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:
Fox sparrows are the largest of the sparrows commonly seen at Lazo Marsh. Song sparrows and spotted towhees are also very common.
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.
The nuthatches are a lot more shy than the chickadees, but with luck they do come to your hand as well.
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:
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?