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Welcome to Riverswind notes

I hope you will join in my adventures here in Humboldt County and elsewhere as I explore nature & people.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Exploring the South Spit Humboldt Bay

Yesterday we drove to a new area for us and it turned out to be a great day for wildlife veiwing on the South Spit including Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge and Humboldt County Park. The South spit is approximately 4 1/2 miles long with sand dunes on the ocean side and marsh and mudflats on the bayside.
Brant (Branta bernicla) are common in the winter months at Humboldt Bay.

The long wave and wind swept beach is scattered with driftwood and an ocassional birder.
Coastal Black-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus hemionus)Observed here on the lee side of the dunes. The succulent red colored plant in the foreground is non native ice plant (Mesembryanthemum sp.)

The South Jetty with it's manmade cement monoliths can be reached by foot on slippery footing and sometimes dangerous waves crashing over it. It allows boats like the "Molly Ann" to enter the sea safely.

Brandt's Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus)

Black Turnstone (Arenaria melanocephala)

Common Loon (Gavia immer)

Brandt's Cormorants, Black Turnstones and a Common Loon were some of the birds seen on this trip.
We also saw Northern Harriers floating low over the grassy areas between the dunes and the bay and a White-tailed Kite perched high on a conifer in the distance.

White-tailed Kite (Elanus caeruleus)
For those who enjoy the outdoors and all it has to offer this area should not be missed.