I got up a little before 6:00 am this morning and headed over to the American River Bend Park for a walk. Rather than going on my regular route, I opted to cross the river at the bridge and walk alongside the banks there. So, I pulled the car into the parking lot on “my side” of the river and got out… and immediately saw several mama Wild Turkeys walking around the picnic tables eating leftovers with their babies (poults). The poults were about half their parents’ size, and in most of their feathers now, although still pretty scraggly-looking. One mama had three babies; another one had one. I got a few photos and some video snippets of them before moving on.
The acorns and summer wasp galls are starting to show up on the oak trees now. I found three or four different kinds of galls – including one I don’t think I’d ever seen before.
I also got some good photos of a sleepy Anna’s Hummingbird who decided to flit over to a branch next to me and just doze in the sun for a few seconds. I could tell something was “off” with the bird; it just didn’t look okay, and it also looked to me like his tongue was stuck in the “out” position, so I did some research on that after I got home. Apparently, the condition is known as “swollen tongue”. It’s caused by a fungal infection the birds get from feeding from dirty hummingbird feeders. The fungus causes the hummer’s tongue to swell and it eventually starves and suffocates to death. Oh, no! KEEP THOSE HUMMINGBIRD FEEDERS CLEAN, people!
The best find of the day, though, was seeing a mother river otter and three of her babies swimming and fishing along the shore, looking for mussels. So cute! But man those guys move fast! I managed to get a little bit of video of them. CLICK HERE to see it.
I walked for about 2 ½ hours and then headed home.