This past spring I decided to visit Arcata California a week after their annual Godwit Festival in April since I could not make the sanctuary festival.. The Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary is home to the City of Arcata’s innovative wastewater treatment facility. The sanctuary is 307 acres, including freshwater marshes, salt marsh, tidal sloughs, grassy uplands, mudflats, brackish marsh, approximately 5 miles of walking and biking paths and an Interpretive Center. Located at the north end of Humboldt Bay, the sanctuary is situated along the Pacific Flyway, a major migratory route for thousands of birds that breed in the far north and winter in California, Mexico and Central and South America. The Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary is touted as the highest bird populated coastal site between Bodega Harbor and Washington. While I had visions of masses of migrating birds the reality was somewhat more quiet. I did find a collection of Godwits, and some local ducks, egrets and shorebirds.
On my recent trip to Botswana, I had the chance to visit Chobe National Park in northern Botswana, about an hour from Victoria Falls. The Chobe river forms Botswana’s northern border with Namibia and the boundary of southern Africa. Its water helps maintain a lush floodplain and rich variety of habitats vital to the multitude of animals that inhabit Chobe National Park. Chobe is well renowned as a superb bird sanctuary featuring many different waterfowl, raptors, woodland species and migrants. This area from Ngoma to Kazungula, incorporating northern Chobe National Park and Kasane, must rank as one of the top birding spots in southern Africa. The total bird list now exceeds some 450 species, which is Botswana’s longest area list. There were an astonishing number of Heron and Egrets and I thought I would present them together. These waterfowl tend to congregate around the Cape Buffalo (Syncerus caffer), Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) and Elephants since they churn up the water, delivering food to the birds.