Turkeys in the Trees, 11-23-21

I got up around 6:30 am again and got myself ready to go out to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve for a walk.

When I got there I couldn’t help but notice that most of the Wild Turkeys were all up in the trees, complaining like there was something on the ground that frightened them. I figured it must have been rattlesnakes or a coyote, but I couldn’t see either one.

I was hoping for some slimes molds and fungi, but I don’t think it’s really wet enough here — at least where I’m looking. I did find some white slime mold (in a very hear-to-photograph space, and something that I thought might have been black slime mold. It turned out to be a sort of lichen; one I’d never documented before so that was cool. No great photos, though.

Honeycomb Coral Slime Mold, Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa, which may be covered by another kind of fungus

A lot of the fungi that I was able to spot was off the trail — and you can’t leave the trails at Effie — so I was relegated to getting distance shot of them.

At one spot, though, I found some Red-Threads [AKA Pleated Marasmius]. They’re such pretty little things with their wine-colored caps and pale, broadly-spread-apart gills. I thought at first they might be Bleeding Mycena, but the stipe didn’t bleed when broken.

Near the riverside, I stopped to see if I could spot some salmon in the water. I did see the splash of some of them racing against the current, but couldn’t really see the fish themselves.

I got to see two different species of hawks along the trail. First, I caught sight of a Cooper’s Hawk, and then I saw a Red-Shouldered Hawk flying from one tree to another.

When I pointed the Red-Shouldered Hawk out to a newbie birder, she tried to argue that it was a juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk or a Cooper’s Hawk, and I explained why I believed it was a Red-Shouldered (the reddish capelet around the neck, the mottled back, the barred tail). She insisted the barring would be thinner on a Red-Shouldered and, she complained, she couldn’t see the rusty coloring of its breast. I told her she couldn’t see that because the bird had its back to her. (Duh!) Then the bird turned around flew down into the grass trying to catch something. “Oh,” the woman said, “I guess you’re right. That is a Red-Shouldered Hawk.”  Never question me, woman. Hah!

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

Later, I was watching the Acorn Woodpeckers at their granary tree and saw one that was doing “maintenance”. When it found a rotten acorn or something that didn’t quite fit, it threw it on the ground. I’d seen the woodpeckers move acorns from one hole to the next but I’d never seen them toss stuff away before. A new behavior for me.

I could hear a lot of different birds — Nuttall’s woodpeckers, Oak Titmice, California Towhees, Spotted Towhees, California Quail — but only managed to catch a glimpse of some of them, and didn’t get photos of any of them. I saw several small flocks of Canada Geese flying overhead. There were Black Phoebes around, and I got photos of some of them.

The Interior Live Oak trees were boasting a variety of tiny galls from the summer months, most of the galls gone brown with age.  But I noticed that one many of the leaves there was the telltale dark brownish lines left by more galls that had seemingly been aborted before they grew. The sudden shifts in the weather must have been too much for the miniscule larvae inside the galls, and both they and the galls died.

I also got to see a few of the deer on the property.

I noted, as I was leaving the preserve, that the “rattlesnake habitat” play area had been turned into a new native plant garden. Well, that was a smart thing to do.

Refurbishment of the “rattlesnake habitat” into a native plants garden.

Previously, the area had been all stepping stones and boulders, and was meant for kids to jump around and climb… but the rattlesnakes loved hiding and sleeping along the edges of the rocks — and I know of at least one occasion when a child was bitten by one of the snakes (because I was there when it happened, and took some photos of the snake when it had been captured live and put in a bucket to be transferred to another part of the preserve). Workers pulled out all of the boulders except for one, and set down flowers beds surrounded by river rocks. We’ll see how much the snakes like that.

I walked for about 3½ hours and then headed home. This was hike #87 of my annual hike challenge.

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Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna [heard]
  3. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  4. Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii
  5. Bumpy Rim-Lichen, Lecanora hybocarpa [tan to brown apothecia]
  6. California Camouflage Lichen, Melanelixia californica [dark green with brown apothecia, on trees]
  7. California Mycena Mushroom, Mycena californiensis
  8. California Quail, Callipepla californica [heard]
  9. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  10. California Sycamore, Western Sycamore, Platanus racemose
  11. California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  12. California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
  13. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  14. Chinook Salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
  15. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  16. Common Bonnet Mushroom, Mycena galericulata
  17. Common Merganser, Mergus merganser [male, in river]
  18. Common Sunburst Lichen, Golden Shield Lichen, Xanthoria parietina [yellow-orange,on wood/trees]
  19. Cooper’s Hawk, Acipiter cooperii
  20. Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis [female]
  21. Crow, American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
  22. Cumberland Rock-Shield Lichen, Xanthoparmelia cumberlandia [gray on rocks, brown apotheca
  23. Cumberland Rock-Shield Lichen, Xanthoparmelia cumberlandia [gray on rocks, brown apotheca]
  24. Dog Vomit Slime Mold, Fuligo septica
  25. Dryad’s Saddle, Hawk’s Wing, Polyporus squamosus
  26. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  27. False Turkey-Tail, Stereum hirsutum [thin, flattish, brown underside]
  28. Fremont’s Cottonwood, Populus fremontii
  29. Gold Dust Lichen, Chrysothrix candelaris
  30. Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
  31. Honey Fungus, Honey Mushroom, Armillaria mellea
  32. Honeycomb Coral Slime Mold, Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa [white]
  33. Hooded Rosette Lichen, Physcia adscendens [hairs/eyelashes on the tips of the lobes]
  34. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  35. Kernel Flower Gall Wasp, Callirhytis serricornis
  36. Lace Lichen, Ramalina menziesii
  37. Mealy Rim Lichen, Lecanora strobilina [greenish apothecia]
  38. Needle Lichen, Chaenotheca ferruginea [tiny black raised spots on wood]
  39. Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
  40. Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
  41. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
  42. Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  43. Oak-loving Gymnopus Mushrooms, Gymnopus dryophilus [tan-orange with pale gills; cap can be flat or curved up as it ages]
  44. Ochre Bracket Fungus, Trametes ochracea
  45. Ocre Spreading Tooth Fungus, Steccherinum ochraceum
  46. Paltry Puffball, Puffball Fungus, Bovista californica
  47. Pleated Marasmius, Red Thread, Marasmius plicatulus
  48. Pumpkin Gall Wasp, Dryocosmus minusculus
  49. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  50. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  51. Scaly Rustgill Mushroom, Gymnopilus sapineus [rusty red top, yellowish gills that turn rusty with age]
  52. Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  53. Strap Lichen, Western Strap Lichen, Ramalina leptocarpha [without soredia]
  54. Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Western Hardwood Sulphur Shelf, Laetiporus gilbertsonii
  55. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  56. Two-Horned Gall Wasp, unisexual gall, summer generation,  Dryocosmus dubiosus [small, green or mottled, on back of leaf along the midvein]
  57. White Alder, Alnus rhombifolia
  58. Yellow Fieldcap Mushroom, Bolbitius titubans