I got up around 7:00 AM, and headed over to the American River Bend Park for a walk. Thankfully, my left leg was relatively quiet and cooperative, and I didn’t feel the nerve pain creep back in until I was in the car on my way back home.
I saw a pair of does along the side of the road as soon as I drove in. Then further along I saw some large bucks, 3-pointers, but trying to get them to lift their heads so I could get a clear shot of their racks was pretty much impossible. Further along still, I found two young spike bucks. One of them was just starting to rub the velvet off his antlers. It’s nice to see them all up and about.
I also saw a couple of wild turkey parades going across the road. And there were a few jackrabbits hiding in the grass.
The first sulphur shelf specimen I came across was one that had been hacked away from the tree, just leaving the white butt behind. Elsewhere, though, there were some very robust and brightly colored specimens. There were also a couple of small ones, about the size of your palm, that looked like shells. So pretty.
I was trying to keep a look out for migratory warblers, but didn’t fine any of them. I did find other birds, however. On the top of one of the cottonwood trees there was a small flock of Cedar Waxwings. In the river there were Mallards, Canada Geese, Common Mergansers, gulls… but no migratory birds. One the “resting rocks” in the water there were a Canada Goose, a Spotted Sandpiper, a Double Crested Cormorant sunning itself in the morning light, a Great Blue Heron and a Green Heron. Wow!
I saw a small flock of Mourning Doves on the ground doing a display I’d never seen before. One or more of the birds would raise one wing straight up as though trying to shoo away another bird near them. Cornell says: “…Defensive-threat Display. Immature and adult birds crouch, tuck in neck, and orient head toward intruder; then erect plumage, lift and spread wing farthest from threat toward vertical, and spread tail in direction of threat. Usually occurs while defending nest or food source…”
It looked so odd! I got a little video snippet of it. Later, I saw some of the doves drinking water from the horse trough.
I found my first Alder Tongue Gall of the season; and also found a bud gall on what I think was some kind of rabbitbush or something. I walked for about 2½ hours and then headed home.
- Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
- Alder Tongue, Western American Alder Tongue Gall Fungus, Taphrina occidentalis
- Alder, White Alder, Alnus rhombifolia
- Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
- Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
- California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
- California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
- Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
- Cedar Waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum
- Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
- Common Merganser, American Common Merganser, Mergus merganser americanus
- Crow, American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
- Desert Stink Beetle, Eleodes acuticauda
- Double-Crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus
- Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger [rusty belly]
- European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
- Fremont’s Cottonwood, Populus fremontii
- Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
- Green Heron, Butorides virescens
- Gull, Larus sp.
- Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
- Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
- Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
- Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
- Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
- Oaks, Quercus sp.
- Ochre Spreading Tooth Fungus, Steccherinum ochraceum
- Red-Shouldered Hawk, California Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus elegans
- Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
- Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Regulus calendula
- Speckled Greenshield Lichen, Flavopunctelia flaventior
- Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
- Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
- Western Hardwood Sulphur Shelf, Laetiporus gilbertsonii
- White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
- Whitewash Lichen, Phlyctis argena
- Wormwoods and Sagebrushes, Artemisia sp.
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