Saturday, April 24, 2010
Las Gallinas Wildlife Ponds, Apr 23, 2010
Walking Time: 3 hours (4:20 - 7:20 p.m.)
Start and End Point: Las Gallinas Valley Sanitation District Wildlife Ponds, Public Parking Lot, end of Smith Ranch Rd., San Rafael, CA
The Las Gallinas ponds were alive with several different birds, taking off and landing, and just floating about. (Thank you to Rosina for pointing out the ducklings.) I walked the large loop, and out to the end of the trail (the straight line that extends up toward Hamilton Wetlands Restoration area, and ends at a concrete barrier. I then retraced my steps and walked the smaller "inside" loop.
The day belonged to the red-winged blackbirds -- that were warbling and singing up a storm. They were everywhere - perched on cattails, bushes. One (pictured at right) posed on top of a warning sign (stating that ponds contained effluent water).
Wildflowers were out in full force, and strong afternoon breezes made for lots of blurry pictures. For example, the quail pictured at right. It caught my eye as it was sitting up on top of a 4-foot metal
pole/post. Up until today, I'd only seen quail on the ground scuttling
into the underbrush, and maybe occasionally hopping onto low branches. This one might as well have climbed Mt. Everest as far as I was concerned. I have much to learn.
61 LBJs; 44 ducks; 14 Canada geese; 24 red-winged blackbirds; 4 cormorants; 2 great white egrets; 1 snowy egret; 2 Am. Avocets; 3 Black-necked Stilts; 2 dragonflies; 2 killdeer; 1 Western Grebe; 3 quail on the trail (I was sitting on top of metal fencepost; 3
hawks/falcons; 2 mockingbirds; 8 orange and brown butterflies + 3 white ones; 3 turkey vultures; 1 great blue heron; 1 bumblebee; 40 barn swallows; 1 kite; 1 crow; 3 unidentified flying bugs (UFBs); 2 smaller yellow birds (finches?) and 2 reddish birds (finches?) up on utility wires; 1 dove. Someone pointed out where they saw an otter, but I didn't see it. Several cows were munching grass in the distant background.