I guess it’s time for a interlude from things tropical, well at least for a few posts. Floy and I did our annual trip to the migratory birding areas of San Louis and Merced National Wildlife Refuges and the Panoche Valley, all of which are in Central California. Panoche Valley is semi-desolate with some cattle farming. This area attracts birds that are not often seen in the San Jose, California area such as Horned Larks, Mountain Plovers, Mountain Bluebirds, etc. It’s not unusual to see the Ferruginous Hawk there in the winter. After rain, the Panoche area can be emerald green. Beware of the mid-summer because it can get very hot and dry there.
This is the same hawk Floy presented in her sketch below. Unlike other hawks of the area, this one spends a great deal of time standing in open fields. Scanning the vast fields of the valley it’s not uncommon to see them standing as a white pillar in the distance.