i finally arrived at the refuge, and i was really afraid it was going to be terrible because it was practically on the highway and there were a million people milling around.. i made my way up the first trail i came across.. and this guy popped up about 30 feet in front of me to cross a main trail:
i don't remember ever being this close to a coyote outside of my car... that was pretty cool.
the gravel trail winds around a corner past two old barns (the twin barns) and the landscape opens up. i spotted this guy close to the barns:
a third year bald eagle!
further up the trail a mother and her son (maybe 12 years old) were setting up a scope and camera.. the boy was scanning for maybe 30 seconds when he found this scene:
oh and of course there were a bunch of canada geese...
i believe this is the same eagle i had photographed earlier...
i loved my visit to this place despite the masses of people and children running and yelling (thanks for scaring off the river otter, kids, thanks a lot). i took tons more pictures of just scenery- the clouds and sun were just perfect that day.
thanks to nicole for the recommendation!!