Date: April 1, 2018
Place: Arcata Marsh Preserve, Arcata, California
Address: 569 S. G St, Arcata, California
Length: about 3 miles
Our goal for this past spring break was to check out the Klamath River area. I chose to stay for the first night in Arcata because it was the north most town on route 101 before turning onto 96 - the scenic road that follows the Klamath River. I had planned for the trip to be relaxed and at ease, but because of lazy planning on my side we and hiked a longer tail than we should have at the Jack London SHP, and arrived at Arcata near midnight. We woke up late, but keeping with the original plan we went to the Arcata Marsh Sanctuary and Wildlife Area for a late morning birding hike.
It was our second time in this lovely place. I remembered the bitterns we had seen on our previous visit there and was eager to see more. I also wished to see the south part of the sanctuary, which we hadn't seen before.
|Our hike at the north side of the Arcata Marsh Sanctuary|
|Flowering Currant, Ribes sanguineum|
|Horsetail, Equisetum telmateia|
There were a few scaup ducks in the pond. We took a few minutes to look around, then moved on.
|View across Arcata Bay|
Most waterfowl had already migrated north. The birds that remained behind were busy with spring activities. This way we got to see the birds that announced themselves vocally, such as this cute marsh wren and his friends. They are awesome singers, and very loud, too.
Behind the pond - an area open to the bay. Accordingly - the water is down with the low tide and the mud is exposed. There, looking for morsels, a snowy egret.
our first hike there we've seen three of them. This time - none. We did see different things, however.
A paved bike path connects the south unit with the main sanctuary area. A narrow, almost invisible opening near the hedge leads to a narrow foot trail that leads to the ponds.
We begun looping around the pond clockwise: pond to our right and bay to our left. There seemed to be very few birds about on either side, but the day had brightened and the walk very pleasant.
There was much bloom along the trail. Invasive weeds mostly, but also a willow bush in full bloom.
|Willow, Salix sp.|
We walked briskly. Soon Pappa Quail and the elder chika marched on, me and the young chika lagging behind.
Apparently they did stop on occasions. Long enough to spot a grebe in the pond.
Back to the connecting trail we reunited and walked together back to the visitor center area. We were observed by a starling that was people-watching from its perch on a nearby tree.
Many thanks to members of the California Native Plants Society for their help in identifying plants!