‘Shrooms, Slime Molds, Birds and Bucks

I got up around 7:00 this morning and was out the door by 7:30 am to go over to the American River Bend Park for another fungus crawl.  Saw a lot of ‘shrooms, and lichen, and other fungi – and two specimens of Insect Egg Slime Mold that were really good.  I also saw a Red-Shouldered Hawk fly over my head carrying some stuff in her mouth, and she landed in a big nest in the tree next to where I was standing.  I tried to get photos of her head poking above the rim of the nest, but she wouldn’t show herself – so I got nest photos but no bird.  And, of course, the minute I dropped my camera down to take a photo of the big yellow mushroom nearby, the hawk flew out again.  Arrgh!  Hah!

I walked for about 3 hours and then on the way back to my car, I came across a couple of does foraging on leaves, so I sopped to take their pictures.  They were hidden behind some thickets, so I stepped around to try to get a more clear view of them, and discovered one of the huge bucks, just sitting in the grass watching the does.  He looked over his back at me and let me get some pictures of him before he got up and sauntered off…  So neat.

The best part of the walk, though, as when I came across a puddle where some Golden Crowned Sparrows were bathing.  Nothing cuter than fat birds flouncing around in the water.  So I stopped to take some photos and video of them.  While I was doing that, an Acorn Woodpecker flew down and started bathing, too!  And then a Spotted Towhee joined them for a little bit!  Very kewl.

And here’s a video of the birds:  http://youtu.be/ohmllGRM534