Saturday, April 16, 2016

More Marsh Sights

Last Saturday, Paul and I found ourselves awake unusually early, and we went for a walk at the Arcata Marsh before breakfast. I was expecting to find an extraordinary amount of dawn-time activity, but the marsh was just as active as I usually see it (which is to say, very active). Even so, it was cool to see some creatures in their morning routine. A couple of male Buffleheads were rolling onto their backs in the water and preening their pristine white bellies. I've never seen ducks do this before, and this just won Buffleheads several more cuteness points in my mind (they were already pretty cute to begin with):

Saturday's early morning light wasn't great for picture-taking, but I was back at the marsh on Tuesday afternoon when there were just as many creatures to see (with better light to see them by). Song Sparrows were singing and setting up territories along almost every stretch of the path:

And of course Marsh Wrens were all over. Little wren, does your tail get any higher?

Hundreds of shorebirds were flocking in the mudflats, and one Marbled Godwit (with a strangely crooked beak) was foraging right next to the path:

A group of five Great Egrets looked particularly fancy surrounded by mud:

This Canada Goose seems to have found a great nesting place on top of an old (redwood?) trunk with great marsh views:

A White-tailed Kite was hovering over the meadow, watching for furry morsels below:

I'm super impressed by the hovering skills of these raptors:

And this kite sure picked a lovely place to hunt:

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