The Coyote was My Favorite, 03-02-23

After a disappointing walk yesterday, during which the weather thwarted our efforts to document wildlife, today’s walk was wonderful. It was in the 40’s without a hint of a breeze so I went over to the American River Bend Park again and walked a different trail than I did on February 23rd. It helped, too, that my cancer-related leg pain was very manageable.

Before I even pulled the car in to park somewhere, I saw Western Bluebirds and a red-faced Sapsucker, and caught sight of a coyote on the other side of a meadow trying to take out a deer. The coyote was trying to grab the deer’s face — which might have worked if there were other coyotes going after the flanks of the deer, but by itself it couldn’t effectively take the deer down. This whole scenario was taking place too far away for me to get any photos or video, but it was quite a way to start my walk.

There were a lot of recently felled trees all around. I’m assuming the County is continuing to cull trees to thin out the forest.

Felled Fremont’s Cottonwood trees, Populus fremontii

There were large groups of Wild Turkeys around, males and females all together, and I saw quite a few Jackrabbits. There were also several Red-Shouldered Hawks flying overhead, screeling at one another. Sometimes their sound came from almost every direction at the same time. Nature was enjoying the nice weather, too.

I could hear other birds all around me but couldn’t get photos of all of them. I did see/hear Northern Flickers, Spotted Towhees, wrens, Scrub Jays, Black Phoebes, Acorn Woodpeckers, and others.

I specifically wanted to check out the lichen on the buckeye trees because it’s different from those that are common on the oak trees. I was able to do that to some extent, but then my macro lens decided it didn’t want work anymore, so I couldn’t get all the close-ups I wanted.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

On my way out of the park I was surprised to see the coyote again. He was sitting quietly in the shade on a small hillock right near the side of the road. I thought he’d dart away when I approached, but instead he stayed where he was and watched the traffic on the road. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a coyote that was as “silvery” as this one was. He was so handsome. It was a note on which to end my walk.

I was out for about 2 hours. This was walk #8 in my #52HikeChallenge for the year.

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Audubon’s Warbler, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
  3. Bitter Wart Lichen Lepra amara [like rim lichen; white with heavy white apotheca]
  4. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  5. Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
  6. Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
  7. Bumpy Rim-Lichen, Lecanora hybocarpa [tan to brown apothecia]
  8. California Buckeye Chestnut Tree, Aesculus californica
  9. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  10. California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
  11. California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
  12. California Quail, Callipepla californica [heard]
  13. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  14. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  15. Common Button Lichen, Buellia erubescens [black eyes on white]
  16. Coyote, Canis latrans
  17. Crow, American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
  18. Farinose Cartilage Lichen,  Ramalina farinacea [like Oakmoss but very thin branches]
  19. Giraffe Spots Crust Fungus, Peniophora albobadia
  20. Hooded Rosette Lichen, Physcia adscendens [hairs/eyelashes on the tips of the lobes]
  21. Lace Lichen, Ramalina menziesii
  22. Lecidella Lichen, Lecidella elaeochroma [round black spots on white background]
  23. Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
  24. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
  25. Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  26. Oak, Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  27. Oak, Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  28. Pepper-Spore Lichens, Rinodina sp.
  29. Poplar Sunburst Lichen, Xanthomendoza hasseana [sunburst on Cottonwood]
  30. Powder-Tipped Rosette Lichen, Physcia dubia
  31. Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus ruber
  32. Red-Shouldered Hawk, California Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus elegans [flyovers, heard]
  33. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  34. Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Regulus calendula
  35. Shrubby Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona candelaria
  36. Speckled Greenshield Lichen, Flavopunctelia flaventior
  37. Star Rosette Lichen, Physcia stellaris [hoary, white/gray apotheca]
  38. Strap Lichen, Western Strap Lichen, Ramalina leptocarpha [without soredia]
  39. Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  40. Western Bluebird, Sialia Mexicana
  41. ?? beetle galleries

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