I got up around 6:30 this morning to overcast skies, and headed out to the American River Bend Park to check on the nest of Great Horned Owls there — and get some fresh air and low-impact exercise.
This is the season for Craneflies (Mosquito Hawks); they’re everywhere… but are very uncooperative And I also came across a few Snakeflies and different kinds of caterpillars including 3rd or 4th instar Tussock Moth, Dagger Moth and Oak Leafroller Moth caterpillars.
I also found a few female Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies that were looking pretty beat up, their wings all ragged from the weather and razor-like grasses in the fields. They’re laying their eggs on the pipevine plants right now, and I was able to find quite a few clusters of them on the stems, leaves and seedpods of the plants.
When I was looking over sticks for specimens of lichen, I caught sight of a Globular Spirngtail with the macro lens of my cellphone. They’re super-tiny and hard to see even with magnification, but I was able to get a few shots of it.
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.
Among the other insects, I found three different species of aphids including a Woolly Oak Aphid, Mugwort Aphid and Black Bean Aphid. I used the macro lens on the Mugwort Aphid and was able to see its black appendages and red eyes. Freaky!
I went to where the Great Horned Owl’s nest to see how they’re doing. The two fluffy owlets were in the nest, but mom was in a tree opposite them, preening. At one point, she lifted on of her feet and stretched her leg. Man, her feet are BIG.
While I was watching her, one of the homeless guys that “lives” at the park tried to approach me to talk about the owls. I told him he needed to stay away from me, I was “social distancing”. He said he had been taking videos of the owls while he’s sitting there, and said he could email them to me. I told him I don’t give my email address to strangers; sorry. He tried to come over to me to give me HIS email address, and again I told him no… social distancing. He then picked up a big piece of paper from his vehicle and wrote his email address on it and held it up so I could take a photo of it. Hah! Persistent and ingenious. So, I took a photo of it and thanked him.
When I was walking along the trail nearest the river, I could hear California Quails chi-ca-going at each other. I tried to follow the sound, and caught sight of one of the males down among the shrubs and rocks on the shoreline. He was pretty far away, so the photos aren’t the best, but I was satisfied with them anyway.
I also saw quite a few House Wrens, Scrub Jays and Acorn Woodpeckers along the way.
I saw several bucks who have lost last year’s antlers and are starting to grow their new ones. One had about 2 inches of growth already, but the others just had “nubbies”. There was also a doe further up the trail sort of hiding in the thicket, but she stepped out long enough for me to get some photos of her before she bounced off through the forest.
I was walking for about 4 hours and then headed back home.
- Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
- Ashy Mining Bee, Andrena cineraria [small, black and white]
- Black Bean Aphid, Aphis fabae
- Black Walnut, Eastern Black Walnut, Juglans nigra
- Blessed Milk Thistle, Silybum marianum
- Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
- Boreal Button Lichen, Buellia disciformis [pale gray to bluish with black apothecia on wood]
- Brown Grass Bug, Irbisia californica
- Bur Chervil, Anthriscus caucalis
- California Camouflage Lichen, Melanelixia californica [dark green with brown apothecia, on trees]
- California Manroot, Bigroot, Marah fabaceus
- California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
- California Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly, Battus philenor hirsuta
- California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
- California Quail, Callipepla californica
- California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
- Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
- Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
- Cranefly, Mosquito Hawk, Tipula dietziana
- Dagger Moth, Acronicta sp.[caterpillar]
- Dimpled Camouflage Lichen, Montanelia tominii [ink black on wood]
- European Earwig, Common Earwig, Forficula auricularia
- European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
- Farinose Cartilage Lichen, Ramalina farinacea
- Giraffe’s Head Henbit, Henbit Deadnettle, Lamium amplexicaule
- Globular Springtail, Ptenothrix marmorata
- Golden Shield Lichen, Xanthoria parietina
- Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus
- Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
- Hoary Lichen, Hoary Rosette, Physcia aipolia
- Hooded Rosette Lichen, Physcia adscendens [hairs/eyelashes on the tips of the lobes]
- House Wren, Troglodytes aedon
- Indian Strawberry, Potentilla indica [a kind of cinquefoil]
- Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
- Lace Lichen, Ramalina menziesii
- Mazegill Fungus, Daedalea quercina
- Miner’s Lettuce, Claytonia perfoliate
- Mugwort Aphid, Macrosiphoniella artemisiae [pale green, black legs, red eyes]
- Oak Leafroller Moth, Archips semiferana [caterpillar]
- Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
- Pin-cushion Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona polycarpa
- Pleated Ink Cap, Parasol Ink Cap, Parasola plicatilis
- Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
- Santa Barbara Sedge, Carex barbarae
- Sheet Weaver Spiders, Family: Linyphiidae [web]
- Shepherd’s-Purse, Capsella bursa-pastoris
- Shrubby Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona candelaria
- Snakefly, Agulla adnexa
- Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
- Stinging Nettle, Urtica dioica
- Sunburst Lichen, Xanthoria elegans
- Swift Crab Spider, Mecaphesa celer
- Toothed Crust Fungus, Basidioradulum sp.
- Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
- Western Tussock Moth, Orgyia vetusta
- White Clover, Trifolium repens
- White Horehound, Marrubium vulgare
- White-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys
- Woolly Oak Aphid, Stegophylla querci [in folded leaves, live oak]
- Yellow Fieldcap, Bolbitius titubans
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