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