In case you were wondering, this is what a lake looks like in the desert.
Welcome to Mesquite Lake, which is actually a dry lake bed and therefore not (in my humble, Northern Wisconsin opinion) a lake. It does, however, provide a different environment for desert plant life than what I’ve seen thus far.
Not all of the Needles Field Office is all dried up, though! The very next morning after surveying Mesquite Lake, I was able to tag along on a secretive marsh bird survey in the backwaters of the Colorado River.
Our main goal was to determine if there were any rails present–particularly the ridgway rail, which is considered a threatened species. We were able to hear a couple ridgway rails as well as several other marsh bird species. We even noticed a nesting pair of western grebes.
I know it’s a little hard to see in the picture, but there’s a white spot in the reeds behind the blue kayak–that’s the female grebe on the nest. There’s also a white spot a little in front of the blue kayak–that’s the male grebe trying to distract us from the nest.
In other water-related news, it rained a lot in April– at least 5 days (4 of which were consecutive) which I’ve been told is really weird! We’ll have to see if all this unseasonable rain affects bloom times or not.
Needles Field Office
Bureau of Land Management