All around the loop

All around the loop

Once the geese have moved on to the farm fields to the north to feed for the day, the only thing left to do for the next hour or two, before the light gets too harsh, is to drive around and look for opportunities.  Since I have previously only driven the Farm Loop, I thought to take the wider route going out on the Marsh Loop.  It’s quite a bit different than the look of the farm loop, much more like a wooded marshland than the captured ponds and canals of the Farm Loop.  It’s quite beautiful in several areas, and I made mental notes on where to return for first light tomorrow after the flight of the geese.

Along the way, I catch a flight of cranes, a little late in making their way north to join where most of the cranes have gathered.  A buck mule deer also suprises me.  I had begun to wonder if I was going to see any kind of wildlife other than birds in the refuge.  There was the coyote that ran across Highway 1 in front of me this morning, but hardly a photo op.  I pull over along a particularly picturesque marsh setting and set up my tripod to take the featured image, when I notice some sort of owl far away in a tree.  The coloring of the breast and shape of head tell me it’s an owl, but it is too far away, even with the 500mm, to get an idea of what it is. 

On the way north out of the refuge, I stop at the Visitor Center to spend some time with a rather large group of redwing blackbirds clustering in several of the trees in the area.  A pristine pond plays host to a gaggle of ducks further north on a pond to the west of the highway; another good morning scenic location. 

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