I spent two mornings walking the river side trail at the American River Bend Park. I wanted to check for springtime plants and wildflowers, but there wasn’t a lot out to speak of. I found Stinging Nettle and Giraffe’s Head Henbit, but otherwise just found leaves not flowers yet.
Even though it was only a few days between the first trip and the second, I was surprised to see more Pipevine in blossom on the second day. The vines seemed to be bursting with them. I also spotted some Manroot vines starting to spring from the ground.
I was able to get photos and a few video snippets of several different species of birds including a House Wren, some Oak Titmice, Acorn Woodpeckers, a male Nuttall’s Woodpecker, a Great Blue Heron and others.
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.
I got distracted for quite a while by some Goldeneye ducks in the river. They were fishing close to the bank, where the water was shallow enough and clear enough that I could see the birds even when they were underwater.
There were also some Common Mergansers swimming by. An impressive-looking male was traveling with a pair of females.
The best bird find, though, was a tiny Anna’s Hummingbird mama. I had stopped to get some plant photos, and could hear here “pip-pipping” in the branches of a tree overhead. They usually do that when you’re too close to their nest. I caught sight of her flitting from one branch to another, and then saw her land and settle into her nest. It was very well camouflaged with webbing and bits of lichen.
I was able to document some of the more common lichen at the park,and will be on the lookout for others in future walks.
What I absolutely wasn’t expecting was to see a herd of Columbian Black-Tailed Deer: mostly 3- and 4-pointer bucks, including a pair that was jousting. I was able to get a few photos and some video, before the whole herd took off across the road in front of the car and disappeared into the forest.
Each walk was over 2 hours long. I’m getting a little more stamina. These were hikes 3 and 4 in my 52 Hike Challenge this year.
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- Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
- Alder, White Alder, Alnus rhombifolia
- Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna [on nest]
- Audubon’s Warbler, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
- Bark Rim Lichen, Lecanora chlarotera [looks like Whitewash Lichen but has apothecia]
- Bedstraw, Velcro Grass, Cleavers, Galium aparine
- Boreal Button Lichen, Buellia disciformis [pale gray to bluish with black apothecia on wood]
- Buffalo Treehopper, Stictocephala alta [instar molt]
- Bufflehead Duck, Bucephala albeola
- Bumpy Rim-Lichen, Lecanora hybocarpa [tan to brown apothecia]
- California Buckeye Chestnut Tree, Aesculus californica
- California Camouflage Lichen, Melanelixia californica [dark green with brown apothecia, on trees]
- California Manroot, Bigroot, Marah fabaceus
- California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
- California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
- California Quail, Callipepla californica [heard]
- California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
- Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
- Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
- Common Goldeneye, Bucephala clangula
- Common Merganser, Mergus merganser
- Common Sunburst Lichen, Golden Shield Lichen, Xanthoria parietina [yellow-orange,on wood/trees]
- Coyote Brush Rust Gall, Puccinia evadens
- Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
- Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
- Elegant Clarkia, Clarkia unguiculata [red line on leaves]
- European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
- Fremont’s Cottonwood, Populus fremontii
- Frosted Rim-Lichen, Lecanora caesiorubella [white with white apothecia]
- Fungus Gnat, Family: Mycetophilidae [mosquito-like]
- Giraffe’s Head, Henbit Deadnettle, Lamium amplexicaule
- Gold Dust Lichen, Chrysothrix candelaris
- Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
- Hoary Rosette Lichen, Physcia aipolia [hoary, brown apothecia]
- House Wren, Troglodytes aedon
- Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
- Live Oak, Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
- Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
- Mealy Pixie Cup, Cladonia chlorophaea
- Mealy Rim Lichen, Lecanora strobilina [greenish apothecia]
- Moss, Crisped Pincushion, Ulota crispa
- Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
- Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
- Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
- Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
- Oakmoss Lichen, Evernia prunastri [like strap but with soredia]
- Oregon Sunburst Lichen, Xanthomendoza oregana [yellow/orange thallus bearing granular soredia on the tips and/or underside; looks like leaves with grainy edges]
- Poplar Sunburst Lichen, Xanthomendoza hasseana [sunburst on Cottonwood]
- Powder-Edged Speckled Greenshield, Flavopunctelia soredica
- Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
- Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
- Ruptured Twig Gall Wasp, Callirhytis perdens [on live oaks]
- Shepherd’s-Purse, Capsella bursa-pastoris
- Shrubby Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona candelaria
- Snowy Egret, Egretta thula
- Speckled Greenshield Lichen, Flavopunctelia flaventior
- Spotted Sandpiper, Actitis macularius
- Stinging Nettle, Urtica dioica
- Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
- Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
- Two-Horned Gall Wasp, unisexual gall, summer generation, Dryocosmus dubiosus [small, green or mottled, on back of leaf along the midvein]
- Western Gull, Larus occidentalis [spot on bill, pink legs, orange circle around eye]
- White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
- Whitewash Lichen, Phlyctis argena