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Lazo Marsh

April 12, 2011

Just a short trip from my apartment there’s a very special park called Lazo Marsh.  Every time I go there I ask myself, “Why don’t I come here more often?”  The part that I visit the most is a forested loop trail that has a short boardwalk with a view of the marsh.  Almost anywhere along the trail, if you happen to have a handful of sunflower seeds, within a few minutes you are able to attract a small flock of chestnut-backed chickadees who will be quite pleased to eat from your hand.  I didn’t get any photos of them the last time I visited (they usually are too close as well as too fast), but here are a few other birds:

male American Robin

Fox Sparrow

Fox sparrows are the largest of the sparrows commonly seen at Lazo Marsh.  Song sparrows and spotted towhees are also very common.

female Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco

Juncos are also part of the sparrow family.  I love the happy little sounds the juncos make.  The sparrows won’t come to your hand, but they will eat seed put on the ground or on the rails of the boardwalk.

male Red-breasted Nuthatch

The nuthatches are a lot more shy than the chickadees, but with luck they do come to your hand as well.

male Purple Finch

I’m always happy to see purple finches.  Other birds brought in by the seed (but not to your hand) include red-winged blackbirds and Stellar’s jays.  Sometimes downy and hairy woodpeckers are attracted by the commotion but the prefer to forage on tree trunks.

Some days I’m able to see (or at least hear) pileated woodpeckers, and if I search hard I can find my favourite, a brown creeper.  The other day I finally saw bushtits there for the first time, plus I heard a rufous hummingbird displaying.  Out in the marsh there are great blue heron and various ducks.

But it’s not all about the birds… last visit I saw my first garter snake (actually, two) on the island.  And the plants are nice, too:

I didn’t have the right lens for pussy willow photography.

Last visit was the first time I have seen salmonberry in bloom.

Does anyone have any idea what this flower could be?  I searched through my Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast guide to no avail.  It looks like it should be in the lily or iris family to me.

What’s a special place that you like to visit?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 12, 2011 10:07 pm

    Very nice birds.

  2. April 12, 2011 10:18 pm

    Beautiful, thanks for sharing your birds :)

  3. Jennie Frances permalink
    April 14, 2011 3:04 pm

    Nice of you to have an Oregon Junco on here! The Juncos are back herer – for a few days now and when I got back from PR today I looked out and there was an Oregon Junco with the rest. Browner than you photo. Picked up the camera – camera card in car since I just got back from PR. internal memory full – went to get camera card and of course the Junco decided to move on!!! So no photo to prove it!!

  4. Eva permalink
    September 3, 2013 11:27 am

    the blue flower looks like blue-eyed grass Sisyrinchium idahoense, in the Iris family.

    • September 4, 2013 7:17 pm

      Actually, I think it may be Siberian squill, Scilla siberica, or another flower in the squill family (not a native wildflower.) I have seen blue-eyed grass and they do look somewhat similar but I know it is not that. Thanks for the suggestion!

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