Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Crepuscular Marsh

Bordering the west side of the Arcata Marsh is a long strip of fields, brackish, fresh and salt marshes. It's a "superb" (that's for you Britons) area for birding, and from late fall through early spring is packed with raptors. White-tailed Kites can't get enough of it, and often are out foraging until it's too dark to see.


This patch of land is also one of the most reliable places in the state for Short-eared Owl. Unfortunately, they don't really get excited about being out until it's too dark to take pictures.


Photographic handicaps aside, they are still a lot of fun to watch, terrorizing sparrows and shorebirds and rodents, and letting out the occasional "Yip!". 


Short-eared Owls are not afraid to go talon to talon with each other, or Northern Harriers. Too bad my lens' petulant autofocus was busy making sure that I would be unable to actually photograph any of that.


Here is where I'm talking about....this is looking west from the Arcata Marsh towards the Lanphere Dunes. If you are ever birding the marsh, don't forget to hang out until the owls come out.



8 comments:

  1. I'm so jealous of your SEOW shots, and I can't even really think about your White-tailed Kites without turning green (with more envy). Crepuscular has to be one of my favorite words, it rolls off the tongue just so and can make one sound really intelligent when used in basic conversation...

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    1. "Crepuscular" is a FANTASTIC word, a fish guy is actually who got me acquainted with the phrase.

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  2. We saw a family of four Barn Owls last month that don't get active until around 6:30 pm. There was plenty of light when we got there, and we got more and more anxious for them to arrive as it gradually got dimmer and dimmer. I kept thinking, "okay, there's still time for decent pictures" until it finally wasn't true. It was still an awesome experience when they eventually came, even if the memories are less reliable and less blog-able than photos.

    Arcata Marsh looks like an excellent place to spend any time of day.

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    1. Owls are rad...I really need to try and see some of the smaller ones...Saw-whet, Flammulated, Eastern and Whiskered-Screech are birds I have heard for YEARS but have never seen....how embarrassing.

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  3. I believe it was Albert Einstein who once said, "Marshes are the shit."
    wise words indeed. Cool photos Seagull; you make Einstein proud.

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    1. Yes, his mathematical abilities frequently overshadowed his wetland-loving ways...little do people know he was more at home with Clapper Rails than astrophysicists .

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  4. Great photos! I am also jealous of your SEO photos! I imagine they must be incredible to watch!

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    1. I wish they were something to brag about...I do like the kite shot though. Yes, they are great birds....rare in Florida I take it?

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