Category Archives: birding

Taking the Car Out for a Long Drive, 03-24-21

I got up about 5:30 this morning — (Ugh!) — and was ready to head out the door with my dog Esteban to drive over to the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge and Colusa National Wildlife Refuge. As I mentioned before, I wanted to take the car on a long jog to see how well it ran after its repairs last week, and I wanted to see how things were going at the refuge.

Esteban usually fusses in the car. The last time I took him with us to the refuge, he whined all the way (wanting to get up in the front seat with me). This time, he whined for about a half an hour, then settled down on my coat in the back seat and fell asleep. He was great for the rest of the trip. I was so proud of him. Occasionally, he’d stand up with his paws on the arm rest and look out the window. I wonder how his little brain processes what he sees…

I stopped off in Woodland to get a coffee before going further, and there were so many blackbirds singing in one of the trees that their sound was almost deafening.

Every “black dot” is a blackbird singing away just before sun up.

It was about 46° when I headed out, and was a lot windier during the day than I was expecting. Rough winds interfere with birding — everyone tends to hunker down. But I did okay in that department — even though I totally missed getting close up photos of an American White Pelican and a Bald Eagle. (They flew off before I could get near enough. *Sigh*)

I decided to go first to the Colusa refuge first, and the first thing I saw were small flocks of Greater White-Fronted Geese and Snow Geese. There was also a Red-Tailed Hawk sitting in a nearby tree and a White-Tailed Kite kiting in the air over the field.           

I was the only person on the refuge for about the first hour or so, so I had the whole place to myself and could go at whatever speed I wanted along the auto tour route. Several of the wetland areas were still dry, which kind of surprised me. I thought it would be all full with a least some measure of water everywhere. There weren’t very many birds near the viewing platform, which was also kind of a surprise. There are usually lots of geese and ducks around there.

Snowy Egret, Egretta thula, with White-Faced Ibises, Plegadis chihi

At the beginning of the route, there  were Wild Turkeys jogging along. They ran out into the field and I could see the males were doing their strutting thing for the females. In another area, I saw a flock of female turkeys all gathered together (avoiding the boys).

There were Coots were everywhere, and Marsh Wrens were teasing me from the tules. I could see of their nests; the males are working hard to impress the females with their construction work.

Marsh Wren, Cistothorus palustris

 There were lots and lots of Ibises. Some of the adults are getting their full breeding colors now and are so handsome. I didn’t see any with their white faces yet, however.

There weren’t any more large flocks of ducks, but I did see a wide variety of species: American Wigeons, Northern Shovelers, Gadwalls, Cinnamon and Green-Winged Teals, and Buffleheads. I was surprised to see a little female Hooded Merganser in one of the ponds. I couldn’t see any male around, though.

There were handfuls of Snowy Egrets and the occasional Great Egret, and of course there was the huge flock of Black-Crowned Night Herons day-roosting in the trees at the end of the route.

The sightings of the day were two different Great Horned Owls hunkered down in their nesting spots. There was also supposed to be a Barn Owl out there, but I didn’t see that one. What I DID see was owl poop around the informational kiosk — along with a few pellets.  Yay!

I then headed over to the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, and the first thing I saw there was a Black-Tailed Jackrabbit. This is baby season for the jack’s and I saw a lot of the adults around, chasing one another.

The wildflowers are just starting to pop up around there even though the vernal pools are empty. It seemed all the “yellows” are coming out first. I saw outcrops of Fiddlenecks, Bird’s-foot Trefoil, amid Brass Buttons, along with fields of Goldfields.

The extra loop to the permanent wetland area is now open, and they’ve done a lot of “remodeling” around it. Most of the taller tules and weeds have been mowed down, so areas around the main pond are more visible. I was hoping to see some Bitterns around here, but had no luck. Of course, I’d gotten here “late” in the morning today (it was a little after 10:00 am. When I usually go here, I go around 6:30 or 7:00 when the sun is coming up.) Here, too, there are huge areas that have no water in them… which alters the kind of species you see (from “wet” to “dry”).

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

There was the normal cadre of sparrows everywhere, and a smattering of Western Meadowlarks. One let me get close enough to photograph it and video it singing.

Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta

There were lots and lots of Ibises here, too, many of them fishing for crayfish. I was getting some cool video of one of them, just as the battery died in the camera. By the time I got it reloaded and focused on the bird again, the Ibis was swallowing down its meal. Dang it!

I watched some male Northern Shoveler ducks trying to do some of their courtship movements for a female. There was the “Head Dip and Up-end” that looked like a mini-bath, the “Wing Flap” and “Precopulatory Head Pumping”… but the gal just wasn’t into them. D’oh! She just swam by with her face in the water looking for food.

