We didn’t see too many birds on our second visit to Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge that we hadn’t seen on our previous stop nearly two weeks earlier.
One exception was this male Blue-winged Teal, apparently a common bird I seldom see.
I’ve seen one in Washington and a few in Colorado, but I’ve never managed this good of a shot of one. When I have seen them they’re usually in the reeds, not in the open like this, and, sure enough, this little guy headed straight for the reeds where his mate was already feeding as soon as I pointed a camera at him.
We saw quite a few White-faced Ibis on our trip, but the alpenglow emphasized this one’s brilliant, breeding colors.
The biggest disappointment of the day, and the entire trip, for that matter, was a lack of American Avocets. We only saw two avocets on the entire trip. The last bird I saw on this trip was this American Avocet:
To make matters worse the sun was quickly fading below the horizon, and it’s clear that this bird was in the middle of changing into breeding plumage.
With thousands of photos waiting to be edited and very few different birds to be seen, we decided to continue driving home rather than spending the night and making another trip the next morning.
After another night at a motel and too many hours behind the wheel, I even decided to skip our trip to Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge the next morning, knowing that I would be able to visit a week later when I had a dentist appointment.
I’ve been waiting too long for a trip like this. It was a great trip, but two weeks is about as long as I want to be away from home, and 3,000 miles of driving takes its own toll when you’re as old as I am.