My World Tuesday ...So yesterday, for the first time ever we did the Christmas Bird Count. I thought Zac had done it before, but I was wrong. We participated in the Arcata count and we had our own area. Lanphere Dunes! which I think is the coveted area since it's not open to the public. It's part of Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge but has been under some serious restoration for years and it shows. It's beautiful. It's where the Humboldt Bay Bird Observatory is (aka CJ's house, the guy who started Point Reyes Bird Observatory) and a lot of banding is done in the area. The morning was extremely foggy (see this post )with really low visibility, but the day ended up being 60 and sunny...fantastic!
We didn't see anything out of the ordinary and we got 60 species. We had our kayaks ready to go in the slough, but (very) unfortunately, there were hunters on the water pretty much all day long. This was a huge bummer for a lot of reasons. They scared of a lot of ducks and waders and well, they were killing them. So that sucked.
On happier notes, Lanphere was absolutely cool. Awesome dune ecosystems with native vegetation, unlike a lot of the area around here that has invasive Yellow Bush lupine, European beach grass, and ice plant that takes over the good native stuff. So that was a pleasant change. There was a lot of Sitka Spruce and Shore Pine (a sub-species of the Lodgepole Pine), which you can see below.
I was mildly salty because I just couldn't/didn't get any good bird photographs. The only ones that were okay were the Savannah Sparrow (which we were hoping was a Baird's Sparrow) and this Fox Sparrow below, who happened to be banded. And I did like the way my pelican photos came out (the post right before this one)
Towards the end of the day, there wasn't really anything other than chickadees and kinglets, so I started taking some photos of the fungus and lichen. I have yet to identify them, but here they are anyway. The banana slug made some really quick progress of chowing down on that mushroom. Within 30 minutes, half of it was gone!