As promised to E, photos of Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, from my birding trip there yesterday.
This wildlife area is huge. It covers about 25 square miles along the Sacramento River, and when you’re in the middle of it, you’re more than a mile from the east and west boundaries, and maybe five miles from the north and south boundaries.
About a third of the land is still farmed, and you can see some of the fields on the right of this photo. While I was there, they were prepping several fields for rice cultivation. Rice farming is getting a bad name in California right now because of the drought, but migrating birds love rice fields. Diverting water away from rice fields to big cities is going to reduce the number of places migrating waterfowl have to rest during their travels.
This Turkey Vulture flew quite close overhead. Notice the worn primaries — P5 on the left, and P3 on the right — as well as the missing left tertials.