Salt Marsh Sparrow Patrol
Wachiska Audubon’s Monthly Field Trip
Sea blite, salt marsh aster, and saltwort sound like the type of plants that would normally be found next to an ocean, yet they flourish in the landlocked saline wetlands of Lancaster and Saunders counties in Nebraska. A handful of local salt marshes host many unique salt-tolerant plants and are Nebraska’s most rare and threatened natural communities. Even though a “salt boom” created a successful industry for the City of Lincoln from the mid to late 1800s, most saltwater basins were ultimately filled. We’ll explore three salt marshes that still survive today as we search for sparrows that sometimes utilize these wetlands and the surrounding prairies. Some of the sparrow species that might turn up include savannah, song, swamp, grasshopper, white-throated, fox, Le Conte’s, and Nelson’s.
We’ll meet Sunday, October 16, at 1:00 p.m. at the Pfizer Saline Wetlands parking lot just southwest of North 1st Street and Cornhusker Highway in Lincoln. After a moderate hike at Pfizer, which is a salt marsh gem located right in the middle of town, we’ll head north of town and continue our sparrow quest at The Nature Conservancy’s Little Salt Fork Marsh Preserve and Jack Sinn Wildlife Management Area. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a water bottle, insect repellent, and binoculars if you have them. If you have questions call 402-475-7275. There is no charge, and the public is welcome.