Cosumnes River Preserve (4/15/2023)

Today we went very far away for Naturing! All the way to justaboutSacramento! I learned about Cosumnes in my class, as a great place to witness Fresh Wetlands habitat. And with the recent rains and floods, I was itching to see what this place looked like in such a state. As this is a NATURAL STATE to be in for such habitats.

I really wish I’d thought of it sooner, but I’m now trying to visit excellent examples of places I’m learning about in my class. Totally should’ve started this earlier, pairing a field trip with each class lesson of a particular habitat. But I’m working on catching up! Maybe I’ll end up visiting them all before my class ends in May…

Though, I’ll definitely pass on Deserts.

Anyhoo, it was so neat to be somewhere in California I’ve never been, nature-wise. And to think so much of the Central Valley looked like this!

Due to an unfortunate misguided AllTrails -> Google Map snafu, we ended up with only an hour at the Preserve before they close at the alltooearly time of 5pm. But that turned out to be just enough time for the Wetlands Walk. So we took it!

What a unique place. I mean, to me. And sadly, now unique to California. Just water and trees and birds that love it all. It was delightful to see a couple trails flooded! That’s what’s supposed to happen here!

We saw a good amount of birds, like Greater White-fronted Geese and a family of Canada Geese (with five goslings!) and Northern Shovelers and American Coots. With many Yellow-rumped Warblers in the Fremont Cottonwood trees. Plus a Pacific Forktail and at least one Monarch butterfly and newtome American Bullfrog.

Not many flowers, but I wasn’t expecting any! Just a handful of Western Blue-eyed Grass and California Buttercups and Common Fiddleneck.

And then we arrived to a vast open space of water. And lots was happening there. Greater Yellowlegs and a Western Meadowlark and a Black-necked Stilt and Green-winged Teals and a Killdeer and flocks of Greater White-fronted Geese swooping in all together a couple times. And many other birds that were too far away to get good looks at.

We were nearing the end, and I thought I saw a brown duck on the other side of the trail. Just sitting in the grass. NOPE! It was A BUNNY! In Fresh Wetlands habitat?? It didn’t look like a Brush Rabbit. So it might be a Desert Cottontail?? Which would absolutely be newtome!! It did not mind one bit that we were standing there, gushing at it simply eating grass in the shade. Not one bit.

Soon after we left the bunny, I heard a Chorus Frog near the wide body of water, and Brian stopped to hear/see it. But, no luck. I know American Bullfrogs adversely impact the California Red-legged Frogs, but do they also crowd out Chorus Frogs?

We made it back to the parking lot in time. And it appeared that no one was ready to shoo away the many cars still there. So we took a look at the path leading to where you can put in your kayak or whathaveyou. And it was FLOODED. When we arrived, some men were returning with their inflatable kayaks, so I guess you can do that right now?

In that flooded area, we saw another Greater Yellowlegs and a Great Egret wading about. I had wondered why we hadn’t seen Egrets or Herons, so it was a comfort when one of them showed up.

We finished there and made our way to have a happy hour in Old Sac. Along the Sacramento River. Where a couple California Sea Lions barked from the other side of the river for our soundtrack, and Barn Swallows darted about next to us in the sunshine.

That whole part of California is no longer an utter mystery to me. What abundant water. What green EVERYTHING right now. What a place I’d like to get to know better, for its Naturing spots. And what a perfect time to see a natural state of what was once a HUGE part of California. I can’t imagine what a sight it must have been to see it like that. Pre-Europeans. But it was a treat to get a taste of it today.

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