The “Jack” was the Standout Today, 10-15-19

I got up around 7 o’clock and headed out to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve for my weekly volunteer trail walking gig.  It was 41º at the preserve when I got there – eventually, I’ll have to admit it’s really Fall and give up my soft jacket for my winter coat, but right now, the jacket seems to work okay.  It’s supposed to be about 80º by the late afternoon.

There were a lot of deer out today, but I’m seeing mostly does and fawns and some yearlings. None of the big boys were around today.

Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus. There were a lot of deer out today.

I also heard and saw quite a few Northern Flickers, but they’re pretty camera shy, so I didn’t get any really good photos of them.

As I was walking the River Trail, I could see fog on the water in the American River, which was cool.  I also saw quite a few deer wading through the water along the shore.  Around that same area, I saw a small flock of female Rio Grande Wild Turkeys scratching through the grass. One of them was limping badly and held her foot up when she was standing still. The way she was holding that foot made me think her leg was broken, or there was some kind of nerve damage in that leg. Rather than putting her foot down flat, she had her knuckles curled so the topside of her toes was touching the ground. I’m going to worry about her now…

The female turkey was holding her foot “upside down”, which is often an indicator that there is nerve damage somewhere in the leg or hip.

As I was heading out of the preserve, I caught sight of a male Nuttall’s Woodpecker flitting through the grass and up the sides of dead trees, and I got some photos and a video snippet of him.  Then when he flew out of sight, a female Nuttall’s flew in, so I was able to get a few photos of her, too.           

Then I saw a Jackrabbit near the nature center who was chewing on some horseweed plants.  It hung around for quite a while, and even remained where it was when a small group of children walked by.  I showed them where the jackrabbit was and was surprised by how quiet they were when looking at it.  They were careful to move silently and slowly and kept themselves calm even though they were grinning from ear to ear and stifling giggles with their hands.  It was nice to see that kind of respect for nature; they’re parents did a good job.

CLICK HERE to see the full album of photos.
Video of a small herd of deer:
Video of a Northern Flicker:
Video of a Jackrabbit eating Horseweed:

I walked for about 3 hours and then went into the nature center to log my hours. The volunteer coordinator, Rachael, was there and let me know that she’s going to be leading a sunset walk at William Pond Park later in the week and will take folks over the bridge into the River Bend Park to listen for owls.  Sounds like fun!

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. American Bullfrog, Lithobates catesbeianus
  3. American Kestrel, Falco sparverius
  4. Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
  5. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  6. Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
  7. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  8. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  9. California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
  10. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  11. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  12. Common Snowberry, Symphoricarpos albus
  13. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  14. Flax-Leaf Horseweed, Erigeron canadensis
  15. Golden Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
  16. Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
  17. Mallard duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  18. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  19. Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
  20. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
  21. Olive Tree, Olea europaea
  22. Peregrine Falcon, Wek-Wek, Falco peregrinus
  23. Pyracantha, Pyracantha coccinea
  24. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  25. Soap Plant, Wavy Leafed Soaproot, Chlorogalum pomeridianum
  26. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  27. Variegated Meadowhawk Dragonfly, Sympetrum corruptum
  28. Western Bluebird, Sialia mexicana
  29. White-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys