December is a great time of year to visit the wildlife refuges. We will meet at the southwest corner of the Mt. Shasta Mall parking lot (corner of Dana Dr. & Hilltop Dr.) at 5:30 a.m. and leave no later than 5:45 a.m. We will carpool/caravan to the Sacramento Refuge. This early-morning departure mean's we'll get to the refuge just after sunrise. The wildlife is most active in the first few hours of the day although there will be plenty of geese & ducks all day long. If time permits and there's interest, we can head down to the Colusa refuge. Colusa has a great viewing platform where you can get some excellent close-ups in the middle of the day.
Bring the longest lens you have, 200mm at the very least. 400mm or greater is preferred. If you don't have a long lens or a camera with the ability to zoom in, you might want to consider renting one from places like borrowlenses.com. You can rent a Tamron[masked] for $50 for 3 days. You can still get some nice photos of the shear number of birds using a wider-angle lens. Also bring food and water, binoculars and a bird id book if you have one. Bathrooms are available at both refuges although the heated restrooms at entrance to the Sacramento refuge won't be open until 9:00 a.m.
The Sacramento refuge has a $6 entrance fee. The Colusa refuge is free. The Sacramento refuge has a 6-mile auto tour loop and a 2-mile wetland walking trail. The Colusa refuge has a 3 miles auto tour and a 1-mile walking trail. You must stay in your vehicle at all times except at designated areas like observation platforms and walking trails.
Rain or heavy clouds will cancel this meetup. Predictions of dense fog may delay the start time.