Quartermaster Reach Marsh (1/22/2022)

Today, and I should really say, this morning (hooboy, do I wish it had been in the afternoon!), I volunteered with the Presidio Habitat Stewards. The location was changed to Quartermaster Reach Marsh this week, so I was once again in familiar territory. And, I got to check in on my baby Coyote Brush plantings. All is well!

Before I even got to the site, Chamisso Bush Lupine was out on Mason St. Lovely! My first blooming lupine of the new year. On the way to the site, a Great Egret, Bufflehead, Greater Scaup, American Coots, and sandpipers were all enjoying the water.

At the site, a Red-tailed Hawk (I think – Moses, our Volunteer Leader, believed it was a Cooper’s Hawk) was hanging out on the roof of a nearby building. I still can’t believe I am not sure what raptor that is. Black Phoebes were cheeping and fly-catching. And, some Mallards joined in the water later. No sign of a Snowy Egret, like has been there before.

Our task today was not just weeding! We were to make hay donut holes around recent plantings. Pull any weeds around it, if any. Water the heck out of it once we were done. It was pretty satisfying!

Though, I did unintentionally disturb three creatures. One, a poor slug, was so out of sorts after I took a weed from where it must’ve been under. I felt terrible. Then, I found a curled up caterpillar type thing (cutworm?). Again, felt horrible. And, a European Harvestman spider seemed just annoyed to have to move as I made a hay donut around a sage planting. I’m sure it’s tough to avoid, but I wish I didn’t have to harm even tiny creatures to do this work.
On our break, Moses showed us a Black Phoebe nest and some Cliff Swallow nests tucked under the nearby building’s roofs. Neat!

At the end of the day, we had made so many hay donut holes. They must look so funny to folks who don’t know what they are or what they’re for.

Before I left, I stopped at the beach to admire the incredibly clear views. So nice to have all that wind clear out the air. The bay looked amazingly blue. Everything looked fantastic. Hope you are able to get outside today to enjoy any of it!

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