Eight members of our “Belen Marsh Task Force” gathered at the wetlands this past weekend, with Julia Dendinger, a reporter with the Valencia County News-Bulletin.
As we headed down the road towards the marsh, four Cattle Egrets rose up and flew away. At the edge of the first pond, we immediately spotted Kildeer and Cinnamon Teal in eclipse plumage.
The summer rains had created a thick carpet of grasses around the ponds, the seed heads were amber, and the cattails had grown tall. It was a pleasant late summer afternoon with a slight breeze.
“Let’s look and see what kind of sandpipers those are,” Rebecca commented as she set down her scope and peered through it. “They are Least Sandpipers. Come look. The are brownish, have yellowish legs and a thin bill.”
“They are migrating,” I explained to Julie. “Areas such as the Belen Marsh are critical to the survival of shorebirds as they travel from Alaska and the northern Canadian provinces where they breed to their wintering grounds in Mexico and South America.” Read more…