Thursday, January 7, 2010
Great Egret (Ardea alba)
On any day there are many birds and sometimes wild mammals that can be spotted at the Arcata Marsh in Arcata California.
There are trails that traverse the entire area and if one is handicaped Klopp Lake may be accessed by car. We chose to walk around the north west trails and ponds on January 2 on a overcast day.
Double-crested Cormorant(Phalacrocorax auritus)
This trail offered good veiws of many species of birds and we were also fortunate to see 3 River Otters foraging in the Northwest pond.
River Otter (Lutra canadensis)
The River Otters were seen from a distance of approximately 80 meters with 10x30 binoculars and then photographed with a 400 mm telephoto lens. They were actively foraging and stayed on the surface for only seconds at a time.
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)
This egret is much smaller than the Great Egret and has a black bill and yellow feet. It is usually observed in shallow water while foraging for it's prey. I was lucky to get this photo as it caught a small Stickleback.
Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus))
This long-billed Curlew stands alone amongst Marbled Godwits,Northern Shovelers,Green-winged Teal and Dunlins.
We walked across the road to a trail that leads to the visitor center and were treated to great veiws of Black-crowned Night-Herons with their ruby red eyes. Dozens of them were roosting in trees a short distance from the center. They are active at night when they fly off their roost to forage.
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
If you happen to be here at twilight you may hear their short hoarse calls as they fly overhead on their way to the mudflats nearby.
The local Audubon chapter leads bird outings here every Saturday morning 0800 at the end of I street in the parking lot at Klopp Lake.