We hadn’t been to Sacramento’s Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, for birding, the past couple of years. It’s a dream come true in the right conditions, and yesterday was one of those days. At 4 pm the temperature was around 44 degrees, damp, with just enough of a breeze to send the wind through my jeans. Glad we brought the Rav4, since the road was rutted with plenty of potholes and slippery with mud.
There were Snow Geese, Black Neck Stilt, Northern Shoveler, Pintale, Cinnamon Teal, Common Egret, Great Blue Heron, a murmuration of Starling, Coot, Canada Geese, Red Shouldered Hawk (though we had misidentified it before running into some locals with expensive glass who let us peep through their spotting scopes.) There was a Plover I could not identify and at least one Swallow that disappeared before we got a decent look.
We saw a flock of Snow Geese take off maybe 1/2 mile away and right beneath them a storm of rusty shaded ducks took off and filled the sky. Our spotting scope friends said they saw an Eagle swoop in and that’s what spooked the mass. There’s something about that many birds in one place that fills me with joy.
On our way out we stopped for this sweet little reflection pond. Back toward the Snow Geese, the sky was strewn with ribbons of migrating birds, going in so many directions. At one point there was a murmuration of geese, that broke into dozens of Vee formations, some of which flew right over us.
If you’re ever in the area, give yourself time to wander around, and bring mud boots. And remind me to bring more than one set of binoculars, and my Lumix camera with the 600mm lens.