members of our local Audubon chapter and headed out to Ramah State Wildlife Area. Located in Colorado’s eastern El Paso County, Ramah is surrounded by miles of shortgrass prairie. The views include cows, rolling hills, and Excel Energy’s new windmill farm. There’s a shallow valley that has been dammed to trap rain runoff in wet years.

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Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

Visitor Center_BearLakeMigratoryBirdRefuge-UT_LAH_3884Want some great birding in northern Utah? I recently discovered a real gem—the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. It’s located on the northeast corner of the Great Salt Lake, just northwest of Ogden off I-15/I-84. The day I visited—midweek in early April—I almost had the place to myself. It was just me and plenty of birds! (Don’t confuse this place with Bear Lake NWR, in Idaho, which is also well worth a visit.) Continue reading

Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR

Saturday was such a gorgeous day in Colorado, my husband and I headed for the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, just northeast of Denver. There’s something inherently satisfying about taking a place that was once a chemical warfare factory and turning it into a shortgrass prairie abounding in wildlife.

Or at least it was supposed to abound. We’ve been there before, in late spring, when the numerous scrubby areas were full of birds. This visit was quite different.

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