Two Trips to the River Bend Park, 02-12 and 02-14-22

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.

A female Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna [on nest]

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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Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Alder, White Alder, Alnus rhombifolia
  3. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna [on nest]
  4. Audubon’s Warbler, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
  5. Bark Rim Lichen, Lecanora chlarotera [looks like Whitewash Lichen but has apothecia]
  6. Bedstraw, Velcro Grass, Cleavers, Galium aparine
  7. Boreal Button Lichen, Buellia disciformis [pale gray to bluish with black apothecia on wood]
  8. Buffalo Treehopper, Stictocephala alta [instar molt]
  9. Bufflehead Duck, Bucephala albeola
  10. Bumpy Rim-Lichen, Lecanora hybocarpa [tan to brown apothecia]
  11. California Buckeye Chestnut Tree, Aesculus californica
  12. California Camouflage Lichen, Melanelixia californica [dark green with brown apothecia, on trees]
  13. California Manroot, Bigroot, Marah fabaceus
  14. California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
  15. California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
  16. California Quail, Callipepla californica [heard]
  17. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  18. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  19. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  20. Common Goldeneye, Bucephala clangula
  21. Common Merganser, Mergus merganser
  22. Common Sunburst Lichen, Golden Shield Lichen, Xanthoria parietina [yellow-orange,on wood/trees]
  23. Coyote Brush Rust Gall, Puccinia evadens
  24. Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
  25. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  26. Elegant Clarkia, Clarkia unguiculata [red line on leaves]
  27. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  28. Fremont’s Cottonwood, Populus fremontii
  29. Frosted Rim-Lichen, Lecanora caesiorubella [white with white apothecia]
  30. Fungus Gnat, Family: Mycetophilidae [mosquito-like]
  31. Giraffe’s Head, Henbit Deadnettle, Lamium amplexicaule
  32. Gold Dust Lichen, Chrysothrix candelaris
  33. Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
  34. Hoary Rosette Lichen, Physcia aipolia [hoary, brown apothecia]
  35. House Wren, Troglodytes aedon
  36. Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
  37. Live Oak, Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  38. Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  39. Mealy Pixie Cup, Cladonia chlorophaea
  40. Mealy Rim Lichen, Lecanora strobilina [greenish apothecia]
  41. Moss, Crisped Pincushion, Ulota crispa
  42. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  43. Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
  44. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
  45. Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  46. Oakmoss Lichen, Evernia prunastri [like strap but with soredia]
  47. Oregon Sunburst Lichen, Xanthomendoza oregana [yellow/orange thallus bearing granular soredia on the tips and/or underside; looks like leaves with grainy edges]
  48. Poplar Sunburst Lichen, Xanthomendoza hasseana [sunburst on Cottonwood]
  49. Powder-Edged Speckled Greenshield, Flavopunctelia soredica
  50. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  51. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  52. Ruptured Twig Gall Wasp, Callirhytis perdens [on live oaks]
  53. Shepherd’s-Purse, Capsella bursa-pastoris
  54. Shrubby Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona candelaria
  55. Snowy Egret, Egretta thula
  56. Speckled Greenshield Lichen, Flavopunctelia flaventior
  57. Spotted Sandpiper, Actitis macularius
  58. Stinging Nettle, Urtica dioica
  59. Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  60. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  61. Two-Horned Gall Wasp, unisexual gall, summer generation,  Dryocosmus dubiosus [small, green or mottled, on back of leaf along the midvein]
  62. Western Gull, Larus occidentalis [spot on bill, pink legs, orange circle around eye]
  63. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
  64. Whitewash Lichen, Phlyctis argena