High Tide at Arrowhead Marsh Jan. 28


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What a great day at Arrowhead, and I was all alone.  Between the sun, the moon and the rain, the tide was extremely high.  Yes, it was raining even harder as I turned off the freeway and toward the airport  By the time I was parked around 10 AM and preparing to walk, it was raining but not quite as hard and an umbrella sufficed.  There was no wind at all, and after a short while it stopped raining altogether.  I walked back to the car, left the umbrella and returned with my scope.

Four Ridgeway's Rails were easily visible from the sidewalk as I walked out to toward the boardwalk.  No going between the bushes, no binoculars required.  Two more were seen out in the marsh beyond the boardwalk, first seen with my binoculars, then the scope.

Two pairs of Blue-winged Teal were close to the boardwalk, which was covered with Willets and Marbled Godwits, and some Black Turnstones and Dowitchers.  Some Greater White-fronted Geese were on the lawn near the wooden viewing structure, and a few Canada Geese were closer to the boardwalk.

Common Yellowthroats and Marsh Wrens were in the bushes along the edge, along with a number of White- and Golden-crowned Sparrow, and at least one each of Savannah Sparrow and Song Sparrow.

Way out in the flooded arrowhead, were four Great Blue Herons just sitting there, and a very wet looking female Northern Harrier.  Another female Harrier was eating something in the mitigation area beyond the fence as I drove out.  I could not believe how much trash was floating in the water today, it was more than disheartening.

I stopped briefly at Garretson Point, but there is no water in the pond at the end of the road.  I did find a Spotted Sandpiper along the edge of Damon Slough.  When I started home on the freeway about 12:30, it started raining again.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek