"Various Sightings, October 15, 2011" Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge Travelogue by glabah

Of the wildlife that was wandering about the refuge on October 15, 2011 this grebe was the most approachable. He seemed quite content to let me look at him from only several feet away. Somehow, he knew I wasn't about to get in the water!

Allowing me to snap away with my camera allowed me to get various photos of this grebe. This later proved reasonably important in identifying it. To me the white tip of the beak, which is visible in this photo, seems to indicate that this is a horned grebe.

Though, if someone wants to say this is an eared grebe I won't argue with them, as in winter plumage I have a very hard time telling these two apart.

Upon arrival at Conboy Lake, the entire valley was covered in a dense fog / low cloud cover.

Despite the gloom, the greeting party was out: this belted kingfisher certainly was not happy about having people wander around near his trail sign. He certainly had his things to say about people!

The new trail along the water course by the refuge headquarters doesn't seem to be particularly pleasing to this kingfisher. He certainly gave quite a lot of protest about having people so close to the water, and perched on a bush over the trail giving long and loud protests.

Not content to have people on the trail so close to the bush, the kingfisher decided to move to some wires above the trail, and continue his scolding, should there be any doubt that this belonged to him.

Conboy Lake does have some poisonous snakes in it, but fortunately most of those don't like people enough so that they never show their faces.

This little guy was right next to the trail and due to the cold was not moving much at all.

On the far loop of the Willard Springs Trail, as it passes through the forest, you will find this odd shaped snag still hanging on to its position after years of weathering.

It would have been fun to have a collection of photos over the years of this snag, and how it formed like this.

It reminded me of roadside shrines and crucifixes that can be found in eastern Europe and South America, the oldest of which may be in quite a state of decay after many centuries of neglect.

As to how long this snag will continue to display its unremarked memorial of the passing of this tree, there is no way to know. However, I doubt it will be able to survive much longer. The branches are balanced on that very small point at the bottom. Most likely, one day soon a bit of snow fall or strong wind will bring it down.

While the trees were very much starting to loose their colors, this grove was one of the brightest spots of yellow throughout the refuge. The sun shown briefly on them in the early afternoon, giving quite a golden sight. While the day was still mostly gray, the golden light was a huge contrast to the deep dark fog cover that blanketed the refuge at 9:30 that morning.

  • Page Updated May 9, 2016
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse



“Do something every day that scares you - even if just a little bit.”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 1 6 4
Forum Rank:
0 0 0 4 5

Badges & Stats in Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge

  • 11 Reviews
  • 76 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 394PageViews

Have you been to Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge?

  Share Your Travels  

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)