After three and a half months, it has finally cooled down enough to go birding at the refuge again!
We've been escaping up to Lassen where that cool mountain air helps us forget how excruciatingly hot it is here in the valley. I know, I know, you probably think I'm exaggerating when I complain about the heat, but in fact, our city actually broke a record this summer by having 72 days where the temperature surpassed 100 degrees. 72 days!? Phew! Now, that's HOT!
Anywho, now that we're having some days in the 90's (must be time to break out the sweaters and hot cocoa!), we were so excited to return to our old stomping grounds, the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. There wasn't much water, but that'll change in the next few weeks as the refuge prepares for the influx of migrating birds.
Okay, here we go on the auto tour...
I finally remembered to take a picture of the sign!
No matter how many Great Egrets I see, their beauty always amazes me.
They have an interesting mixture of elegance and fierceness...
...and I love how easy they are to spot out in the wild!
Most of the grass at the refuge is dead and crispy, but once it rains once or twice that'll all change.
Greater White-fronted Goose
I love to go birding on cloudy days! All those clouds make for a gorgeous backdrop...
Tomorrow I'll be posting lots more photos from our drive through the auto tour!
About halfway around Manzanita Lake, we came to a spot where the birding activity was in full swing. Finally, we were able to get some photos of Brown Creepers!
They are extremely acrobatic and seem to spend most of their time upside down on the tree branches.
They are so camouflaged (and much smaller than I'd originally thought) that it's a wonder that we were able to get any pictures at all!
Such a pretty view from the trail around the lake...
A half moon among the pine trees...
Some tourists we saw on the trail were super excited by the many squirrels and chipmunks, but we couldn't take our eyes off the Creepers! They didn't speak English (the tourists, not the Creepers!), but luckily smiling and nodding is a universal language :)
Tomorrow's post: What is blue and black and has a triangular crest?