Life Lessons

"Figuring out our gifts in life is part of our journey to becoming enlightened human beings.” – Allison DuBois

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Voices of the Pacific Flyway

Two Sandhill Cranes

On Tuesday my friend Jill and I drove to Lodi to enjoy a mini road trip and to do some bird watching.  We saw hawks all along our journey mostly on telephone poles surveying the ground below.  We were heading to the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve. 

Every Fall thousands of waterfowl birds migrate from Russia, Alaska, Canada into California and the Pacific Flyway. Below is a GPS map of the migration from the US Government and Western Ecological Research Center.

The birds mostly come from colder countries and over winter in California's Central Valley.

Great Egret

A Great Egret can be identified by its large size and a yellow-orange bill while the Snowy Egret is much smaller in size and has a black bill.

Two Tundra Swans

We arrived at the Reserve in the early afternoon and drove up and down West Woodbridge Road.  There is shallow water on both sides of the road where the birds gather.

Several Sandhill Cranes in a field with more in the background

Tundra Swans in flight

Later in the afternoon birds began to fly overhead in great numbers.

More Tundra Swans

Greater White-Fronted Geese in the foreground and Snow Geese in the mid-section

The Greater White-Fronted Geese are named this because they have a small bit of white feathers above their bill.

Greater White-Fronted Geese blend in with the landscape

A solitary Sandhill Crane with a red head

 Snow Geese landing in a nearby field

Snow Geese in flight with their distinctive features of white body and black tipped wings

Coming around again!

 At this point it's getting pretty noisy as they are calling from the sky, the water and the fields
Jill had me turn the car off several times so we could take in the excited calls.

 There were several Northern Pintail ducks nearby

An American Kestrel (which is one of the smallest falcons) on the wires.  So colorful!

 Western Grebe with long bills


What I believe is a Red-Shouldered Hawk blending in with his background

A very friendly Great Blue Heron quietly standing by the side of the road.  Didn't seem bothered  by the car or our cameras clicking.  Guess he wanted to make sure we got his good side!

Sandhill Cranes

A different shot of the American Kestrel

A hawk in a Walnut Tree

Jill spotted this Coyote as we were leaving

Not sure why he was so thin as there are plenty of birds to eat.

A Great Egret taking off.....

And there she goes.....

A parting shot of a Sandhill Crane

After leaving the Reserve we went into Lodi and enjoyed a yummy early Thai dinner at Thai Spices that my friend Ellen had recommended!  Thanks Ellen - it was so delicious! 
We drove home into a beautiful sunset.
Hope to go again soon!

Monday, January 3, 2022

Keeping It Simple

 Song - Let it Go by James Bay cover by Sierra Eagleson

January 2, 2022

Winter apple left on the tree for the birds and squirrels....

“You don’t need more, 

you just need meaningful” 


--IG @ wonderingsoulcabin

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