Sunday, April 05, 2015

The First Days of April


Every April, Arcata celebrates the Spring Bird migration with a festival. We've never made it to Godwit Days here, and  it looks like we're going to miss it again this year. We'll be in southern California visiting with my mom. So we went out to the marsh on Saturday to look around for Arcata's famous Marbled Godwits. There were hundreds, if not thousands of them. The one photo I took that might have given a hint of their sheer numbers is blurry. I'm posting it anyway, because I think even in its blurriness you get a sense of how many Godwits there are here. There is a second island that had just as many birds on it.
We took a long walk around the marsh ponds and did get to see Godwits hanging out with the Willets on the shore of Humboldt Bay at high tide.

And we did get to see them take off there at the edge of the bay in a beautiful flurry of a thousand wings. The sound these birds make when the whole island of them takes off is surprisingly loud. Who knew these light feathery wings could hammer out a drumbeat in a crazy hurry?

It really is too bad we're going to miss the Godwit Days celebration of spring bird migrations, but we were delighted to get a good look at the Marbled Godwits in all their long-billed beauty.

(Health Update: My mom is having a liver biopsy on Monday. We think it will provide the answers we've been waiting for. She is feeling stronger and sounding like her incredibly vital self. We are hopeful, and we will keep you posted. Thank you for your kind thoughts and good wishes.)

14 comments:

  1. Wonderful action shots of those birds! I saw and heard an explosion of birds down at our local lake the other day; resul of a bald eagle checking them out!
    Hoping for good results for your mom.

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  2. Love these photos. Good to know you got to see the Godwits before traveling to visit your mom. Good to know that she is feeling stronger. Thank you for the link to the Godwit Days page. What a fine celebration of life in Arcata!

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  3. Sending good vibrations your mother’s way.

    I've never seen the Godwits in Arcada, but I do love seeing flocks of them on the Washington coast around Westport later in the year.

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  4. Amazing gathering of Godwits. Wow! Still sending positive thoughts and good wishes to your mom.

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  5. Have a safe journey. Thinking of you and healing thoughts to your mother.

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  6. isabelita-- I wish I could really capture the sound and sense of all the birds when they take off from the islands. An amazing presence. Thank you for your good thoughts.

    am-- We love seeing the Godwits and always glad to see them with the smaller Willets. Arcata does know how to have fun!

    Loren-- Thank you for those good vibrations! We love seeing the migrating birds, and also getting to know the year-round birds of the neighborhood. Glad to know you'll get to see the Godwits later this year.

    NCmountainwoman-- I really wish I could convey the sheer numbers of these birds. It's quite a sight. Thank you for your positive thoughts and good wishes.

    MandT-- We'll be on the road later this week. It's a long journey. Thank you for your healing thoughts.

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  7. Good pics. I have never seen a Godwit. Hope your mom continues to get better.

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  8. kenju-- Glad you liked the photos. And, thank you for your kind thoughts.

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  9. Glad your mom is feeling better; but the word "biopsy" is a little nerve-inducing. Fingers crossed, and hope you have a smooth journey. (There's supposed to be another storm coming to No Cal tonight/tomorrow.)

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  10. kathy a-- My mom had the biopsy and is feeling well. We won't know the results until later in the week. All the medical personnel she has seen have been blown away by her vitality and presence. We are heartened by their positive perception. Raining here!

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  11. I hope her test results bring hope and peace this week.

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  12. OMG, robin andrea! (Oh My Godwits)! The Marbled Godwits with the Willets are amazing. The willets look like sanderlings (not really)! The godwits are huge! The picture shows such vibrancy and motion. I love it.
    Tell your mom that there is a pudgy old man in NC who is thinking of her.

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  13. From B2T-- We love seeing these birds. Their gatherings are more awesome than these photos can even suggest. I will tell my mom of your very kind and very funny good thoughts.

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