It was warm today! 63 degrees warm! I decided we needed to celebrate the day with a destination walk. While we live in bustling suburbia, there are wild areas tucked in here and there, if you know where to find them. One of these places is The Black River Riparian Forest, a remnant of a former river, now a wetland, in the Southcenter area, just off the I-5 and the 405 freeways.
The trail here is just duff and natural litter. You can hear the cars nearby, but you can't see them.
The Black River is well known by bird enthusiasts as a Great Blue Heron Rookery. You can see their nests high up in the trees. When we were here several years ago, there were herons every where. Not so today. A frequent visitor who we struck up a conversation with told us why.
The trouble is the occupants of this nest - eagles. They moved in several years ago, and have been raiding the heron's nests of eggs and chicks. The man said it is a murderous scene, with screaming and squawking filling the air. As a result, the herons are gathering in another location, but will probably return here to nest.
We didn't see any herons or eagles today, but we did see some great ducks. This is a Green-winged Teal.
An assorted and motley crew watched the river flow by. They were enjoying the warmth too.
Bufflehead male and females.
A Common Goldeneye.
The Black River area connects to an extended trail system.
While nothing is blooming yet, there is color.
A pair of mallards.
It was great to get out and enjoy the day and nature. We'll have to go back later and check on the herons.