Date: 1/26/19 10:34 am From: Kent <kentjohnson...> Subject: Re: [MBBIRDS] question about Snow Geese
I'm sure Clay knows these areas better than I, but I visited both earlier this month and have visited both past winters, so I will offer my two cents worth. If you have not visited Sacramento and Colusa NWRs and others in the area, I would suggest going up there just for a little different experience. If you don't mind the drive - it is a very long way for a day trip. There are lots of white geese in both that and the Merced/San Luis NWRs areas; maybe more in the north, but the sky can only hold so many geese at one time and it fills up in both. I have had better luck seeing geese on the ground at Merced, and more Ross's Geese at Merced. I have also had better luck with Tundra Swans at Merced and especially San Luis. Merced and San Luis are also better for Sandhill Cranes. Among the less abundant birds, Sacramento/Colusa are better for Eurasian Widgeon and Ring-necked Pheasant. On the way up to Sacramento NWR you might like a short side trip to the little cemetery just west of Maxwell, which is hosting a bright male Vermillion Flycatcher.
From: <mbbirds...> <mbbirds...> on behalf of Clay Kempf <ltjaeger...>
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2019 7:53 PM
To: Carol Pecot
Subject: Re: [MBBIRDS] question about Snow Geese
Either place is spectacular.
The time of your trip plays into which place to go to, however. Sacto NWR numbers peak around mid-Nov, and gradually decrease after mid-December as some birds continue to move southward (until they turn back towards their nesting ground in the spring). Merced numbers peak a little later. However, in my opinion, the Sacto NWR/Butte Sink complex generally has more geese; definitely has more Tundra Swans, and has additional options such as the grasslands around Sutter Buttes to vary the experience.
I actually just left Sacramento NWR a couple of hours ago, where the evening flyout was fantastic. Large flocks of White-faced Ibis were also all over the place.
The Santa Cruz Bird Club offers trips to both destinations annually. Sacto has already occurred (and it did NOT disappoint!), but Eric Feuss is leading a Merced NWR trip if you want to join that.
Bottom line is your can’t go wrong either way.
> On Jan 25, 2019, at 6:45 PM, Carol Pecot <carol.pecot...> wrote:
> My husband and I are thinking of driving to see the Snow Geese. Does anyone know if the places north of Sacramento have much larger numbers than the Merced wildlife refuge? What are the best places to go see them within about a 4-ish hour drive?
> Thanks to anyone who is able to help!
> Carol Pecot
> For Monterey Rare Bird alerts call 831-250-4550
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