Gadwalls at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge
I have to learn birds one group at a time. I've been pretty slow at getting around to the ducks because I don't see all that many in my bird travels. So I still have to take the picture and then look it up, although the Gadwall (Anas strepera) has appeared on these pages before. They aren't flashy like the Mallards and the Cinnamon Teals, but I find the intricate pattern of the feathers on their breast to be fascinating. Any duck hunter knows of them; they're the third most hunted of the ducks.
We had made a stop last week at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge near Williams in California's Great Valley, and the ducks were kind of center stage (the Snow Geese were in another part of the refuge). We also saw a great many Cinnamon Teals (see this post from last week), Green-winged Teals, and Northern Pintails (more posts to come). The 6 mile long auto tour is one of our favorites (along with the one at the Merced NWR).