Denise and David Hamilton
We made our annual trip to Sacramento NWR (off I-5, near Willows) to get our 'goose-fix' for the year and were not disappointed. We also drive the backroads to look for flooded fields. Nothing out of the ordinary, but still a great way to start off the new year.
Sacramento NWR - Thousands of Snow & Ross's (flock after flock arrived at the refuge around 10:30 am) and Greater White-fronted Geese; multiple sightings all day of BALD EAGLES, ad and im.; at least 4 PEREGRINE FALCONS during the day; 100's of RING-NECKED DUCKS; spooked up a male BLUE-WINGED TEAL at the pond right at the edge of the tour route next to the observation deck.
After the refuge we drove down ROAD 60, (north of the refuge) to ROAD Z. Along the way there were some flooded fields with shorebirds. Driving north on Z to SEVEN MILE LANE - several flooded fields next to large elevators, were (as always in years past) full of TUNDRA SWANS. We continued on to the Sacramento River NWR Llano Seco Unit. Many ducks including at least 6 male EURASIAN WIGEON.
We then drove various roads to get us over to COLUSA NWR. Highligts: Small flocks of SANDHILL CRANES here and there, and one field with WHITE-FACED IBIS. Also saw a PRAIRIE FALCON.
Arrived at Colusa NWR around 4:30 pm and went to the viewing platform. Up-close views of ducks and geese, and amazing lighting for photos! It was getting dark, but we drove the tour route to just where it splits to go one-way, and turned left (the wrong direction) to the area along a channel (500' or so) where we've seen BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS before roosting along the edge. Were not disappointed. we counted at least 140!
Finished the day with dinner in Williams at Granzella's before heading back home to Napa.
Denise & David Hamilton