Lake Solano Park on 03-08-15

I slept in a tiny bit today (with the time change to Daylight Saving’s Time it really didn’t seem to matter much), and headed off around 8:30 to Lake Solano Park just outside of Winters.  The park doesn’t open until 9:00 am which is usually “too late” in the morning to get any good critter photos, but I still managed to get a few – including some of the peacocks there, Steller’s Jays, Scrub Jays, some Lewis’s Woodpeckers (which I’d never seen before), a Yellow-Shafted Flicker (red-shafted are common here, but the yellow-shafted ones are “Eastern” birds and seldom show up around here)…and a bunch of other “usual suspect” birds.  Maybe on my vacation, I’ll camp overnight at the site and try to get some earlier-in-the-morning photos from the campsite side part of the park, rather than waiting for the day-use side to open up… As I was researching the Lewis’s Woodpecker, I found out that their populations are declining. This species is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch, which lists species most in danger of extinction without significant conservation action. It is also on the Audubon WatchList. You couldn’t tell that by the number in the park today.  They seemed to be in almost every tree…

There were a few Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies around the park, and I watched one female as she laid her eggs.  I couldn’t get close enough to her to film her while she was laying, but I did get some photos of the eggs afterwards…

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Mary K. Hanson is a breast cancer survivor who, at age 61, took coursework to become a Certified California Naturalist. The author of “The Chubby Woman’s Walkabout”™ blog, Ms. Hanson has also written nature-based feature articles published in regional newspapers, authored over ten books, including her "Cool Stuff Along the American" series of guide books, and has had her photographs featured in books, articles, calendars, on the American River Parkway Foundation’s Instagram stream, and even the White House blog. This year Ms. Hanson is helping to launch and teach a new Certified California Naturalist course through Tuleyome, in partnership with the University of California and the Woodland Library, so members of the public can themselves become certified as naturalists in the state. All of the photos seen on her website were taken by Ms. Hanson herself (unless noted otherwise) with moderate- to low-end photographic equipment more easily affordable to the everyday nature enthusiast. She also occasionally leads photo-walks through the American River Bend Park for the public and is sometimes available for public speaking.