I got up around 5:00 am in pain and had to take some meds, then after letting the dog out to go potty, we both went back to bed until 7:00 am.
It was only 28° outside then. Wow! Brrrr! Nevertheless, I got myself ready and headed out for a walk at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery. It was 31° at the river, but warmed up to a balmy 45° a few hours later when I left.
They’re still doing a lot of reconstruction at the site and most of the area by the new (not yet finished) salmon ladder is fenced off and full of heavy equipment. You can get to the trail that runs along the hill beside the American River, and they’ve finished a new viewing platform with benches at then of the “paved” portion of the trail.
In the water were Common Goldeneyes, Common Mergansers, and Mallards. I noticed that the Goldeneyes were getting harassed by the gulls. As soon as one of the Goldeneyes was able to catch a fish, a gull would attack it and grab the fish! I saw this behavior about four times, but was only able to video the aftermath of the attacks. Those gulls were FAST!
Along the bank of the river were Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, and Snowy Egrets. When I was taking photos of one of the Great Blue Herons, I was astonished to see some early-in-the-season lupines and vetch in bloom. The plants are so confused by the weather.
And there were a couple of Green Herons inside the fenced-in raceways that usually house the salmon fry. There were no fish in the raceways today, though, because the cement raceways were being cleaned, so the herons got nuthin’ for their efforts.
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.
I took quite a few photos of a small flock of Lesser Goldfinches as they wrested and ate seeds from the Starthistle. Then I saw a male Anna’s Hummingbird sunning himself on a twig, and just as I focused on him and took the photo, a female Goldfinch took his place on the twig. Hah! I guess she REALLY wanted her photo taken!
There were quite a few White-Crowned Sparrows around, eating cast off seeds and berries from the Coffeeberry trees. I also came across a Song Sparrow and got a little bit of video of it singing.
The big surprise of the day was seeing a beaver swimming along the shore on the opposite side of the river. I was able to get a little bit of video of it. I had never seen one there before, so that was a nice treat.
I walked for about 2½ hours. This was walk #9 of my #52HikeChallenge.
- American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
- Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
- Audubon’s Warbler, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
- Beaver, American, Beaver, Castor canadensis
- Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
- Blessed Milk Thistle, Silybum marianum
- Brewer’s Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
- Bush Lupine, Silver Lupine, Lupinus albifrons
- California Gull, Larus californicus [yellow legs; dark eye; red spot]
- Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
- Coffeeberry, California Buckthorn, Frangula californica
- Common Goldeneye, Bucephala clangula
- Common Merganser, Mergus merganser
- Common Sunburst Lichen, Golden Shield Lichen, Xanthoria parietina [yellow-orange,on wood/trees]
- Double-Crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auratus
- Glaucous-Winged Gull, Larus glaucescens [gray wings/grey wing-tips; red spot; pink legs]
- Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
- Great Egret, Ardea alba
- Green Heron, Butorides virescens
- Hairy Vetch, Winter Vetch, Vicia villosa ssp. villosa
- Herring Gull, Larus argentatus [spot on bill, gray legs, pale eye]
- Himalayan Blackberry, Rubus bifrons [white flowers]
- Hoary Rosette Lichen, Physcia aipolia [hoary, brown apothecia]
- House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
- Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
- Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
- Musk Stork’s-Bill, Erodium moschatum
- Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
- Prickly Pear Cactus, Indian Fig Opuntia, Opuntia ficus-indica
- Ring-Billed Gull, Larus delawarensis [ black ring, light eye, yellow legs]
- Snowy Egret, Egretta thula
- Soft Rush, Juncus effusus
- Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia
- Western Gull, Larus occidentalis [spot on bill, pink legs, orange circle around eye]
- White-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys
- Yellow Starthistle, Centaurea solstitialis
- Yellow Water Iris, Yellow Flag, Iris pseudacorus [invasive]