Came Across the Owlet!

This is the first day of my mini-vacation.  I don’t have to go back to work until Tuesday next week.  I slept in a little bit and got up around 7:00 am.  I was off to the American River Bend Park by about 7:30.

The first thing I saw when I got there was the Great Horned Owls… three of them this time; mama, papa, and their fledgling which was almost as big as the adults but still had a lot of its fluffy down on its body.  I think this might have been one of its first flight days.  Mom and dad would fly from tree cluster to tree cluster, and when the baby had bottled up enough courage, it took a short flight after them.  Because they were moving so much, I didn’t get pictures of the adults, but I was able to get pictures of the youngster when he stopped in a tree to rest for a few minutes.  So kewl-looking with his huge yellow eyes.  After that, I saw more of the usual suspects: Acorn Woodpeckers, Western Bluebirds, Wrens… and lots of butterfly chrysalises including some bright green ones left by Tiger Swallowtails.  At one point along the trail I spotted a jackrabbit, and paused to video it.  It made its way through the tall grass and shrubs, and stepped right out onto the trail in front of me.  It paused for a second when it saw me, like “oh shit!”, and then took off in another direction.  Hah!  There were also a lot of lizards out today: alligator lizards and blue-bellies.  I walked for about 2 ½ hours and then headed back home.