The Spike Buck Was the Stand Out Today, 10-14-20

I got up around 7:00 again this morning, and was out the door by 7:30 am to take a walk at the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve. I was in a little Poltergeist pain, so that was kind of distracting, and it was already warming up for the day, so I was only out for about 2 hours.

All of the bright lovely Sulphur Shelf fungi I’d seen last time I was there, were pretty much done in already. Humans have broken off most of the shelves and pulled the fungi off the trees, which is really sad to see. So, now most of the brackets are now brittle and going chalky already.

One of the few specimens of Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Western Hardwood Sulphur Shelf, Laetiporus gilbertsonii, that wasn’t yet spoiled by human predation.

I saw quite a few deer today, including a small herd of does, yearling fawns and a young spike buck. The spike buck was really feeling his oats, and was bouncing around, chasing females and trying to mount them… until two larger bucks showed up. Then the young guy took off and kept his distance.  At one point, though, they were very close to me, maybe within ten feet, and another photographer stopped to take photos of my encounter with them. That was cool.

I also got pretty close to a Red-Shouldered Hawk on two occasions.  I saw him first right over my head on a branch in an oak tree.  I heard him “trilling” from his perch before I saw him.  By the time I lifted my camera to get a photo of him, each time he flew off further away and higher into the trees.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

Lots of Acorn Woodpeckers were out and about, moving acorns from one of their granary trees to another. In one of the trees, the Acorn Woodpeckers were stashing acorns in behind the bark and some Starlings figure out what they doing. One of the Starlings got in behind the bark and poked its head out through a hole in it like it was a nesting cavity. Hah!

European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris

On the way out of the preserve, I saw a little Bewick’s Wren in among the snowberry bushes and got a few shots of it, and I also found a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet near the little pond by the nature center.

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. American Bull Frog, Lithobates catesbeianus
  3. Azolla, Water Fern, Azolla filiculoides
  4. Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
  5. Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii
  6. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  7. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  8. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  9. Coyote, Canis latrans [scat]
  10. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  11. Eastern Gray Squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis
  12. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  13. Golden Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
  14. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  15. Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
  16. Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  17. Poison Oak, Pacific Poison Oak, Western Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
  18. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  19. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  20. Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Regulus calendula
  21. Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Western Hardwood Sulphur Shelf, Laetiporus gilbertsonii
  22. Tule, Common Tule, Schoenoplectus acutus
  23. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata