Gray Lodge, Christmas Day

I took my annual Christmas Day trip, down from the foothills, into the wintering waterfowl wonderland of the Central Valley to Gray Lodge Wildlife Area.

If this experience can be summarized in one photo, then here it is:

Thousands and thousands of wintering waterfowl. In this case snow geese at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. When you have high numbers of ducks, geese, coots, and swans you also have raptors and it is always a treat to see our National Bird: an adult bald eagle.

In the past few years, Gray Lodge has always produced a few of these emblematic species. It only took reaching the halfway mark on the auto route that I spotted two large shapes in a marshside tree.

Bald eagles at Gray Lodge on Christmas Day, check and check!

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