Sacramento Unit

nearest town: Willows CA

part of: Sacramento NWR Complex

A Wildlife Refuge in the Central Valley region.

Number of visits: 8

GPS: 39.4285,-122.1862

Bathroom: • Water: no

Conveniently located next to Interstate 5, which somehow adds to the experience. You can see the semis rocketing along less than a mile away, but you're in another world. There's a nice hike through the marshes and along a tiny creek, and a very nice auto tour with a viewing platform stop in the middle.

Sometimes I do the drive then the hike, sometimes the hike then the drive.

Sunset looking back across the marshes from the viewing platform can be spectacular.

Spot keywords:

Find Spots near here:

Notes on each visit (posted cost • senior cost):

April 20, 2017 ($5.00) April 20, 2017 ($5.00)

Pretty slow here bird-wise. The main thing I wanted to do was to check out the spring wildflower scene at their vernal pool. Not spectacular, but very pretty in the distance.

A lot of jackrabbits, and some wading birds. I am not good with naming the wading birds.

March 01, 2016 ($5.00) March 01, 2016 ($5.00)

migratory birds are gone, so taking a nice sunset walk seemed like a better bet than a nice sunset drive past the occasional pintail or shoveler or coot

December 23, 2015 ($5.00) December 23, 2015 ($5.00)

got here very late in the day, maybe 15 minutes before actual sunset, still way awesome. Mostly Pintails and the occasional Shoveler. I think I say Lesser Scaups in the distance.

The usual flock of snow geese in the corner near the lookout were gone (for the evening?), but there were huge numbers of them to the east of the lookout. In the very late dusk they started their evening migration. Wish I was closer and the light was better.

November 22, 2014 ($5.00) November 22, 2014 ($5.00)

Visited the office to ask about the falcated duck.

Took an abbreviated version of the nature hike. This was disappointing, most of the area is apparently being rehabbed in some way, restored to another habatat or something, whatever, it’s all ripped up by bulldozers, devoid of wildlife and walking through a construction zone.

Getting dark. Again the usual suspects bird-wise, same as above plus a few redtails and that big flock of snow geese that hangs out at the corner.

The Big Payoff was getting to the observation platform right with the evening migrations were starting, It happens every night, but it’s still epic to be there in person. The water is reflecting the purples and magentas of the sky, clouds of birds are wheeling around in the distance and you can hear their sad cries in the silence.