I rather imagine you have heard of the Pacific Flyway. It's a North South corridor that migrating birds follow from Canada all the way to Patagonia. It's a little late in the year to be visiting the birds heading South to warmer climates, but since I live just a few miles away, I like to check it out often.
Sadly there are no turkeys there, but there are lots of gorgeous yellow cottonwood trees finally changing their colors.
It seems like millions of years ago, but my Dad was known as one of the best cat wranglers around. Not civvy cats but CAT as in caterpillar heavy equipment. Now you know where my love of heavy equipment came from. He actually helped build this refuge when they first opened it up. At the time we all thought they were crazy until a hundred thousand birds discovered the fields of hay and grain planted by the farmers for their cattle.
It didn't take long for them to gather together and donate land just for the birds. It was planted with grains that were like candy and covered in water for the ducks and geese. In no time, it became one of their big feeding and breeding spots on the way South ... or North as the case may be.
Of course I cannot remember the name of these guys. The water makes for great reflections. As they walk along, every two seconds they stick their head in the water and come up with bugs and tiny fish.
It's fun to just sit and watch them wade around. Soon they will all find a sleeping spot on one of the big islands out in the middle. As you can imagine, there are lots of hawks and coyotes out here looking for dinner.
Dark rain clouds were making it look like it was bed time, but they just obscured the sun for a minute or two.
Pretty gorgeous, yeh? I could sit out here all day and just watch the critters and listen to the birds.
Sadly, most of the birds have already flown the coop. Here's a few lesser blue herons heading out into the wild blue yonder.
There are still some blue herons hanging out, but far far away from any access road or I would have a much closer picture.
See this lovely little guy? He's a tadpole shrimp, very tiny and very destructive. They eat the tiny roots of just sprouted rice kernels and can devastate your crop. The cranes eat them, but not fast enough. We actually planted our fields (once flooded) with tiny fish that would eat the shrimp, thus saving our rice crop. Yes there were chemicals you could throw out there to kill them, but our Japanese rice buyer said no. You just never know what a farmer has to go through to raise your food.
At any rate, it's bye bye birdie time as most of the sandhills have left the area. The geese usually come in around Thanksgiving, but I haven't seen any yet. Maybe they have come and gone, or maybe they are late to dinner.
In the meantime, due to operator error, the camera batteries again went dead and I missed whatever ate all the kitty food I set out. Wouldn't you know!! Those were my best rechargeable fancy dancy photography batteries too. Better luck next time.