After all those years of rushing by the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge thinking there was nothing there, I wasn’t about to go to Santa Rosa down I-5 without stopping to see what might be there. Luckily, though, I didn’t have great expectations because I knew it was mainly a winter refuge.
In fact, if this had been the first time I had ever stopped I might not have ever stopped again. There wasn’t much there except for lots of rabbits,
lots of dragonflies,
and a few stray shorebirds like this sandpiper,
which looks like a Pectoral Sandpiper to me, though all I know is that it’s one I haven’t seen before.
Just another reminder that timing is everything in birding. It’s easy to imagine someone who has heard others rave about the Sacramento NWR showing up at the wrong time of year and end up thinking the other people must be crazy. I’m careful when I refer a particular beach area to other birders to specify the importance of tide in seeing birds.