A Short Walk at Gristmill, 04-06-22

I got up around 6:30 this morning, let the dogs out for potty and fed them their breakfasts, then I headed over to the Gristmill Recreation Area for a walk. I had to get outside and moving, but I didn’t want to go very far or take too long because I (1) didn’t want to leave my nephews alone with the dogs for too long, (2) had to get home quickly to give Gibson his medications, and (3) wanted to be available in case my sister Melissa needed me for anything.

So, I got to Gristmill around 7:00 and walked for a little under 3 hours. The morning was cool but shirt-sleeve, sunny weather. The first thing I noticed was that the Black Locust trees were starting to bloom and the Black Walnut trees were stretching out their heavy catkins. I looked for “sausage galls” on them, but couldn’t see any.

There was a lot of small-leaved low-growing manroot vines on the ground; most of them in bloom. The Boxelder trees are already getting their seeds, and the Blue Elderberry trees are blooming. I also found some Field Elm trees that were leafing out.

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On a couple of the Coast Live Oak trees, and on lichen on another oak tree, I found a lot of orange, oval insect eggs. Trying to match eggs to a particular species of insect can be really difficult. I think these were from some kind of squash bug. Also on the oak trees, and some of the black walnut trees, were lots of Erineum Mite galls.

I found quite a few new-to-me insects like Marsh Crane Flies, an Oblique Streaktail hoverfly, White-Bowed Smoothwing hoverfly, a Johnson’s Jumping Spider, and a Narrow-Headed Marsh Fly among others. There were Boxelder bugs in various instars all over the place, including adults having sex wherever they could manage it.

I didn’t the Red-Shouldered Hawks at their nest, but I could hear them in different places in the forest.  Apparently, the Mourning Doves I saw the last time I was there had abandoned their roadside nest. That didn’t surprise me. It was kind of a weird place for them to settle in the first place.

I saw a male Nuttall’s Woodpecker and a female Downy Woodpecker at different times along my walk. But I was most surprised to come across a very dark Audubon’s Warbler. I’m assuming he was a dark morph male in his breeding plumage; a super-handsome bird.

I got back home after 10:00 o’clock in time to give Gibson his medication. This was hike #17 in my #52HikeChallenge for the year

Species List:

  1. Audubon’s Warbler, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
  2. Black Locust Tree, Robinia pseudoacacia
  3. Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
  4. Boxelder, Box Elder Tree, Acer negundo
  5. Brown Grass Bug, Irbisia californica
  6. Bur Parsley, Anthriscus caucalis
  7. California Black Walnut Pouch Gall Mite, Aceria brachytarsa
  8. California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
  9. California Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly, Battus philenor hirsuta
  10. California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
  11. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  12. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  13. Common Soft Brome, Bromus hordeaceus
  14. Common Sunburst Lichen, Golden Shield Lichen, Xanthoria parietina
  15. Coyote Brush Stem Gall Moth, Gnorimoschema baccharisella
  16. Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
  17. Cranefly, Marsh Crane Fly, Tipula oleracea
  18. Crow, American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
  19. Downy Woodpecker, Dryobates pubescens
  20. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  21. Fennel, Sweet Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare
  22. Fiddleneck, Bristly Fiddleneck, Amsinckia tessellata
  23. Field Elm Tree, Ulmus minor
  24. Fire-Colored Beetle, Pedilus sp.
  25. Hooded Rosette Lichen, Physcia adscendens [hairs/eyelashes on the tips of the lobes]
  26. House Wren, Troglodytes aedon
  27. Hoverfly, Oblique Streaktail, Allograpta obliqua
  28. Hoverfly, White-Bowed Smoothwing, Scaeva affinis
  29. Ichneumonid and Braconid Wasps, Superfamily: Ichneumonoidea
  30. Italian Thistle, Carduus pycnocephalus
  31. Jumping Spider, Johnson’s Jumping Spider, Phidippus johnsoni
  32. Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous [heard]
  33. Ladybeetle, Asian Lady Beetle, Harmonia axyridis [lots of variation]
  34. Ladybeetle, Convergent Lady Beetle, Hippodamia convergens
  35. Ladybeetle, Seven-Spotted Lady Beetle, Coccinella septempunctata
  36. Live Oak Erineum Mite Gall, Aceria mackiei
  37. Lupine, Miniature Lupine, Lupinus bicolor
  38. Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  39. Manroot, California Manroot, Bigroot, Marah fabaceus
  40. Mistletoe, Broadleaf Mistletoe, Phoradendron macrophyllum
  41. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  42. Narrow-Headed Marsh Fly, Helophilus fasciatus [large, hoverfly]
  43. Northern California Black Walnut, Juglans hindsii
  44. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
  45. Oak, Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia
  46. Oak, Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  47. Oak, Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  48. Petty Spurge, Euphorbia peplus
  49. Popcorn Flower, Plagiobothrys sp.
  50. Poppy, California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica
  51. Red-Shouldered Hawk, California Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus elegans
  52. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  53. Shrubby Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona candelaria
  54. Speckled Greenshield Lichen, Flavopunctelia flaventior
  55. Squash Bugs, Anasa sp. [eggs on live oak]
  56. Strap Lichen, Western Strap Lichen, Ramalina leptocarpha [without soredia]
  57. Swallow, Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
  58. Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  59. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  60. Vetch, Hairy Vetch, Vicia villosa
  61. Western Boxelder Bug, Boisea rubrolineata
  62. Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, Papilio rutulus
  63. White Horehound, Marrubium vulgare
  64. Willow, Goodding’s Willow, Salix gooddingii
  65. Yellow-Billed Magpie, Pica nuttalli

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