Birds are the attraction at a Merced County refuge

The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge is attracting bird watchers and bird hunters from around the state.
January 1, 2014 2:42:49 PM PST
The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge is attracting bird watchers and bird hunters from around the state. Many Marin County residents spent the first day of the New Year at the San Luis National Wildlife refuges, looking at birds.

Dan Alexander and Judy Fields are dedicated "birders."

"Most years we have huge numbers of ducks, geese and Sandhill Cranes." Alexander said.

"You have to be patient and keep your eyes and ears open and something will happen, it always does." Fields added.

Alexander and Fields have access to a different part of the refuge. They said so far they found fewer ducks.

Jeff Moss of Modesto blames the drought.

"Bad weather, all I can figure. They say they've got more ducks than ever but I don't know where they are at," Moss

"They ain't here, let's put it that way." Jeff's father Doy Moss said.

And even those who found ducks say the pickings were slim. Derek Saterlee on break from Humboldt State had just two small ducks on his belt.

"So is this going to be your dinner tonight?" Action News Reporter Gene Haagenson said.

"If we had more it would be dinner, this is maybe an appetizer." Saterlee responded.

The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge is part of a complex of refuges in Merced County. Along the Pacific Flyway birds from as far north as Canada can stop and nest, or just take a break on their way to South America.

For people, the refuges provide both sport and a place to watch, observe and enjoy nature.


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