Palencia Saltmarsh

Palencia saltmarsh in the morning fog.

Instead of focusing on a specific bird today, I’m sharing my birding excursion on the Palencia Saltmarsh. I arrived before sunrise. Without the clouds and colors, it was not spectacular, but all sunrises are beautiful in their own way. There was fog over the water. As the sun rose, the spider webs dazzled.

At one point, I was facing north watching a dunlin in the marsh when I heard noise behind me and turned to see about 35 white ibises landing. It was startling, but so cool. I love watching the saltmarsh wake up with the sunrise.

White ibises.
Dunlin.

I got a new life bird when I saw several Nelson’s sparrows. I am not good enough to figure this out while I am in the marsh. I have to take a bunch of pictures and load them on my desktop to figure it out. I process the image and then take a picture of my monitor with my cell phone and run it through Merlin. To be sure, I also upload to iNaturalist. These little sparrows hang out in the marsh grass which makes it difficult to focus on them, but they tend to stay still long enough to attempt a manual focus.

Nelson’s sparrow
Least sandpiper. Note the yellow legs.

My favorite clapper rail showed up again today. No clapper rail lets you get a good view, but this one does and hangs out in the same area. It must be the same one.

Clapper rail.

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