Lots of Birds and Their Babies at the River Bend Park

I got up around 6:30 this morning and was out with the dog by about 6:45 am.  It was cool again today; around 70° with just a few stringy clouds.  Very nice.

Sergeant Margie and I went over to the American River Bend Park and walked around there for about 3 hours.  As soon as we drove in we were greeted by a young Mule Deer (a male I think) walking across the grassy-area.  While I took photos of him, a male Mallard Duck flew in from somewhere, right down next to the deer, and they both started poking at the grass.  I got a little bit of video of them together… so cute.  Right overhead, at the same time, was a small flock of Cedar Waxwings in their mating colors, so I got some photos of them, too.  It was a great way to start off our walk!

Further along the way, we came across a pair of Wrens flitting back and forth around their next inside a hole in a tree.  I could see some of the babies inside, mouths gaping for food.  Hah! It looked like their beaks were bigger than their faces.  I got some video of them, as well.  I also found a Tree Swallow nest – and some of the swallows tending to their babies.  Lots of turkeys, geese, Acorn Woodpeckers, Starlings, Nuthatches, and other birds were out, flying around, singing away… The whole forest was full of noise.

The cow vetch and wild grapevines were all out en masse.  The grapevines are already priming themselves to make grapes, too.  We also found about three Tussock Moth caterpillars in different instars, different sizes, and all sorts of Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars and their chrysalises… I ended up with over 100 photos.  Here are just a few of them: