Carrizo Plain Winter Birds

March 3, 2019 at 6:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, San Luis Obispo County, Wildlife) (, , , )

Prairie Falcon

Last week’s visit to Carrizo Plain National Monument yielded some nice birds as well as a herd of at least 100 Tule elk about a half mile in the distance.

Tule elk

The heat waves interfere with the sharpness, but the elk were gathered in three groups in the very spot the ranger said they would be: viewed off Soda Lake Road between the turnoff to the education center and the spot where Soda Lake Road turns to gravel.

Ferruginous hawk

A ferruginous hawk obliged me with a decent pose on a post.

Ferruginous hawk

Another showed me his white undersides but he was pretty high up.

A pair of American avocets (above) and a solitary sandpiper (below) hunted in a wash now filled with an abundance of rainwater.

Solitary Sandpiper
Soda Lake

This was the first time I’d ever seen Soda Lake with water in it. This has been a rainy winter and it holds the promise of LOTS of wildflowers!

Mt. Pinos with snow

The day before I took this photo of Mt. Pinos reflected in the unusually wet Soda Lake, it was completely covered with a recent snowfall, according to the ranger!

Prairie Falcon

That’s it for this short trip to Carrizo Plain! Stay tuned for WILDFLOWERS!

Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share


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  1. Patti said,

    Nice Raptor photos. Luckily you that you are close to Carrizo Plains to get these awesome photos. I just finished a workshop with Bill Clark this weekend. And I was going to Carrizo Plains several weekends ago with LA Audubon to see the raptors but we got rained out. I have never been to Carrizo but really want to visit someday.

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