Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Adventures in Birding

We went to the wildlife refuge a few weeks ago and I haven’t had time to upload this post to my blog until now—which is actually a good thing because it means I’ve been busy writing!

Well, here are the details along with some photos from our trip…

There is something about the refuge that makes my soul extra happy. Every time I step out onto the trail I can feel a weight being lifted from my shoulders. As you walk down the path, tall reeds brush your arms, marsh grass tickles your ankles, and colorful dragonflies dart around your feet.

Every time we go, we see something different. One time we were fortunate to spot a bunch of river otters sunning themselves on the access road and once we even saw an American Avocet using its curved bill to search for insects. It’s all about timing because a bird can take one step and be camouflaged by the reeds never to be seen again.

This time, we were delighted to see some elegant Northern Pintails, a beautiful White-faced Ibis hidden among a flock of Greater White-fronted Geese, and a Northern Harrier scanning for prey on the top branch of a tree.

Mere hours after we left to head back home, a prescribed burn escaped a control line and burned 400 acres of the refuge and even part of the entrance sign. I can’t tell you how glad I was that we missed it. Seeing my sanctuary up in flames would have been quite unnerving to say the least.

A week later we returned to see the damage and it was even worse than I had imagined. The smell of burnt grass was overpowering and blackness snaked its way into part of the auto tour.

But it didn’t break the spirits of the birds! Even the burned areas didn’t deter a flock of Killdeer as they rummaged around the area. We drove up to the Colusa refuge and saw a Great Blue Heron fishing in the marsh, several Great Egrets surrounded by a group of noisy blackbirds, and a colony of Black-Crowned Night-Herons nestled in the trees on the riverbank. Nature’s perseverance and quest for survival is most inspiring. Inspiring enough for me to write a book (Wild Ice) about it!

I look forward to returning in a few weeks after the rain has had a chance to heal the charred earth and wash away the ashes. In case you’re in the area and want to experience its magic for yourself, the site for the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge is HERE and they even have a Facebook page.

When you take your own venture out into the great outdoors let me know what you find…

Adventuringly yours,

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Mr. Bluebird in my bird bath...

Most people probably get excited by celebrity sightings, but I just about jumped over the moon when I saw a Bluebird in my backyard! I was working on revisions for the next Razors Ice book and I looked over and there was a blue bird in the bird bath. He quickly flew away, but not before I snapped a photo of him.

I checked my field guide and sure enough, he was a Western Bluebird. So, the moral of the story is to be sure to look up from your screen once in a while because you never know what you might see.

For more about my obsession with birds, be sure to check out Wild Ice, my love story to winged creatures.

What kind of bird activity do you have in your backyard?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Great Backyard Bird Count

The GBBC is here!

From previous posts, you know I love watching birds from my window while I'm (supposed to be!) working on my next book. I've had countless hummingbirds, woodpeckers and every sparrow imaginable in my little backyard. I try to snap photos of them, but they move so quickly that I'm rarely successful. Whether I can capture them on film or not, they sure are fun to watch!

Be sure to pick up a copy of my latest book, Wild Ice, which was inspired by my visits to the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. Wild Ice, the third book in the Razors Ice series, is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Happy Birding!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Stunning Birds

Here's a little gem I forgot all about...

I created this board on Pinterest long before I knew I was going to write about birds in Wild Ice!

They are a lot more colorful than the birds found at the Red Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Hayley's Point, but they are pretty nonetheless.

Do you have any bird pins on Pinterest? Share the link below in the comments so I can follow you!