Lots of “Little Things”, 05-06-20

Up at about 6:30 this morning and then headed over to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve for a walk. It was lovely, breezy and relatively cool all morning, and got up to a high of about 84°F by the afternoon.

I was anxious to see if the bees were still in the “bee tree”, so I walked along the Pond Trail to check that out first.  I was so happy to see that they were still there.  The queen must be well-settled now.

Feral European Honeybee, Apis mellifera

The Black Phoebes have fledglings in their nest now.  I saw the dad coming with food to assist mom.  The last time I saw them, I didn’t see the male around and worried that the mom was on her own.  It was good to see she has help.

Black Phoebes, Sayornis nigricans

The Showy Milkweed on the grounds is starting to come into bloom, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for any Monarch caterpillars as the months go on.  We saw nothing last year, but hope we’ll get a glimpse of some this year.  I’ll be loading my observations to the Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper site) when I see anything.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

The Goldwire is starting to bloom, too, and it’s nice to see the joyful bright yellow starting to dot the landscape.

Goldwire, Hypericum concinnum

I saw mostly “little things” today: ladybeetles in various stages of development, tiny moths, plant galls, spider eggs sacs and caterpillars. 

All along the trail I kept seeing these little insects scurrying along. To the naked eye, they looked like dark bugs with a pale rim around their bodies and legs, and I couldn’t tell what they were.  So, I got out the macro attachment for my cellphone and took some close up photos of a few of them.  They looked like small crickets – like tiny brown versions of the Jerusalem crickets, with smooth shiny bodies and long antennae.  I haven’t ID-ed them yet.

Unidentified Camel Cricket, Superfamily: Rhaphidophoroidea

I saw quite a few birds, but most of them were back-lit or in stickery bushes, so I couldn’t get a lot of photos and that was a bit disappointing.  But it was still reassuring to see them… life goes on.

I walked for about 3 hours and headed back home. 

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Asian Ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis
  3. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  4. Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
  5. Boxelder, Box Elder Tree, Acer negundo
  6. Buffalo Treehopper, Stictocephala alta [exuvia]
  7. California Buckeye Chestnut Tree, Aesculus californica
  8. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  9. California Manroot, Bigroot, Marah fabaceus
  10. California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
  11. California Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly, Battus philenor hirsuta
  12. California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
  13. California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica
  14. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  15. California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  16. California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
  17. California Wild Rose, Rosa californica
  18. Camel Cricket, Superfamily: Rhaphidophoroidea [small, found on trail]
  19. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  20. Common Fringepod, Thysanocarpus curvipes
  21. Convergent Lady Beetle, Hippodamia convergens
  22. Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
  23. Coyote Brush Bud Gall midge, Rhopalomyia californica
  24. Cranefly, Mosquito Hawk, Tipula dietziana
  25. Darkling Beetle, Mountain Beetle, Coniontis sp.
  26. Downy Leather-Winged Beetle Podabrus pruinosus [kind of looks like a Soldier Beetle]
  27. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  28. European Earwig, Common Earwig, Forficula auricularia
  29. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  30. Feral European Honeybee, Apis mellifera
  31. Fimbriate Gall Wasp, Andricus opertus [on Valley Oak leaf]
  32. Fruit-Tree Leafroller Moth, Archips argyrospila
  33. Goldwire, Hypericum concinnum
  34. Green Leafhopper, Nephotettix virescens
  35. House Wren, Troglodytes aedon
  36. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  37. Lace Bug, Corythucha sp.
  38. Leaf Gall Wasp/ Unidentified per Russo, Tribe: Cynipidi [on Valley Oak]
  39. Live Oak Gall Wasp, 2nd Generation, Callirhytis quercuspomiformis
  40. Lupine, Chick Lupine, Lupinus microcarpus
  41. Miniature Lupine, Lupinus bicolor
  42. Mugwort Weevil, Scaphomorphus longinasus
  43. Oak Apple Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
  44. Oleander Aphid, Aphis nerii
  45. Plum, Prunus cerasifera
  46. Poison Hemlock, Conium maculatum
  47. Poison Oak, Pacific Poison Oak, Western Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
  48. Popcorn Flowers, Plagiobothrys sp.
  49. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  50. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  51. Rose Clover, Trifolium hirtum
  52. Showy Milkweed, Asclepias speciosa
  53. Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  54. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  55. Western Tussock Moth, Orgyia vetusta
  56. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
  57. Yarrow, Achillea millefolium
  58. ?? spider egg sac with black tips