I got around 6:30 am and headed over to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve. It was a little foggy and about 49º at the preserve when I got there but went up to about 77º by the afternoon.
The first thing I saw when I got into the preserve was a large 3-pointer buck. He was moving through the meadow with the fog around his flanks and ankles. He was really too far away to get any super good photos of him, but I was still able to get a handful of fairly good images.
Then I came across a group of females, one fawn and a spike buck. Because the group was so close to one another, I was able to get a few two-fer shots which I always like. One female stepped forward to act as a barrier between me and the rest of the group. She eventually crossed the trail and hung out in the shallow pasture on that side. Among the deer there, I’m able to recognize a few individuals, especially one with a very long face. That one was a part of this group, so I was able to get photos of her. The deer seemed fine with me there (all dressed in black and not moving much) but were startled when a pair of other walkers came by (dressed in more brightly colored clothing and walking somewhat quickly).
The “shy mama” deer and her fawn were on the other side of the preserve. She doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to introduce her baby to the rest of the herd.
There were a LOT of Turkey Vultures out thus morning, including a couple of juveniles (with their steel-black beaks). At one spot I was able to see seven or eight of them all standing with their wings out in the “heraldic” pose. I think they’re such neat birds.
I also saw quite a few Northern Flickers out today, a Red-Shouldered Hawk hunting in the same field he was the last time I was out at the preserve, and a Cooper’s Hawk that only show me its back. I caught a glimpse of a coyote but was unable to get any photos of it.
I was able to get some video footage of an Eastern Fox Squirrel worrying the meat out of an old black walnut shell, and more footage of a California Ground Squirrel pealing and eating an acorn, and another Ground Squirrel working on the front of its burrow. I’m always fascinated by how well and quickly they can manipulate things with their front paws.
Showy Milkweed is all dying right now and going to seed. Only one or two Monarch caterpillars early in the year and nothing this fall. Much less than last year.
- Here is the album of photos and some videos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mkhnaturalist/albums/72157672835923147
- Video of squirrel with acorn: https://youtu.be/oKt6972qqvo
- Ground Squirrel at burrow #1: https://youtu.be/UNYoAaXIQmQ
- Ground Squirrel at burrow #2: https://youtu.be/x_spmBSVGxI
- Ground Squirrel at burrow #3: https://youtu.be/Cqo1iN2BegM
I walked for about 3 hours and then headed back home,