Field Trip: Nature photography at Colusa National wildlife refuge
Colusa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) to practice nature and wildlife photography techniques, many of which he will discuss Saturday morning at his indoor presentation and slide show (see Swan Festival program schedule). Steve and Ryan will share some “tricks-of-the-trade” with us regarding equipment and techniques to capture great photos of birds and other wildlife. Colusa NWR regularly has some of the best waterfowl photography opportunities in the region and Steve and Ryan will guide participants to the ideal locations at the refuge for bird photography. He will review the essentials and, since it will be a small group, he will provide individual coaching and feedback on how to improve our results. At the Colusa NWR we expect to capture photographs of some of the typical birds found in the Central Valley wetlands during the winter months, including a variety of geese, ducks, and raptors. We’ll have the pleasure of being able to photograph during the “magic hour” right before sunset, when the light is at its best. Then we’ll enjoy sunset and twilight at the refuge. A perfect way to end your day in the field! Be sure to bring a camera that you are familiar with, such as a DSLR with a telephoto lens along with a tripod. Also bring warm clothes in layers, insect repellent, and water.
Field Trip Leaders
Special note about the field trip
A special note about Field Trips Please arrive at the location indicated 30 minutes prior to your scheduled event. This will allow us time to check you in and ensure the trip leaves promptly. We ask that you follow your field trip leader from the meeting location to the final destination. Anyone arriving after the field trip leader has left may not be able to join the group. Most field trips will be limited to the first 20 reservations. Walk-in registration may be available for some events during the weekend of the Festival. Weather may change a trip's itinerary, but most trips will be conducted rain or shine. Bring camera and questions will be answered at the end of the presentation.
Tips & Etiquette for bird watchers
To make your trip more enjoyable for yourself and others, we ask you to please use these following etiquette tips:
- Wear clothing suitable for the weather and area you'll be hiking in. It's practical to layer clothing to accommodate fluctuations in temperature. Wear comfortable shoes that have a good grip and are waterproof when necessary. You may want to take sunscreen, a hat or rain gear.
- Bring binoculars or a scope for a better viewing experience.
- Bring water on long outings to stay hydrated.
- Bring a Field Guide if you are interested in learning more about the birds you see. If you are a beginning birder, look for a guide that specializes in birds of northern California.
- Be courteous to other explorers. Stay with your group and pay attention to your trip leader. Walk quietly and slowly. Do not disrupt animals or damage their habitats (breaking branches, trampling vegetation). Turn off cell phones or other electronic devices. If you are taking children with you, explain to them proper etiquette before the trip. Always behave in a manner that will enhance the image of the birding communities in the eyes of the public.
- Tune up your senses and listen carefully. Scan the horizon and tree canopies. Look to the ground for prints, feathers and other traces of wildlife. Please remove litter and leave natural items where they belong. This will keep it enjoyable for others when they visit.
- No dogs or pets allowed on any California Swan Festival event, workshop, or program. Please leave Fido with friends or family and not in the car during a field trip.