Like the Nutting’s Flycatcher, we have another returning vagrant for you: a Falcated Duck (Code 4) has come back to Colusa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), CA. It was first reported on the Sacramento NWR Complex Facebook page on Dec 2 with the news that it was being seen around 10:30 AM. Mike Peters, the refuge’s manager, found the duck. This is the same location one was found on Dec 8, 2011, and that bird stayed for several months. Presumably, it is the same individual.
As last year, the bird was seen on the first pond on the right on the auto route. There is a large viewing platform here (marked as “observation deck” on this map; I also created another map here with the platform indicated by a blue marker).
Colusa NWR is about 70 miles northwest of Sacramento and less than two miles southwest of the town of Colusa. To get there from Sacramento, drive north on I-5 for about 60 miles to the exit for Hwy 20 (exit 578). Go right (east) for about 6.5 miles and turn right (south) on O’Hair Rd. The road bends to the right (west) and the platform will be on your right in a short distance.
The refuge is reporting that the auto route is open but that flood waters are high, which suggests to me that it could be closed at some point if water levels rise. UPDATE (Dec 3): The refuge is reporting today that the auto route is now closed due to flood waters, but the viewing platform remains open.
Check the Central Valley email group for updates.
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