Photo Blogs » Birding Destinations » California Locations » Merced NWR

Memories of Merced NWR

Midway between Interstate 5 and US-99, 15 miles from Los Banos and 11 miles from Merced California, is the approximate geographic center of California’s Central Valley. It is also the site of the 10,000+ acre Merced National Wildlife Refuge.  Prior to the “civilization” of the west, the entire Central Valley of California was a destination … Read more

Memories of Gray Lodge

Wildlife preserves in modern times can serve as reminders of how the natural order of life on this planet was intended. The ravenous demands of an ever expanding society have ground through much of the wondrous original landscapes, leaving behind a trail of homogenized, featureless and damaged versions of its former self. This trend is … Read more

Memories of Crowley Lake

Crowley Lake is located within the Eastern Sierra District in the high country north of Bishop California. It is a large lake on the upper Owens River and part of the Los Angeles DWP district for supplying water to southern California. The lake rests at the lowest edge of the 11 mile by 20 mile … Read more

Memories of Cattle Call Park

Cattle Call Park is located on the western edge of Brawley California in the Imperial Valley, close to the Salton Sea. The park takes its name from the rodeo event held here in November. This event draws as many as 200,000 fans, but most of the time it is a relatively quiet place next to … Read more

Memories of June Lake

The Eastern Sierra District, as some call it, is a wondrous region. It stretches over 150 miles from Bridgeport to a few miles south of Lone pine. I see it as comprising two sections; one is low and the other high. The lower elevation section is between Lone Pine and Bishop, where elevations vary between … Read more

Memories of Bridgeport California

At the foot of the Eastern Sierra-Nevada Mountains is a “Big Meadow”, as the town of Bridgeport California was once called. It’s a small town with a population of 575, at an elevation of 6,463, who’s main economy is tourism. I’ve only visited Bridgeport Reservoir once, but I enjoyed my stay there very much. The … Read more

Memories of Garner Valley

Garner Valley is placed between the sky islands of San Jacinto (10,833′) and Santa Rosa (8,717′) in southern Riverside County. My first visit here was June of 2011 with the San Diego Natural History Museum science team. I’d driven past our camping spot at Morris Creek many times when driving to Idyllwild, only nine miles … Read more

Memories of Mono Lake

Mono Lake is unique. To the uninterested or uninformed passerby it might seem just another large lake, and it is large (over 45,000 acres). What is less obvious is the dynamic ecosystem that has evolved over the 760,000 years this lake has existed. With no outlet to the ocean, water comes in to the lake, … Read more

Memories of Sacramento NWR

My first visit to the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge was December 2002. Winter is an interesting time of the year to visit any of the reserves in the Sacramento or San Joaquin River valleys. For this is the season when waterfowl by the millions come to stay until spring calls them back north. Since that … Read more

Memories of Piedras Blancas

Like Morro Bay’s otters, Piedras Blancas has its own mammalian attractions: the Northern Elephant Seal. From the time of their discovery by European profiteering mariners, these animals were slaughtered by the hundreds of thousands for the oil derived from their blubber. Thought to be extinct in 1884, a remnant population of eight individuals was discovered … Read more