Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 19, 2012

Birding the Central Valley

Saturday morning (11/17/12) I birded the Sacramento River Delta with the Golden Gate Audubon Fall Birding Class with Rusty Scalf and Eddie Bartley. It was rainy and windy and the conditions were far from ideal. First we went to Woodbridge Road and then on to Staten Island. Highlights were seeing the many Sandhill Cranes. Cranes were seen flying and doing displays between mated pairs. Sandhill Cranes mate for life.

Other highlights were seeing Tundra Swans, Canvasback Ducks and a Belted Kingfisher. To see my birdlist from this morning go to Sandy’s Sacramento Delta Birdlist 11/17/12.

After an early lunch at Wimpy’s Restaurant, we drove in the rain to the Sacramento Wildlife Refuge.  The rain stopped and we drove the loop, birding the first half  until it started to get dark. Highlights were the thousands of Snow Geese, White-face Ibis, and many ducks which included my first Redheads and Ring-necked ducks of the year, and close-up views of a Red-tailed Hawk having his way with a Garter Snake.  Also seen were Jack Rabbits and Racoons. Here is my list  Sacramento Wildlife Refuge 11/17/12.

Red-tailed Hawk and Garter Snake

The next morning (11/18/12) we went back to the Sacramento Wildlife Refuge and there seemed to be even more geese and ducks. We saw many of the same birds as yesterday plus Stilts, Tree Swallows and a distant Bald Eagle. Here is my list: Sacramento Wildlife Refuge 11/18/12

Although it would have been easy to stay at the Refuge all day, we drove on to Gray Lodge, where we walked some of the trails from area 14. Again there were many ducks and geese. Some highlights were  perched a Red-shouldered Hawk and a Belted Kingfisher that allowed very good looks and watching many birds from the viewing platform. Here is my list Gray Lodge 11/18/12

Here is a link to the much more accurate and detailed Leader’s Lists for the trip. As you can see there were 100,000’s of Geese and thousands of ducks.  Here are a few photos:

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  1. […] Birding the Central Valley ( […]


  2. Great shot of the red tail hawk and garter snake! Spencer


    • Thanks. I think it is the best bird photo I have ever managed to take. The funny thing is I was standing up in an open moon roof of the vehicle just trying to get a photo with the wings open to confirm the ID.


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