New Work: Merced National Wildlife Refuge

Greater White-fronted Goose in Flight. Merced National Wildlife Refuge

I’m finally catching up on processing and other things and I’ve been able to get the backlog (such as it is) taken care of and uploaded… One of those outings was a late trip out to Merced National Wildlife refuge at the end of February for one last visit before the Geese and Cranes head north for the summer. The place was, to put it mildly, rocking, with large and accessible flocks of both Snow and Ross’s Geese as well as the Greater White-fronted plus many Sandhill Cranes seen flying back and forth. All in all, a fun few hours.

On the same trip some time spent at San Luis NWR wasn’t as productive, but it did give me some time with one of my favorite birds, the infamous “Baked Potato with legs”, aka the Burrowing Owl.

Burrowing Owl, San Luis National Wildlife Refuge

Not a bad ending for the winter refuge season. It was really nice seeing the places start to green up with the rains after years of drought, although those areas — and they’re not alone — have lost so many old and established trees that couldn’t survive the dry times. Some of the damage that’s happened practically speaking can’t be fixed less than decades, if ever.

The focus for me is starting to shift to more local birding and photography for a while, and we’ll see what I can track down around here…