21 July 2010

Wetland Evening at the La Platte Bottoms

Tuesday evening, July 20th, was a fine time to visit the wetlands at the La Platte Bottoms. It was muggy and hot, but this is an expected situation at marsh lands during this time in the summer.

During the visit, the following species were noted: one Greater Yellowlegs, a female Wood Duck with her brood of 8 ducklings, about 14 Black Terns including one that carried a fish around for a short while, several American Coots and Pied-billed Grebes, two Belted Kingfisher sitting on the line while looking for a fish to catch. Also some Killdeer, a Sora heard among the marsh vegetation, more than a dozen Mallards including a family group of seven, as well as Red-winged Blackbirds at the wetland scene. Among the other species was an American Kestrel.

Mother Wood Duck and her fast swimming brood.

There was lots of standing water. An area bordered by the tree line on the west, La Platte Road on the north and the Missouri River levee on the east and south was inundated.

Looking west at the condition of LaPlatte Road.

On the north side of La Platte Road, and east of Harlan Lewis Road, the southern half was flooded, and was a favorite place for the Black Terns to forage, and the preferred place for the Greater Yellowlegs. West of Harlan Lewis Road, there was also a large area of standing water, which was where the Wood Duck brood was noted.

American Coot on the marsh waters, south of LaPlatte Road.

View of the standing water north of LaPlatte Road, and west of Harlan Lewis Road.

View of the standing water - with its wetland vegetation and where American Coots and Pied-billed Grebes were seen, and a Sora heard - south of La Platte Road. Looking to the southwest.

A variety of images taken on the scene were digitally altered to convey an artistic interpretation, which is another reason - besides bird and the joys they provide - to appreciate the La Platte Bottoms wetlands.

Sunset from Harlan Lewis Road.