First Trip to Hinkle Creek, 02-23-21

I got up with the alarm at 6:30 am and was out the door with my friend and fellow naturalist, Roxanne, to go over to the Hinkle Creek Nature Area in Folsom. We got there a little before 8:00 am and met up with our new acquaintance, Colleen W.

None of us had ever been there before, so we weren’t really sure what to expect. The nature area is just outside the manicured Lew Howard Park. When we first drove in, we didn’t know which was to go to find the trailhead, and ended up in someone’s driveway. D’oh! The owner was outside working on her garden and walked up to the car to see what we wanted, but she hadn’t put her hearing aids in, so she couldn’t hear or understand a word we said. We apologized for trespassing, and drove back out again.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos from today.

We finally found the little gravel parking area right in front of the trailhead and were parked there for just a few minutes before Colleen showed up to join us. She’s an avid birder, so she was able to help us identify some of the bird by their song. In turn, we were able to help her with plant and lichen identification.

Kiosks at the trailhead

I think we figured we saw and/or heard about 20 different bird species including California and Spotted Towhees, finches, Western Bluebirds, Dark-Eyed Juncos, Audubon’s Warblers, and the like. Nothing really “new” to us.

Among the lichen we saw Gold Dust and Green Shield Lichen on the trees, and Emery Rock Tripe, Crater and Cinder Lichen on the rocks among others.

Cumberland Rock-Shield Lichen, Xanthoparmelia cumberlandia, and Crater Lichen, Diploschistes scruposus

The trail there is about a mile loop, part of it cut out and part of it more like a game trail with markers all along it. It follows the curves of the hills and can be rocky in some spots and muddy in others. There’s also a foot bridge over the creek. It’s all surrounded by a variety of native and non-native trees and plants. Many of the plants are just starting to come into flower like the miner’s lettuce, chickweed, and manroot. It was really quite lovely…and not too far a drive to go back later in the season when, hopefully, wildflowers will be blooming.

Giraffe’s Head, Henbit Deadnettle, Lamium amplexicaule

When we were done with our walk there, we bid Colleen goodbye and headed back to Sacramento. We stopped briefly at the Watt Access to the American River before going home. Just as we started home, the winds picked up and blew for the rest of the day.

This was hike #21 of my #52HikeChallenge.

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  3. Arroyo Willow, Salix lasiolepis
  4. Audubon’s Warbler, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
  5. Barn Funnel Weaver Spider, Tegenaria domestica
  6. Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
  7. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  8. Bufflehead Duck, Bucephala albeola
  9. Bur Parsley, Bur Chervil, Anthriscus caucalis
  10. California Buckeye Chestnut Tree, Aesculus californica
  11. California Gull, Larus californicus [yellow legs; dark eye; red spot]
  12. California Manroot, Bigroot, Marah fabaceus
  13. California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
  14. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  15. California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  16. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  17. Chickweed, Common Chickweed, Stellaria media
  18. Chinese Privet, Glossy Privet, Ligustrum lucidum
  19. Cinder Lichen, Aspicilia cinerea
  20. Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia
  21. Common Goldeneye, Bucephala clangula
  22. Common Merganser, Mergus merganser
  23. Crater Lichen, Diploschistes scruposus
  24. Crow, American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
  25. Crown Whitefly, Aleuroplatus coronata
  26. Cumberland Rock-Shield Lichen, Xanthoparmelia cumberlandia [gray on rocks, brown apotheca
  27. Dark-Eyed Junco, Junco hyemalis
  28. Double-Crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auratus [fly over]
  29. Emery Rocktripe Lichen, Umbilicaria phaea
  30. False Turkey-Tail, Stereum hirsutum [thin, flattish, brown underside]
  31. False Turkey-Tail, Stereum ostrea
  32. Giraffe’s Head, Henbit Deadnettle, Lamium amplexicaule
  33. Gold Dust Lichen, Chrysothrix candelaris
  34. Goldback Fern, Pentagramma triangularis
  35. Golden-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
  36. Golden-Haired Inkcap Mushroom, Parasola auricoma
  37. Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
  38. Hairy Vetch, Winter Vetch, Vicia villosa ssp. villosa
  39. House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
  40. Hover Fly, Migrant Hover Fly, Eupeodes corollae
  41. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  42. Jack-o-Lantern, Western Jack-o-Lantern, Omphalotus olivascens
  43. Jointed Charlock, Wild Radish, Raphanus raphanistrum
  44. Maidenhair, California Maidenhair Fern, Adiantum jordanii
  45. Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  46. Milk-White Toothed Polypore, Irpex lacteus
  47. Miner’s Lettuce, Claytonia perfoliata
  48. Mistletoe, American Mistletoe, Big Leaf Mistletoe, Phoradendron leucarpum
  49. Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
  50. Northern Harrier, Marsh Hawk, Circus hudsonius [fly over]
  51. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
  52. Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  53. Poison Oak, Pacific Poison Oak, Western Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
  54. Pore Lichen, Pertusaria sp.
  55. Radish-Scented Mycena, Rosy Bonnet, Mycena rosea
  56. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus [heard, saw flyby]
  57. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  58. Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Regulus calendula
  59. Soil Centipede, Order: Geophilomorpha
  60. Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  61. Strap Lichen, Western Strap Lichen, Ramalina leptocarpha [without soredia]
  62. Tall Psathyrella Mushroom, Psathyrella longipes [tan cap that often splits, dark tan gills]
  63. Toyon, Heteromeles arbutifolia
  64. Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
  65. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura [fly over]
  66. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  67. Wavy-Leafed Soap Plant, Soaproot, Chlorogalum pomeridianum
  68. Western Bluebird, Sialia Mexicana
  69. White Alder, Alnus rhombifolia
  70. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis