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.
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.
- Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
- Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
- Black Walnut, Eastern Black Walnut, Juglans nigra
- California Black Walnut Pouch Gall Mite, Aceria brachytarsa
- California Buckeye Chestnut Tree, Aesculus californica
- 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
- California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica [flyby]
- California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
- Canada Goose, Branta canadensis [flying along the river]
- Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
- Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
- Crane Fly, Subgenus Hesperotipula
- Crow, American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
- Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger [rusty belly]
- European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
- Grasses, Bristly Dogtail Grass, Cynosurus echinatus
- Grasses, Greater Quaking Grass, Rattlesnake Grass, Briza maxima
- Grasses, Wall Barley, Hordeum murinum
- Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus
- Hoptree, Western Hoptree, Ptelea crenulata
- Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous [heard]
- Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
- 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
- Meshweaver Spider, Family: Dictynidae
- Mirid Bug, Irbisia sp.
- Monkeyflower, Orange Bush Monkeyflower, Diplacus aurantiacus
- Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
- Netspinning Caddisfly, Hydropsyche sp.
- Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii [heard]
- Oak, Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia
- Oak, Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
- Oak, Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
- Poison Hemlock, Conium maculatum
- Poison Oak, Pacific Poison Oak, Western Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
- Red-Shouldered Hawk, California Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus elegans [flyby]
- Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
- Santa Barbara Sedge, Carex barbarae
- Snakefly, American Square-Headed Snakefly, Negha sp.
- Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia
- Swallow, Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
- Towhee, California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
- Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
- Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
- Western Bluebird, Sialia mexicana
- Western Gray Squirrel, Sciurus griseus
- White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
- Wood Duck, Aix sponsa [in the river]
- Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
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