Sunday, August 25, 2019

Summer Birding ☼ Colusa National Wildlife Refuge

northern california birding birdwatching
We usually don't make many visits to our local wildlife refuges in the summer because the triple-digit temps here in the Sacramento Valley can be brutal. Luckily, we had a cooler day (yes, we consider 95 "cool") and decided to take a drive through the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge.
Colusa National Wildlife Refuge northern California
I'm so glad we did! There was much more water than I thought there'd be and everything was green, green, green!
We saw Black Phoebe, Western Kingbird, Mourning Dove, Wild Turkey, Ring-necked Pheasant and the biggest gathering of herons we've ever seen...
The birds were extremely cooperative with having their picture taken on this particular day and that's always a big plus!

egret bird photography birding birdwatching birder
We had such a nice drive through the auto tour that we decided not to let the heat keep us away from our favorite places from here on out.
I usually don't take photos of Turkey Vultures because they kind of creep me out, but we spotted this juvenile and he was actually kind of cool looking!
Colusa National Wildlife Refuge ca
So, the moral of the story is to not let the blazing, unrelenting sun keep you from doing the things you love!

P.S. There were A TON of wildflowers blooming all over the refuge, too! I'll be posting more picks of the colorful flowers we saw in Colusa over on my travel blog Vaughn the Road Again...

Let's go birding!
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Friday, August 23, 2019

Birding in Sutter County ☼ Sunflowers Galore

Most of the sunflower fields in Sutter County have already dried up and withered away, but we were lucky enough to find one still in full bloom!

As you can imagine, there were birds flying around all over the place, enjoying the seeds and the beautiful scenery...

Let's go birding!
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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Sutter National Wildlife Refuge ☼ Northern California Birding Hotspots

places to find birds in northern california
We finally made the trip to the Sutter National Wildlife Refuge!
birding near Yuba City ca
The only place to view wildlife there is from Hughes Road which bisects the refuge. Keep in mind that there is only a small space to pull off the road and traffic zooms by super fast! We will definitely be returning in the spring when the hiking trail is open (from February 15 to June 30).
great egret bird photography birding birdwatching
 Here is the link to the refuge's website so you can plan a visit when you're in the area...
us fish and wildlife service

Let's go birding!
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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Black-crowned Night Herons ☼ Colusa National Wildlife Refuge

Just a little video of a few of my best Black-crowned Night Heron photos from the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge in northern California...

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Where the Birds Are ☼ Lassen Volcanic National Park

Red-breasted Nuthatch

We saw (and heard!) so many birds during our hike up to Ridge Lakes in Lassen Volcanic National Park!

Cassin's Vireo

There have always been a lot of birds to be seen around Manzanita Lake, which is a nice flat, leisurely walk with great views of Lassen Peak.

Dusky Flycatcher

However, if you're a more ambitious birder (and hiker), I'd definitely recommend the Ridge Lakes hike where we spotted flycatchers (Dusky Flycatcher, Hammond's Flycatcher, Olive-sided Flycatcher), Cassin's Vireo, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Dark-eyed Juncos, and a variety of warblers (Hermit Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler).

Hammond's Flycatcher

This hike is only 2 miles round trip, but has a 1, 045 elevation change and is all uphill, as you can imagine. In mid-August, there were wildflowers in full bloom, representing every color under the rainbow. This is the second time we've done this hike and I didn't think it could get any prettier than when we did it last autumn when there weren't even any flowers.

Orange-crowned Warbler

After completing the hike, we were able to add three new species to our lifelist! I had a heck of a time identifying some of these after we got home, but thanks to the Merlin Bird ID App, we were able to narrow them down.

Dusky Flycatcher

Any time I can say I saw a new bird is a successful birding adventure in my book!

This isn't the greatest shot of the Hermit Warbler--sheesh, warblers are challenging to get photos of!--but it's the only one I was able to get and am posting it for reference purposes.

The Merlin Bird ID App identified this little guy as a juvenile Yellow-rumbed Warbler... What do you think?

Birds can be found all around Lassen VNP, but it's funny how we find little concentrated pockets of them in certain areas. Just the sound of a jay or the movement of warblers in the trees can make any day a little brighter.

You can read more about my hikes to Ridge Lakes over on my travel blog Vaughn the Road Again.

Let's go birding!
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Sunday, August 11, 2019

Birding in Lassen Volcanic National Park

We've had some wonderful birding adventures over the years in Lassen Volcanic National Park! This beautiful area provides habitat for over 200 species of birds and half of those have been known to nest within the park.

Today's video showcases a few of our most memorable bird sightings from above 5,000 feet...

For a Lassen birds checklist and more info about the other birds found in the park, visit their website here.

Let's go birding!
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