Happy to See Bees in the Bee-Tree, 06-28-23

This was one of the few days this week when my sister and I didn’t have anything on the calendar, and when the heat of the weekend — [when it was supposed to get up to 108ºF] — wasn’t on us yet. So, I took the opportunity to go over to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve for a walk.

I was hoping to see some pregnant does and/or maybe some early summer fawns, but didn’t see either. I did see what looked like a very impressive 6-point (?) buck in his velvet, but only saw him from the back. A little later, I saw one lone doe browsing in the tall grass.

I could hear a lot of birds around me in the trees and the underbrush, but I couldn’t get photos of most of them. I was able to get some photos of finches, Acorn Woodpeckers, and a White-Breasted Nuthatch in a nesting box. Later, as I was leaving the preserve, I saw two Red-Shouldered Hawks: a female and a male calling to one another from the tops of trees.

I could hear a bullfrog in the small pond, but couldn’t find exactly where it was. I did, however, find a new-to-me willowherb among the cattails, rushes, and tules.

Many of the species I recorded for the day were little ones found on the plants near the nature center. There were ladybeetles at varying levels of development, and a pair of the beetles having sex. There were also larval forms of a kind of hoverfly and a kind of lacewing. There was also a katydid nymph.

Along the trail, on the ground, there were a few more species to look at.

In the dying flowers of the Showy Milkweed, there were a few dead bees that had gotten their feet caught in the flowers.

CLICK HERE to read an excellent article, with photos, on this phenomenon.

There were signs along different parts of the trails warning hikers about nesting ground-dwelling bees and wasps, but I didn’t see or hear any evidence of that. I was overjoyed, though, to see that despite all of the disruption around the “bee tree” that I had seen the last time I was at the preserve, the bees were swarming happily around the entrance to the hive there. The queen must have still been in residence. I was so happy about that.

Along with the deer I saw early in my walk, I saw several cottontail rabbits, Fox Squirrels and California Ground Squirrels. I didn’t see any coyotes but I did find some of their scat.

I walked for about 2 ½ hours. This was hike #37 of my #52hikechallenge for the year.

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  3. Ant, Andre’s Harvester Ant, Veromessor Andrei
  4. Ant-Mimic Sac Spider, Castianeira thalia
  5. Aphid Lion, Carnea-Group Green Lacewings, Chrysoperla carnea
  6. Bee Fly, Charcoal Bee Fly, Complex Anthrax Oedipus
  7. Bees, European Honeybee, Western Honeybee, Apis mellifera
  8. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  9. Black Walnut, Northern California Black Walnut, Juglans hindsii
  10. Blackberry, Armenian Blackberry, Rubus armeniacus [red canes, white flowers]
  11. Blackberry, Trailing Blackberry, Rubus ursinus [white stems; CA native]
  12. Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
  13. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  14. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  15. California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
  16. Cattail, Narrow-Leaf Cattail, Typha angustifolia
  17. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  18. Common Rosefinch, Carpodacus erythrinus
  19. Coyote, Canis latrans [scat]
  20. Crow, American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
  21. Darkling Beetle, Coniontis sp. [shiny, smooth carapace]
  22. Desert Cottontail Rabbit, Sylvilagus audubonii
  23. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger [rusty belly]
  24. Elegant Clarkia, Clarkia unguiculata [red line on leaves when young]
  25. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  26. Flies, Large-Tailed Aphideater, Eupeodes volucris [hoverfly, maggot]
  27. Frog, American Bullfrog, Lithobates catesbeianus
  28. House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
  29. Katydid, Mediterranean Katydid, Phaneroptera nana
  30. Ladybeetle, Asian Lady Beetle, Harmonia axyridis
  31. Ladybeetle, Convergent Lady Beetle, Hippodamia convergens
  32. Ladybeetle, Spotless Lady Beetle, Cycloneda sanguinea
  33. Lupine, Miniature Lupine, Lupinus bicolor
  34. Manyflower Tobacco, Nicotiana acuminata
  35. Milkweed, Showy Milkweed, Asclepias speciosa
  36. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  37. Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
  38. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii [heard]
  39. Oak Apple, California Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
  40. Oak, Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia
  41. Oak, Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  42. Oak, Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  43. Primrose, Tall Evening Primrose, Oenothera elata
  44. Red-Shouldered Hawk, California Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus elegans
  45. Rushes, Soft Rush, Juncus effusus
  46. Small Milkweed Bug, Lygaeus kalmii
  47. Towhee, California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  48. Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus [heard]
  49. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
  50. Whitewash Lichen, Phlyctis argena
  51. Willowherb, Epilobium sp.
  52. Wren, House Wren, Troglodytes aedon

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