The Usual Suspects at Gristmill, 06-19-22

I got up around 5:30 this morning so I could get outside for a walk before the heat of the day came on. Walking in the summer is harder for me because I have to get up earlier to catch the few hours of comfortable temperatures… and going out early means I miss a lot of the insects that don’t come out until it gets warmer. Grrrr.

I went over to the Gristmill Recreation Area and didn’t see much of anything that I haven’t seen already.

The galls on the willows are getting more impressive and easier to see as the larvae inside of them grow. I did find one that didn’t look like others I’d previously seen. I don’t know yet if it’s a “new” gall or just an early iteration of a gall I’ve already seen. I’m not seeing any new galls on the oak trees yet.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

I saw a few Black-tailed Jackrabbits around, and a couple of them let me take their pictures. No such luck with the California Ground Squirrels, though.

I watched a male Downy Woodpecker hanging around the hole to what I assumed was a nesting cavity. But I don’t think it was HIS nesting cavity. I saw a beak poke out toward him that looked “heavier” than a Downy beak would be… so I’m not sure what kind of bird was in there. I later saw the woodpecker going through the leaves of nearby trees collecting insects.

There were a lot of White-Breasted Nuthatches climbing the trees all around the trail looking for food. And I saw a Spotted Towhee stuffing its face with elderberries before flying away.

Elsewhere on the trail I found a Bewick’s Wren fledgling that was looking pretty rough, but that didn’t stop it from singing.

I walked for about three hours and then headed home. This was hike #36 in my #52HikeChallenge for the year.

Species List:

  1. Ant, California Harvester Ant, Pogonomyrmex californicus [red]
  2. Black Walnut, Eastern Black Walnut, Juglans nigra
  3. Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
  4. Blackberry, Armenian Blackberry, Rubus armeniacus [red canes]
  5. Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
  6. Boxelder, Box Elder Tree, Acer negundo
  7. California Black Walnut Pouch Gall Mite, Aceria brachytarsa
  8. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  9. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  10. California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
  11. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  12. Darkling Beetle, Blapstinus sp.
  13. Downy Woodpecker, Dryobates pubescens
  14. Elm Tree, Field Elm Tree, Ulmus minor
  15. Fennel, Sweet Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare
  16. Fremont’s Cottonwood, Populus fremontii
  17. Funnel Weaver Spider, Subfamily: Ageleninae
  18. Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
  19. Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  20. Meshweaver Spider, Mallos sp. [small, pale tan with dark dot on the abdomen]
  21. Oak Apple, California Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
  22. Oak, Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia
  23. Oak, Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  24. Oak, Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  25. Red-Eared Slider Turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans
  26. Swallow, Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
  27. Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  28. Western Boxelder Bug, Boisea rubrolineata
  29. Western Fence Lizard, Blue Belly, Sceloporus occidentalis
  30. White Horehound, Marrubium vulgare
  31. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
  32. Willow Apple Gall Sawfly, Euura californica
  33. Willow Beaked-Gall Midge, Rabdophaga rigidae
  34. Willow Fold Gall Sawfly, Euura sp. [Phyllocolpa sp.]
  35. Willow Petiole Gall Sawfly, Subfamily: Nematinae
  36. Willow Rosette Gall Midge, Rabdophaga salicisbrassicoides [on stem]
  37. Willow, Arroyo Willow, Salix lasiolepis
  38. Willow, Goodding’s Willow, Salix gooddingii
  39. Willow, Interior Sandbar Willow, Salix interior
  40. Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
  41. Wren, House Wren, Troglodytes aedon

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