Vacation Day 5: Cosumnes River Preserve

DAY 5 OF MY VACATION.  I got up around 7:30 am this morning, and headed out to the Cosumnes River Preserve.  It was only 47° outside when I started out, and it got up to about 68° by the afternoon.  But it was sunny and a little breezy all day.  I LOVE this kind of weather.

CLICK HERE to see the album of photos from today.

I wasn’t expecting to see a lot at the preserve yet.  They haven’t filled much of their wetland area yet, and it’s still early in the migration season.  But I was still able to get a few good shots and saw a small variety of species while I was there like, Black Necked Stilts, Long Billed Dowitchers, Northern Pintails, Greater Yellowlegs, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Canada Geese, Northern Shovelers, a few Green-Winged Teals and Cinnamon Teals.  There were also a few small flocks of Sandhill Cranes flying overhead looking for a day roost to land in….

The most interesting thing on my excursion was seeing, in two different places on the farm-side county roads, small groups of Turkey Vultures trying to clean up roadkill.  One of the groups was all adults, but the other group had a youngster in it, and that youngster wasn’t about to give up his meal no matter how many cars approached him or sped by him.

I walked around for about 2 hours and headed back to the house.

As an aside: In the mail, I got my autographed copy of “Owl” by Paul Bannick. It has gorgeous photos of all of the species of owl found in North America.


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Mary K. Hanson is a breast cancer survivor who, at age 61, took coursework to become a Certified California Naturalist. The author of “The Chubby Woman’s Walkabout”™ blog, Ms. Hanson has also written nature-based feature articles published in regional newspapers, authored over ten books, including her "Cool Stuff Along the American" series of guide books, and has had her photographs featured in books, articles, calendars, on the American River Parkway Foundation’s Instagram stream, and even the White House blog. This year Ms. Hanson is helping to launch and teach a new Certified California Naturalist course through Tuleyome, in partnership with the University of California and the Woodland Library, so members of the public can themselves become certified as naturalists in the state. All of the photos seen on her website were taken by Ms. Hanson herself (unless noted otherwise) with moderate- to low-end photographic equipment more easily affordable to the everyday nature enthusiast. She also occasionally leads photo-walks through the American River Bend Park for the public and is sometimes available for public speaking.