Saturday, February 09, 2013

Good day at Yolo Basin - Birds, Otters and more

I love Yolo Basin Wildlife Area. Only a 5-10 minute drive from Davis or a 20-30 minute bike ride.  It is phenomenal.  For more about it see the links below:
I drove over there there yesterday as a way of clearing my head after a bit of a rough day the day before.  Drove around the gravel roads in the park for a bit and got out a few times to look around.

First sighting of something of interest - off in the distance
A little far away for a good pic - but nice American Kestrel

Kestrel again
Some flowers out

Ruddy duck just off the road

Another ruddy duck

A group of Northern shovelers

More Northern Shovelers

Northern Pintails

Northern Pintails

Northern Pintails
Northern Harrier (a lot of Northern things I guess)

Coots (they are everywhere in the park)

Northern shoveler

More pintails

Kingfisher off in the distance 

Forster's tern (I think)

Forster's tern (I think)
Forster's tern (I think)

And then the best moment - there in front of me, running across the road - river otters. They
caught me by surprise but I got this pic through my windshield.  Six of them in total.

I went to where they crossed and looked around for 3-4 minutes
and saw nothing.  As I was getting ready to go I saw
some rippling in the water.  And then ..

One crossed the road.

And off to the other side.

There was a little trail of water in the road.

And then another crossed.

And another

And off into the bushes to the water.

And they then hung out clicking at each other and maybe at me.

They had left a little gift by the side of the road. 
I kept watching 

And then I realized maybe they were waiting for the other three. So
I backed away and looked across in the water on the other side and there they were.

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Overall a good day at the Basin.

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