Friday, February 17, 2017

Havasu National Wildlife Refuge

As we travel across the country, Teri and I make it a point to visit any National Wildlife Refuges that are nearby. We were camped in Needles, California and found that Havasu NWR was located just across the Colorado River on the Arizona side.

In the middle of the Mojave Desert the Colorado River is an oasis that attracts birds and wildlife. The refuge protects 30 miles of shoreline from Needles, California down to Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Most of the refuge is accessible only from the river, but we did find a couple of areas that were accessible from land.

It was remarkably difficult to figure out how and where to go at the refuge. There was no visitor center and little information available online. We drove down the west side of the refuge to a small overlook on Beal Lake. The road that crossed the refuge from there was closed to the public, so we had no choice but to backtrack the entire distance and drive all of the way around to the east side!

It seems odd to find White Pelicans in the middle of the desert, but there they were!
White Pelicans

On the east side of the refuge we found a couple of marshy areas with some birds. The Abert's Towhee was common in brushy areas.
Abert's Towhee

There were a few Western Grebes on a small lake, and one came close enough for some good pictures.

To be honest this was one of the more disappointing wildlife refuges we've visited. There just wasn't much for us to see, but it is great that this 30 mile stretch of the Colorado River has been preserved.

On to Lake Havasu and the London Bridge!


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