Colusa Great Egrets

Since discovering the Colusa NWR, we try to stop there after visiting the Sacramento NWR to check on the Night Heron rookery. Things didn’t go quite as planned this year, though. We had read about California’s heavy rains, but we didn’t get a real first-hand look until we headed toward Colusa where we discovered the road blocked by a semi that had gotten too close to the edge and sank in the weakened shoulder. After a officer directed us around the accident, we saw a car that had apparently tried to cross the flooded highway and ended up submerged in the canals next to the road. At the refuge we discovered the road tour was closed due to flooding.

All was not lost, though, because the field leading up to the refuge contained more Great Egrets than we have ever seen there, probably because much of their nearby hunting grounds were covered in water. Egrets stalked the reeds on the far side of the field.

Bolder Great Egrets hunted the grasslands next to the road.

This one came so close all I could get was a head shot with my 400mm lens,

only flying off when I had overstayed my welcome.

Since we seldom see Egrets in the Pacific Northwest, I wasn’t too disappointed in not seeing many other birds.