Over the past few weekends we have taken day trips to some refuges around the Sacramento area. We are lucky to have many great refuges that come alive every winter.
While officially not part of the Sac NWR Complex, Cosumnes River Preserve in Galt is worth a stop. Close to 1000 Sand hill Cranes winter here but our goal was to see some Short-eared Owls that had been spotted in the area. We did encounter an owl right off the bat, but to our surprise it was a Barn Owl:
We did end up seeing 3 Short-Eared Owls, but none stayed still long enough for a photo.
The following weekend we headed up to the Sac NWR Complex to check out all the wintering snow geese:
That flock was sent airborne due to a fly-by from this juvenile Bald Eagle:
The driving tour is a great way to see the different wildlife at the refuge:
On the way to Colusa NWR we stopped at Delevan NWR which turned out to be a good decision since we finally got a Short-eared Owl to stay still:
The scenery at Colusa NWR was stunning. The evening light is great here and that coupled with the Sutter Buttes in the background makes for a great location to look for wildlife:
Colusa NWR is home to dozens of Black-crowned Night Herons. We counted over 50 roosting along the river:
We even had another Barn Owl to wrap up the trip:
Here’s some video from Sac and Colusa NWR to give you an idea of the great sights and sounds: