The dark side of the moon, the North side of Mount Shasta, from a viewing area on the Highway between Klamath Falls and Highway 5
 

It is difficult to imagine how many geese are in these two photos.  Click on the bottom photo and try counting them.



Have you heard of the CCC?  (Civilian Conservation Corp) A government project back in the 1933 to 1942 depression days, to put single men  back to work?  This observation tower was built to overlook the Tully Lake part of the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge.  The materials were wheel barrowed up a 1/3 mile trail that was 200' in elevation change.  This outpost was built in the 1930s and will probably still be around in 18 years to celebrate it's first centennial.

Yes, I am on the road again, this time up in North Eastern California enjoying another Wild Life Refuge in the Lower Klamath Basin.  This is a Hilton Hotel for migratory birds so during the Fall and Spring, it is booked to capacity with migrating water fowl.  Due to this high density of migrating water fowl, several opportunistic species are present also: Bald Eagles, Red Tailed Hawks, Coyotes, Ravens, Great Horned Owls.  

This refuge is a really well engineered restoration.  Man, in his quest to profit from all things material, originally drained this basin and turned it into farms.  Then later, it was determined to be a major loss to the migrating water fowl and is now in a continuing stage to restore it to its former wild state. There is a photo at the visitor center of the farm that was here before restoration.  The transformation is unbelievable.  The difference before the farm and after the farm is a whole bunch of levees built up to hold the water in, again.  What isn't wetlands, now has wheat growing in it to further provide for the migrating water fowl.  They also burn dry areas during the wet ebb cycle to further release seeds and promote feed for the wild life.  This area is highly managed and staffed with lots of equipment and personnel.  Too bad we are spending so much on war efforts, perhaps we would be able to keep this refuge going forever.

 
A crappy photo, but hey, I couldn't even see him in the view finder.  Can you find him?  Hint:  It's the rock with pointy ears (Owl) right of and below center.


The scientists call a line of geese like this, drafting to conserve energy.  Like in a bike race, when flying it benefits energy conservation to be behind another bird. Yes, they do swap leading when going for the long haul.


Some birds migrate at night by the light of the silvery moon.



The Red Winged Black Bird in this refuge is distinctive with tri colored wings instead of just a red wing.  They still sound the same though.  

Speaking of bird sounds, if you have an IPhone (or a me phone) there is a bird app for it which not only shows you pictures and photos of birds for identification but an audio track for their call as well.  Search for "Ibird" to download a sample or to purchase.  I have been using this app since three days ago and it is wonderful because for me it includes a search function. The pro version is $14.95.  

 
Perfectly photogenic!  Appears to be a Sparrow but not sure what variety.
 

Not a very good photo but posted to show it's pretty underside wing coloring.  This is a Northern Flicker, a type of Woodpecker.


The only somewhat suitable photo of a Bald Eagle, taken from about 200 yards out.  The further away, the less chance there is of getting a sharp photo.  Still noteworthy though because this photo includes an apparent juvenile on the left as well.


What a "blast off" looks like.  These are Greater White-fronted Geese, in a noisy honking hurry without benefit of an air traffic controller.

    

A Meadow Lark, larking away and a close up of a farmers water pump.

yet, another reflection photo.


A photo of a Buffle Head which is more about the shimmering water then it is about the duck.


Another "pensive" Sparrow?


Another moon shot.

I have to give Jim Halicho credit for coaching me on how to take wonderful shots, Thanks Jim.  Please visit Jim's web site as well.






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