I got up around 6:00 this morning with the dogs, fed them their breakfast, and then got myself ready to head out to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve. There were some specific trees I wanted to check for galls, but otherwise I was open to whatever nature wanted to show me.
I watched the Black Phoebes, which have a nest there every year, catch insects and feed their babies. A couple of times, I saw the adult do a kind of fast flip in mid-air and catch winged insects as they flew by. This year’s nest had FIVE babies in it, and they were all nearly fledged, so cramming them all into that little mud cup wasn’t easy. I could have watched them all day, but really needed to get moving.
I also got a glimpse of a Bewick’s Wren nesting cavity. There were three babies, again nearly fledged, sitting on the outside rim of the nest – which was well-hidden inside of a bush. Of course, as always, the camera decided to focus on the leaves in front of the nestlings, instead of on the birds themselves
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.
There was a European Starling that was doing her wing-twirls, and another one that was poking its head out of its nesting cavity.
And I saw a few beautiful Ash-Throated Flycatchers.
I saw my first Tussock Moth caterpillar of the season, and my first Black-Tailed Bumble Bee on this walk along with several other insects. I’m trying to work my naturalist’s eye in anticipation of the upcoming City Nature Challenge.
I found a few Small-Flowered Catchfly flowers. They’re glandular-hairy especially on veins, and feel sticky to the touch.
It was fun seeing a mama California Ground Squirrel back at the burrow at the end of the trail on the bluff side of the preserve. She avoided me at first, but then seemed to realize I wasn’t a threat, and she came out and posed for me for a while. Ground squirrels are one of my favorite animals, so it’s always great to see them.
I walked for a whopping 4 hours before heading home. That’s the best I’ve done since my surgery in January. This was hike #22 in my #52HikeChallenge for the year.
- Acmon Blue Butterfly, Icaricia acmon
- Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
- Ash-Throated Flycatcher, Myiarchus cinerascens
- Azolla, Water Fern, Azolla filiculoides
- Bedstraw, Velcro Grass, Cleavers, Galium aparine
- Bee, European Honeybee, Western Honeybee, Apis mellifera
- Bee, Leafcutter Bee, Megachile sp.
- Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
- Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
- Broad-Leaved Sweet Pea, Lathyrus latifolius
- Bumblebee, Black-Tailed Bumble Bee, Bombus melanopygus
- Bushtit, American Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus
- Caddisfly, Black Dancer Caddisfly, Mystacides sepulchralis
- California Black Walnut Pouch Gall Mite, Aceria brachytarsa
- California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
- California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
- California Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly, Battus philenor hirsuta
- California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
- California Quail, Callipepla californica [heard]
- California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
- California Sycamore, Western Sycamore, Platanus racemose
- Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
- Cat’s Ear, Smooth Cat’s Ear, Hypochaeris glabra
- Cedar Waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum
- Clover, Rose Clover, Trifolium hirtum
- Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
- Cranefly, European Crane Fly, Tipula paludosa
- Crown Whitefly, Aleuroplatus coronata
- Dictyna Spider, Dictyna sp.
- European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
- Fremont’s Cottonwood, Populus fremontii
- Grasses, Mediterranean Hair-Grass, Rostraria cristata
- Green Lacewing, Chrysopa coloradensis
- Harvestman, Protolophus singularis
- House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
- Hoverfly, Black-Margined Flower Fly, Syrphus opinator
- Iris, Douglas Iris, Iris douglasiana
- Iris, Yellow Iris, Iris pseudacorus
- Katydid, Fork-Tailed Bush Katydid, Scudderia furcata [nymph]
- Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous [heard]
- Ladybeetle, Seven-Spotted Lady Beetle, Coccinella septempunctata
- Live Oak Apple Gall Wasp, Spring generation, Amphibolips quercuspomiformis [upside down volcano on the edge of the leaf, green or brown]
- Live Oak Folded Leaf Aphid, Stegophylla essigi [in live oaks, folds the leaf over itself; sometimes the leaf turns red/reddish]
- Lupine, Miniature Lupine, Lupinus bicolor
- Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
- March Fly, Bibio vestitus [tiny, black, elongated body]
- Metallic Wood-Boring Beetle, Subgenus: Melanthaxia
- Milkweed, Showy Milkweed, Asclepias speciosa
- Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
- Mule Fat, Baccharis salicifolia
- Non-Biting Midge, Cricotopus sp.
- Northern California Black Walnut, Juglans hindsii
- Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii [heard]
- Oak Apple, California Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
- Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
- Oak, Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia
- Oak, Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
- Oak, Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
- Penstemon, Mountain Blue Penstemon, Penstemon laetus
- Pineappleweed, Chamomilla suaveolens
- Plum, Prunus domestica
- Poison Oak, Pacific Poison Oak, Western Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
- Popcorn Flower, Plagiobothrys sp.
- Purpletop Vervain, Verbena incompta
- Pyracantha, Firethorn, Pyracantha coccinea
- Red-Shouldered Hawk, California Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus elegans
- Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
- Ruptured Twig Gall Wasp, Callirhytis perdens [on live oaks]
- Scarlet Pimpernel, Lysimachia arvensis
- Small-Flowered Catchfly, Silene gallica
- Snakefly, Common Snakefly, Agulla sp.
- Swallow, Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
- Towhee, California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
- Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus [heard]
- Treehopper, Buffalo Treehopper, Stictocephala bisonia [exuvia]
- Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
- Western Boxelder Bug, Boisea rubrolineata
- Western Mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis
- Western Redbud, Cercis occidentalis
- Western Tussock Moth, Orgyia vetusta
- White Horehound, Marrubium vulgare
- White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
- Wood Duck, Aix sponsa
- Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
- Wren, House Wren, Troglodytes aedon [heard]
- Yarrow, Common Yarrow, Achillea millefolium
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