The Arcata Godwit Days Festival, 2016

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My time in Arcata, CA, taking part in the annual Godwit Days Festival, just wrapped up. The birding was fantastic, the weather could not have been better, and the people were outstanding. Thanks to everyone for making it happen.

I only have a few photos to share, since photography was definitely not a priority for me, but I did manage to grab an esoteric mix of images from the weekend. If I had photos of the clouds of Marbled Godwits and Dunlin, the Bullock’s Oriole, Black-throated Gray Warbler, flocks of Aleutian Cackling Geese, displaying Allen’s Hummingbird, etc. any of those would make much better promotions for the festival. Instead I present a few “interesting” photos, all connected to fond memories of a wonderful weekend.

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The spectacular Lanphere Dunes
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Tracks of Whimbrel in the sand. You can see slight webbing between both toes, which helps to separate this from Marbled Godwit. I was not able to get any photos of godwit tracks because they all stayed in the wave-washed area and avoided the upper beach.
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Tracks of Short-billed Dowitcher, with thin toes, no webbing, and very short steps.
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An intergrade Green-winged Teal, showing both the vertical white bar of the American subspecies, and the horizontal white bar of the Eurasian subspecies. Seen at Arcata Marsh on April 16th.
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A male European Starling, pausing between displays, with it’s shaggy forehead-crest raised.  We pondered the fact that starlings have been known to reach North America under their own power, so maybe not all of them are introduced.

5 thoughts on “The Arcata Godwit Days Festival, 2016”

  1. Claire Reynolds

    Your presentation on “the psychology of misidentifying birds” was so informative, engaging and surprisingly funny! Thank you. Is this talk available on video?

  2. I agree with Claire: your keynote talk broke the mold, covering new ground in the process. The topic of how and why we perceive things is of interest to me as well. I didn’t want to tie up the question and answer period with the following observation (as it isn’t really a question), but:

    Many years ago I was with two friends for an outing at a beloved spot along the South Fork Trinity River (just across the county line from Humboldt). We went for a walk in a meadow along the river, with me trailing my two friends. Suddenly, I spied what I thought was a gravel road bisecting the meadow. We have all learned to associate survey lath and stakes and roads with what inevitably follows: development and no trespassing signs. As I neared the “road” I was surprised to see that it was, in fact, a carpet of low-growing, two-colored lupine, the blue & white color combining to create a gravel-like gray color. Chagrined that I’d turned a wildflower carpet into a road, I caught up to my friends and confessed. “Not to worry,” came their response. “We did the same thing!”

  3. Thoroughly enjoyed your bird ID class. It’s amazing to see you bring one bird to life and change it by where the color was location. Glad you were our special guest this year.

  4. David Schumaker

    I was very impressed with your ability to demonstrate the slight differences between species with just a few strokes of a pen.

    The Saturday talk was exceptional.

    I would like to be able to watch you work.

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