Two Destinations in One Day, 02-17-20

I got up around 7:30 this morning, and after feeding the dog his breakfast, I headed out to the Nimbus Fish Hatchery for a walk.  It was bright and sunny there when I got there, about 48°, but it warmed up quickly until I was just in my shirtsleeves.

At the hatchery, the runs were filled with trout and baby salmon, and the top of the fish ladder had several dozen huge Steelhead and Coho Salmon resting in the water.  The salmon get pretty banged up on their way back to their spawning waters from the ocean, and one of them looked like all of the skin and meat had been torn off its head some there was nothing but skeleton showing.  Wow. Brutal.

Coho Salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch, with most of its facial skin and flesh lost due to its brutal fight back to fresh water from the ocean

I photographed some of the lichen on the rocks and trees, including some black granular-looking lichen I wasn’t able to ID in the field.  More research. Fun! 

Black Grain-Spored Lichen, Sarcogyne hypophaea

And I even came across a teneral damselfly. It’s way too early for those little guys to be out.

In the river, I saw lots of Common Mergansers and Common Goldeneye ducks swimming in groups and fishing.  They found an outlet in the side of the river where some of the sluice comes out of the hatchery.  I saw some of them catch tiny fish and gobble them up.

A male Common Merganser, Mergus merganser [top] and a male Common Goldeneye, Bucephala clangula [bottom]

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

There were gulls everywhere – but it’s difficult for me to ID them unless I can get some clear photos of them.  They’re all white and gray, so, to identify one species from the other, I have to look at their eyes and the color of their legs and feet… There were lots of cormorants out there, too, including a few that have their double-crests in; they look like big hairy eyebrows above each eye.

I walked along the river there for about 2 hours and then drove across the street to the Aquatic Center to see what was over there. No real access to the river that I could see. So, that was a little bit of a waste of time. Then I drove down the highway to the American River Bend Park, and walked around the picnic area for another hour or so before heading back home.

California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi

At the park, I saw deer, Wild Turkeys and California Ground Squirrels, and also got some more lichen photos. It was a good outing!

Species List:

  1. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  2. Bark Rim Lichen, Lecanora chlarotera [looks like Whitewash Lichen but has apothecia]
  3. Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
  4. Black Grain-Spored Lichen, Sarcogyne hypophaea
  5. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  6. Brewer’s Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
  7. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  8. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  9. Coffeeberry, California Buckthorn, Frangula californica
  10. Coho Salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch
  11. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  12. Common Goldeneye, Bucephala clangula
  13. Common Merganser, Mergus merganser
  14. Common Sunburst Lichen, Xanthoria parietina
  15. Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
  16. Crabseye Lichen, Ochrolechia subpallescens [creamy colored lichen with white-rimmed pale orange/pink apothecia]
  17. Damselfly, in its “teneral” state; unable to fully identify
  18. Double-Crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auratus
  19. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  20. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  21. False Turkey Tail fungus, Stereum complicatum
  22. Fennel, Sweet Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare
  23. Fig, Common Fig, Ficus carica
  24. Gold Dust Lichen, Chrysothrix candelaris
  25. Golden Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
  26. Great Blue Heron, Ardea Herodias
  27. Great Egret, Ardea alba
  28. Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
  29. Greylag Goose, Anser anser
  30. Hairy Vetch, Winter Vetch, Vicia villosa ssp. villosa
  31. Himalayan Blackberry, Rubus armeniacus
  32. Hoary Lichen, Hoary Rosette, Physcia aipolia
  33. Hooded Rosette Lichen, Physcia adscendens
  34. House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
  35. House Sparrow, Passer domesticus
  36. Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
  37. Mallard duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  38. Mesh Web Spider, Dictyna sp.
  39. Mistletoe, American Mistletoe, Big Leaf Mistletoe, Phoradendron leucarpum
  40. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  41. Pastel Comma Lichen, Arthonia pruinata
  42. Pin-cushion Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona polycarpa
  43. Pointleaf Manzanita, Arctostaphylos pungens
  44. Rainbow Trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss
  45. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  46. Ring-Billed Gull, Larus delawarensis [ black ring, light eye, yellow legs]
  47. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  48. Rock Shield Lichen, Xanthoparmelia conspersa
  49. Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Regulus calendula
  50. Rusty Tussock Moth, Orgyia antiqua
  51. Sandbar Willow, Salix exigua var. hindsiana
  52. Shrubby Sunburst Lichen Polycauliona candelaria
  53. Steelhead, anadromous form of Oncorhynchus mykiss
  54. Stem Rust Fungus, Puccinia evadens [attacks Coyote Brush]
  55. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  56. Western Carpenter Ant, Camponotus modoc
  57. Western Gull, Larus occidentalis
  58. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis