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Sacramento Valley Wildlife Refuges and Nearby Areas - January 13-14-15, 2018

Photo Copyright: Catherine Keegan
Leaders: David Jensen and Tim Bray

Millions of water fowl, and many other birds as well, congregate in the wildlife refuges and flooded agricultural fields of the Sacramento Valley every winter. It's one of the amazing spectacles of the West. Last year on this field trip, we found 112 species of birds in just two days. This year we are extending the trip by another half-day, taking advantage of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, while still allowing time for everyone to return in time for the Monday meeting in Caspar.

This trip will be divided into several segments, and you can choose to join any or all of them, depending on your schedule. Note that weather and road conditions in the Valley can force last-minute changes to our plans, so it is essential that you sign up in advance and provide contact information.

Our planned itinerary is as follows:
Saturday morning - Colusa unit of the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR) - meet at 8 AM in the parking lot. Directions: Take Highway 20 approximately 6 miles east of I-5, turn right on O'Hair Road.
Saturday afternoon - Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge main unit - Meet at the visitor center at noon (lunch at the picnic tables). Directions: From the south, take I-5 to the Road 68 exit; turn right onto Road 68 and then immediately left onto Old Highway 99W. Go north about 1.6 miles, turn right into the refuge.

Sunday morning - Gray Lodge State Wildlife Area Meet in the parking lot across the street from Granzella's in Williams at 7:45. We will carpool from there, departing at 8:00 and bringing lunch to eat wherever convenient.
Sunday afternoon - back roads east of the Sacramento River, north to the Llano Seco unit. We will proceed directly from Gray Lodge whenever we finish there.

Monday morning - western foothills along Leesville Road - Meet at the parking lot across the street from Granzella's in Williams at 7:45, for 8:00 departure. We will then re-assemble at the fruit stand on King Road to carpool, so anyone planning to return home in the afternoon won't have to go back to Williams.

You will be responsible for your own lodgings. There are a number of motels in Williams, where Highway 20 meets I-5, about 10 miles from the Colusa NWR. Information, including phone numbers and links, can be found below.

For lunch each day, we will order sandwiches from Granzella's and one of us will pick them up on our way out. Their menu is here: Granzella's Deli Menu, to be consumed in the field. You will be responsible for your own dinner.

Please sign up in advance for this trip, by e-mail to tbray at mcn dot org or phone/text message to (707) 734-0791. We need to know which modules you plan to attend and how to reach you if plans change at the last minute. Heavy rain or tule fog may force us to cancel.

Here is a list of motels in alphabetical order by location and the cancellation polices:

Williams, CA
Econo Lodge 400 C St, Williams, CA 95987 - 530-473-2381 If you book with them directly using the 530-473-2381 number, you can cancel the same day until 6PM.

Granzella's Inn - 391 6th Street, Williams, California 95987 - 800-730-3530 or 530-473-3310 24 hour cancellation policy. Can get a 10% corporate discount, but they also have AAA, AARP, and military discounts, too.

Motel 6 - 455 4th St, Williams, CA 95987 - 530-539-3021 " If it becomes necessary to cancel a prepaid or guaranteed reservation, you must cancel the reservation through our Site, contact our Call Center or the property directly by 6:00PM hotel time (4:00pm at some locations) on the arrival date and receive a cancellation number. (Times and dates to cancel without penalty may vary by location, on Special Events, Holidays and/or Weekends.) Contact the location or the Call Center for cancellation policies that may affect your reservation. If you do not cancel your guaranteed reservation within the applicable cancellation window, your credit card will be charged for the first night plus all applicable taxes or services charges/fees, and the remainder of the reservation will be cancelled (if more than 1 night). "

Ramada Cancellation possible on the day of the trip. Online price special.

Stage Stop Inn - 330 7th St Williams, CA 95987 - 530-473-2281 - Cancellation policy 48hrs prior to the arrival date & time.

Traveler's Inn - 215 7th St, Williams, CA 95987 - 530-473-5387 24 hour cancellation policy.

Colusa, CA
Colusa Casino Resort - 3770 HWY 45, Colusa, CA 95932 -530-458-8844

Colusa Motel - 60 Market St, Colusa, CA 95932 - 530-458-4906

Colusa Riverside Inn - 41 5th Street, Colusa, CA 95932 - 530-458-5880