Sunday, April 17, 2016

San Luis National Wildlife Refuge

April 16, 2016

It's been a few weeks since I've had an outdoor adventure.  I've been busy with other things.  We spent a weekend in the recording studio and last week I watched the Masters on television.  That's probably my favorite televised sporting event.  A lot of people find golf to be boring to watch, but I like the way good play is slowly and patiently rewarded while one or two mistakes can unravel a run at a major championship.

Western Kingbird -- San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, CA
It's definitely Spring now.  Most of the Winter birds have flown North.  The kingbirds are back, a sure sign that we've switched from Winter birds to Summer birds.  Meadowlarks are year-round inhabitants, but they were a little more conspicuous than normal.

Western Meadowlark -- San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, CA
In fact, a lot of the regular, small animals were easier to see than normal.  I only saw a couple of hawks and a single harrier during the three hours or so that we were there.  It's not unusual to run out of fingers and toes when counting the hawks and harriers at this refuge.  I assume they've followed the ducks North.  Their absence makes life a little easier for the little critters, I guess.

Sheep -- San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Some of the refuge was fenced off for grazing.  This was the only sheep I saw.  I suppose others were probably lying down in the grass.  It was midday, after all.

Killdeer -- San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Most of the flooded fields were in the process of drying up.  Some of the fields in the back were still flooded.  There weren't a lot of birds there, just a few stragglers including this killdeer.

Tule Elk -- San Luis National Wildlife Reserve, CA
We saw three elk.  Again, probably a bad time of day to see elk.  The ladies always seem to be hard to spot, I suspect they stick to the middle of their large enclosure.  We found a couple of bulls hanging out near the shade of a tree.  This guy was keeping an eye on Pongo who was on a leash beside me while I took photos.  Tough light, but I like his velvety antlers.

Brush Rabbit -- San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, CA
All in all, not the most exciting of trips but it was good to get out.  Pongo and I spent a good chunk of our time on Saturday just hanging out next to the parked car enjoying the peace and quiet.

  • John Coltrane -- Ballads