Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sacramento NWR, Part 2

We continued on the second half of the six-mile auto tour through the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge.

Even though we were required to remain in the car during the drive, except for three designated areas, we were able to get relatively close to a number of the birds.

More than 95 percent of the wetlands of the central valley have been lost in the last 100 years, and waterfowl have become increasingly dependent upon the refuges of the Sacramento Valley.

In several sections of the refuge, the grasses presented colorful accompaniments to the photos of the waterbirds.

As we stopped and were watching a large number of birds on the water, something startled them and the sky was filled with this flurry of activity.

Even while sitting in the car, we could feel the effect of the stare of this master of the refuge.
Just as we were leaving the auto route, we saw this area. In the distance, it appeared as though the land was covered with rocks.
Upon closer inspection, those "rocks" were birds.
As noted in "They have traveled thousands of miles, from as far away as Alaska and Russia; battled stormy weather with tired wings; eluded hungry predators and encroaching human development; and now they need a place to rest and feed."

It's unfortunate that there isn't more "wing room" for these intrepid travelers.