pahavit (pahavit) wrote,

Wildlife Refuge: Animal Tracks, 2-8-09

Last weekend D. and I went to the wildlife refuge to attend a program about animal tracks. It had recently rained, so we were hopeful to see many kinds of tracks in the muddy marsh. First up, my pics.

In back of the Environmental Education Center we find a mosaic homage to the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse, which lives in the refuge.  This was new; it wasn’t there the last time we visited the refuge.

Canada geese graze in New Chicago Marsh.  One stood sentry.

The trail follows a boardwalk, zig-zagging out over the muddy marsh to protect the habitat.

Looking back toward the Environmental Education Center.

A pair of mallards in the salt marsh.  This pic illustrates the effectiveness of the female’s coloration as camouflage -- she can barely be made out from the background vegetation.

A pelican flashes its white rump and dives into the freshwater marsh, Mallard Slough, which is used for freshwater discharge from the nearby San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant.

The marsh under a wintry sky.

The shriveled hips of the California wild rose growing next to the Environmental Education Center.

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Here's D.'s pics.

We see our first set of tracks! 

The consensus is they are dog pawprints.  We are disappointed.  We are also a little annoyed, because dogs are not allowed in the mud. A few tsk-tsks are heard.

Farther along we see raccoon tracks in the mud.

There are Canada goose tracks and seagull tracks as well.

A seagull spine and skull.

There is a landfill across the road from the refuge, and a lot of the seagulls scrounging there wind up ingesting bits of plastic, which weakens and starves them enough that they die in the marshes and get eaten by foxes and the like.

Water greenish with microorganisms flows through the salt marsh.  It looks like industrial waste, but it isn’t. Really. It isn’t.

Diving pelican.

Shriveled rose hip.

Tags: alviso, animal tracks, canada goose, dog, field trip, gull, mallard, pelican, raccoon, rose hip, salt marsh harvest mouse, skeleton, wildlife refuge
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