So Cool to See the Owl, 05-07-23

After feeding my dog Esteban his breakfast, I got myself ready to go out to the American River Bend Park for a walk. My “cancer leg” was really hurting, and I was hoping that if I stretched the leg out and moved it around a bit, it might feel better. I was hurting through most of the walk, but felt better afterwards.

I wasn’t focusing on every tiny thing, like I did during the City Nature Challenge, so I logged fewer species during this trip, but it was more relaxed and enjoyable.

Here are the final numbers for the City Nature Challenge. Roxanne and I rocked it!

I was kind of surprised by the number of bird species I could see and hear. There was so much song in the air. I saw Lesser Goldfinches, Acorn Woodpeckers, Scrub Jays, Bewick’s Wrens, White-Breasted Nuthatches, and Mallards [in the river].

The super big surprise was coming across a Great Horned Owl sitting in a tree in an area where I’d never seen owls before. I looked around for a nest or some owlets, but I couldn’t see any. I figured, then, that this might have been a male.

I also watched a Red-Shouldered Hawk fly low across the length of the picnic area and into the trees. So cool.

There were lots and lots pf pipevine plants, climbing up other plants and trees, and covering the ground. Some of them were already getting their seed pods. Most of the manroot vines were dying away even as the wild grape vines were starting to leaf out. The Poison Hemlock is starting to come up everywhere, too.

Along with the pipevines were the Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies. The were flitting around allover the place, mostly high in the trees where they were sunning themselves and feasting on some of the pollen in the trees’ catkins. I didn’t see any sign of the butterflies’ eggs or caterpillars.

The hoptrees were flowering, as were the Orange Bush Monkeyflower plants, and the Buckeye trees. There was also some Miniature Lupine, but I haven’t found any Clarkia flowers there yet. The Poison Hemlock is starting to come up everywhere, too.

I found some cooperative insects while I was out, including a snakefly, a new-to-me type of Mirid Bug with long antennae and a tiny spider (another little mesh-weaver). I also saw a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly flying around, but I couldn’t get a picture of him.

I was out for about 3 hours. This was hike #25 of my #52HikeChallenge.

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  3. Black Walnut, Eastern Black Walnut, Juglans nigra
  4. California Black Walnut Pouch Gall Mite, Aceria brachytarsa
  5. California Buckeye Chestnut Tree, Aesculus californica
  6. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  7. California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
  8. California Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly, Battus philenor hirsuta
  9. California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
  10. California Quail, Callipepla californica
  11. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica [flyby]
  12. California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
  13. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis [flying along the river]
  14. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  15. Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
  16. Crane Fly, Subgenus Hesperotipula
  17. Crow, American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
  18. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger [rusty belly]
  19. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  20. Grasses, Bristly Dogtail Grass, Cynosurus echinatus
  21. Grasses, Greater Quaking Grass, Rattlesnake Grass, Briza maxima
  22. Grasses, Wall Barley, Hordeum murinum
  23. Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus
  24. Hoptree, Western Hoptree, Ptelea crenulata
  25. Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous [heard]
  26. Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
  27. Live Oak Folded Leaf Aphid, Stegophylla essigi [in live oaks, folds the leaf over itself; sometimes the leaf turns red/reddish]
  28. Lupine, Miniature Lupine, Lupinus bicolor
  29. Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  30. Meshweaver Spider, Family: Dictynidae
  31. Mirid Bug, Irbisia sp.
  32. Monkeyflower, Orange Bush Monkeyflower, Diplacus aurantiacus
  33. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  34. Netspinning Caddisfly, Hydropsyche sp.
  35. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii [heard]
  36. Oak, Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia
  37. Oak, Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  38. Oak, Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  39. Poison Hemlock, Conium maculatum
  40. Poison Oak, Pacific Poison Oak, Western Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
  41. Red-Shouldered Hawk, California Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus elegans [flyby]
  42. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  43. Santa Barbara Sedge, Carex barbarae
  44. Snakefly, American Square-Headed Snakefly, Negha sp.
  45. Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia
  46. Swallow, Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
  47. Towhee, California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  48. Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  49. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  50. Western Bluebird, Sialia mexicana
  51. Western Gray Squirrel, Sciurus griseus
  52. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
  53. Wood Duck, Aix sponsa [in the river]
  54. Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii

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