There is a lot to love about Arcata.
The small-town feel, lush surrounding forests, beautiful ocean views.
And I finally had some quality alone time with shorebirds. Like the Marbled Godwit!
What took me so long? It’s GODWIT Days. Here’s another!
And here’s one next to a Willet!
Honestly, I hadn’t seen a Willet since my Florida trip, so long ago that I forgot what they looked like. This trip was a good refresher.
And here’s a Godwit with an upside down bill and a hat! Oh, no, wait. That’s a Whimbrel. New bird!
I also saw Caspian Tern on the shore and a couple hunting from the air. Terns are always entertaining.
Later in the day, Tomas and I decided to return to the Arcata Marsh together. Quite a few good birds were on the scene.
Just before we left, we came across this crazy looking bird.
A closer look at the chunky, red-eyed bird.
A juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron! We noticed adults perched nearby obscured by bushes. Good bird finds at the marsh!
Two out of four evenings on this trip, Tomas and I spent staring at old barns.
Because that’s how couples spend romantic evenings together, right? Yes, yes it is. And rumor on V St. Loop was that Barn Owls like to join the party. The first night we stared at the wrong barn, but the second night we got it right. Two hours before sunset we were in place and ready.
While we waited, a variety of birds entertained us.
The Brewer’s Blackbirds were the best distractions.
I hadn’t noticed before, but they scrunch themselves in a puffy ball and kind of wind themselves up before they “sing” a short tchup or chuk. Wish I’d taken a video. (Here’s someone else’s video of one in a parking lot.)
The other bird that was fun to watch was the White-tailed Kite.
My pictures don’t do it justice. I think local student Hanalee Hayes’s drawing is way better.
I had only seen one before on a recent trip to Tillamook, and now I’d seen three in a matter of days (four if you count this drawing). Winning at birding.
Things quieted down, and the sun set.
Moments later in the darkness an owl flew from the barn. Right on schedule. First Barn Owl of the year! Second in my life! So awesome! And totally worth the wait.
It immediately set out hunting, caught something (presumed rodent), and returned to the barn. Not long after, it left again and flew over the field in front of us, and to our surprise, shrieked it’s hissing call, “cssssshhH!” Amazing.
We watched until it was so dark our eyes could barely focus as it flew off over hills far away. So good.
There is much to love about Arcata.
Tweets and chirps,