I got up around 6:00 o’clock and headed over to the Gristmill Recreation Area to see if I could find galls there. It was 61º when I got there but got up to 102º by the afternoon. PM2.5 AQI levels reached: 184 AQI (Unhealthy) .
There are a variety of oak tree there including Interior Live Oaks, Valley Oaks, some Black Oaks and Holm Oaks. I was shocked, therefore, when I found only a handful of galls. The Holm and Black Oaks gave me nothing, but it’s always fun to see them.
On the live oaks I found Erineum mite galls, Pumpkin galls, some fold galls and Live Oak Bud galls… but that was only on two trees. I didn’t find anything at all on the other live oaks I looked at.
On the Valley Oaks, I was expecting to see Red Cone galls everywhere but I only found them on ONE tree, along with a single Yellow Wig Gall, some Jumping galls, a handful of Spined Turban galls, small Flat-Topped Honeydew galls, and stem galls. And, of course, there were Oak Apple galls on a lot of the trees.
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.
I got a few photos of a Jumping Spider (Colonus hesperus) on one of the leaves, and it was eating its breakfast. I had to chase it from one side of the leaf to the other until it finally stopped to stare me down.
I could hear a few birds like Nuttall’s Woodpeckers, Killdeer, Belted Kingfishers, and Oak Titmice, but I couldn’t get photos of them. I saw your basic Wild Turkeys, Common Mergansers, Mallards, Canada Geese, Wood Ducks, a Great Blue Heron, Mourning Doves, Black Phoebes and some Cedar Waxwings. There was also a small flock of Bushtits, but trying to get photos of any of them is always a challenge for me. They’re small and they move so fast!
I came across a birding ground that was following a “Warbling Vireo” in the treetops. I couldn’t see it, but it was fun to know that it was out there.
Not a lot happening, and I was only out for about 90 minutes because it was heating up fast, but I enjoyed the exercise. #CABiodiversityDay. This was hike #76 in my annual hike challenge.
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- Belted Kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon [heard]
- Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
- Black Walnut, Eastern Black Walnut, Juglans nigra
- Black Walnut Pouch Gall Mite, Aceria brachytarsa
- Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
- Bushtit, American Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus
- California Black Oak, Quercus kelloggii
- California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
- California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
- Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
- Cedar Waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum
- Common Fig, Ficus carica
- Common Merganser, Mergus merganser
- Crow, American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
- Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
- Flat-Topped Honeydew Gall Wasp, Disholcaspis eldoradensis
- Gall Inducing Wooly Aphid, Stegophylla essigi [in live oaks, folds the leaf over itself; sometimes the leaf turns red/reddish]
- Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
- Holm Oak, Quercus ilex
- Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
- Irregular Spindle Gall Wasp, Andricus chrysolepidicola [on white oaks, Blue, Valley, etc.]
- Jumping Spider, Colonus hesperus
- Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
- Live Oak Bud Gall Wasp, Callirhytis quercusagrifoliae
- Live Oak Erineum Mite Gall, Aceria mackiei
- Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
- Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
- Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
- Oak Apple, California Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
- Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
- Pumpkin Gall Wasp, Dryocosmus minusculus
- Red Cone Gall Wasp, Andricus kingi
- Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
- Spined Turban Gall Wasp, Cynips douglasii [summer gall, pink, spikey top]
- Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
- Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
- Western Gray Squirrel, Sciurus griseus
- White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
- Wood Duck, Aix sponsa
- Yellow Wig Gall Wasp, Andricus fullawayi