Friday, March 6, 2009

California Birding Adventures

Greetings from California! I arrived in Sacramento late last night after an uneventful flight and my brothers picked me up at the airport. On our way back to Brother Phil's, we took a little detour down some deserted back roads in search of Barn Owls (which Phil sees frequently on his commute to and from work). We failed to spot any owls along the road, but had a fun time driving around anyway.

Today was our designated "birding and nature adventures" day and we made the most of it. My hope was to get some new life birds during the trip and I wasn't disappointed. As soon as I opened the curtains at 7:15 this morning, I managed to spot Brewer's Blackbirds (life bird!) on the power lines right outside Phil's house. Phil took me on a walk around town and I spotted two more life birds: Northern Mockingbird (singing beautifully in the backyard) and Tri-Colored Blackbird. Phil lives in a very small town in a rural, mostly agricultural area with a lot of wetlands, so there's no shortage of birds around here. We also spotted a Loggerhead Shrike (another life bird!) on a power line as we were motoring into Woodland for lunch and to pick up Nephew Charlie from school.

After lunch, we headed up to the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge where we spent probably 3 hours driving around and looking at birds. This area was almost all wetlands, so the usual birds you would expect to see in such an area were present. I got 6 more life birds here: White-Faced Ibis, Short-Billed Dowitcher, Black Phoebe, Cinnamon Teal, White-Tailed Kite, and Greater White-Fronted Goose. Here's a little video of some of the Snow Geese we saw out at Colusa NWR.
video

Too bad I didn't purchase an open-ended ticket for my return flight. The weather here has been fabulous--sunny and low 60's (perfect weather and conditions for birding). I hear the weather service is predicting snow for my return to Minnesota on Sunday night (sigh)

16 comments:

Mary C said...

Ruthie, welcome to California. And congrats on all those lifers! Woohoo! Looking forward to meeting up with you in SF tomorrow.

Kallen305 said...

Ruthie I am so happy for you! It sounds like a wonderful time and congrats on all of those glorious lifers!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What more could a person want from a trip?? Fablous family and LIFERS!!!! Good for you Ruthie.

Deb said...

Yay!!! I wish I had done more birding when I was in California. Aren't white tailed kites beautiful?

Kathy said...

That just makes my heart glad. Thanks.

Jayne said...

WOW! What a sight that must have been Ruthie! Glad you arrived safe and sound and thus far are having such a great time. :c)

Mama Pea said...

You've flown the (Minnesota) coop, girl! Bet your getaway trip is feeling wonderful. Continue to have fun with your family and the birds.

The Early Birder said...

Hi Ruthie, sounds like you had a great trip - all those lifers & I would die to see that many Snow Geese. Must be an awesome sight.

Lynne said...

Neat video Ruthie! I could hear young Charlie's excited voice in the background. Hurray for you on the lifers. I hope you're having lots of fun.

Gaelyn said...

Ruthie, how cool to be in CA and with your son, plus lifers. Way too bad to have to go home so quickly, but a nice change of pace.

NCmountainwoman said...

What a great birding day! All that and sunny weather as well.

Red said...

Wow! Those snow geese were incredible. Mom & I will have to hit Colusa for sure. Amazing numbers.

Lots of lifers on your list. Hope you pick up a few more before you leave!

Kelly said...

whoa!!! All the Snow Geese are amazing. I hope to see something like that some day.

Mel said...

Great Ruthie!!
And you are getting lifers too!!
Besos,
Mel

p.s. Love arrives in 2 weeks ;)

troutbirder said...

What a trip and that many lifers so quickly. I am extremely jealous.

dAwN said...

Keep racking up those Lifers...

great video...loved the little voice in the background!