The Arcata Marsh almost always has something new to show me, and I've gotten behind on sharing things from my visits to this awesome place. So here are some sights from the second half of March!
Cinnamon Teal are a totally new bird to me, and the marsh has given me some wonderfully sunlit views of these handsome males:
This Cinnamon Teal was curled up and resting in the shade, but his rusty color and fancy feathers were still very impressive:
I've seen Red-breasted Mergansers many times from afar (especially on the East Coast), but I was very happy to admire this male as he fished in one of the ponds close to the path:
I love his wispy hairdo, serrated bill (all the better for catching fish!), and those black-and-white-striped feathers on his sides:
Tiny droplets of water on his face caught the sunlight at certain angles, making him look especially glamorous:
I tried hard to find the frogs that were making constant raspy calls from either side of the path in the middle of the afternoon, but the little creatures were well hidden in thick blackberry hedges. These sounds are so amazing -- they sound to me like despondent "whyyyyyy"s -- and after some internet searching I'm fairly certain they're the land calls of Pacific Tree Frogs. I was happy to be in the middle of this weird conversation:
A Red-tailed Hawk overhead is always a nice sight:
And I'm still enjoying the novelty (for me) of seeing Common Ravens everywhere:
And look, it's my first local lizard! This Northern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria coerulea) was sunning itself next to the path and allowed me to take its picture:
After a minute or so, though, the lizard snuck ever so quietly -- in small jerking movements -- out of the spotlight:
There are so many wonderful animals at the marsh!