I also watched a male Canvasback as he was feeding. They’re actually diving ducks, but here the water was exceedingly shallow, so the male rose up and stirred up the bottom of the marsh with his feet, then dipped forward to eat what he’d kicked up.

When a female Mallard got too close to him and his meal, he attacked her and chased her until her boyfriend showed up. The Canvasback turned away then, and let the Mallards depart together.

A male Canvasback Duck, Aythya valisineria, attacked a female Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos, when she got too close to where he was foraging for food.

In that same pond area there were Clark’s and Western Grebes checking out spots to build their nests (which they’ll be sitting on in the summer). There were also some Pied-Billed Grebes singing to one another.

Along the end of the auto tour route, several Ground Squirrels popped up, and one came out onto the road and gave itself a dust bath right next to the car. Hah! They’re such cute little things. I’d love to have a colony of them in the yard just so I could watch them.

California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi

Around this same area, I saw another Great Horned Owl sitting on a nest in a tree. It was pretty distant, so I couldn’t get any close ups.

Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus,in its nest

All together Esteban and I were in the car for about 10 hours! The walking I did at each of the refuges combined counted as the 29th hike in my #52HikeChallenge. Woot!

Species List:

  1. American Coot, Fulica americana
  2. American Elm Tree, Ulmus americana
  3. American Pipit, Anthus rubesce
  4. American White Pelican, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
  5. American Wigeon, Anas americana
  6. Arundo, Giant Reed, Arundo donax
  7. Audubon’s Warbler, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
  8. Bald Eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus
  9. Bird’s-foot Trefoil, Lotus corniculatus
  10. Black Mustard, Common Wild Mustard, Brassica nigra
  11. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  12. Black-Crowned Night Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax
  13. Black-Necked Stilt, Himantopus mexicanus
  14. Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
  15. Blessed Milk Thistle, Silybum marianum
  16. Boxelder, Box Elder Tree, Acer negundo
  17. Brass Buttons, Cotula coronopifolia
  18. Brewer’s Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
  19. Bristly Oxtongue, Helminthotheca echioides
  20. Bufflehead Duck, Bucephala albeola
  21. Cackling Goose, Branta hutchinsii
  22. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  23. California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  24. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  25. Canvasback Duck, Aythya valisineria
  26. Cinnamon Teal, Anas cyanoptera
  27. Clark’s Grebe, Aechmophorus clarkii [black above the eye]
  28. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  29. Common Fiddleneck, Amsinckia menziesii
  30. Crow, American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
  31. Double-Crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auratus
  32. Floating Water Primrose, Ludwigia peploides ssp. Peploides
  33. Fremont’s Cottonwood, Populus fremontii
  34. Gadwall Duck, Mareca strepera
  35. Goldfields, California Goldfields, Lasthenia californica [6-8 petals, rounded mound-like center]
  36. Goodding’s Black Willow, Salix gooddingii
  37. Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
  38. Great Egret, Ardea alba
  39. Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus
  40. Greater White-Fronted Goose, Anser albifrons
  41. Greater Yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca
  42. Green-Winged Teal, Anas carolinensis
  43. Himalayan Blackberry, Rubus bifrons [white flowers]
  44. Hooded Merganser, Lophodytes cucullatus
  45. House Sparrow, Passer domesticus
  46. Interior Sandbar Willow, Salix interior
  47. Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
  48. Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  49. Marsh Wren, Cistothorus palustris
  50. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  51. Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
  52. Northern Harrier, Marsh Hawk, Circus hudsonius
  53. Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
  54. Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata
  55. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii [heard]
  56. Oregon Ash, Fraxinus latifolia
  57. Pacific Pond Turtle, Western Pond Turtle, Actinemys marorata
  58. Pied-Billed Grebe, Podilymbus podiceps
  59. Poison Hemlock, Conium maculatum
  60. Poison Oak, Pacific Poison Oak, Western Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
  61. Prickly Sowthistle, Pigweed, Sonchus asper
  62. Red Swamp Crayfish, Crawdad, Procambarus clarkii
  63. Red-Tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis
  64. Red-Winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
  65. Ring-Necked Duck, Aythya collaris
  66. Ring-Necked Pheasant, Phasianus colchicus
  67. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  68. Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Regulus calendula
  69. Ruddy Duck, Oxyura jamaicensis
  70. Savannah Sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis
  71. Snow Goose, Chen caerulescens
  72. Snowy Egret, Egretta thula
  73. Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia
  74. Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
  75. Tule, Common Tule, Schoenoplectus acutus
  76. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  77. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  78. Western Fence Lizard, Blue Belly, Sceloporus occidentalis
  79. Western Grebe, Aechmophorus occidentalis [black below the eye]
  80. Western Kingbird, Tyrant Flycatcher, Tyrannus verticalis [nest]
  81. Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta
  82. White Horehound, Marrubium vulgare
  83. White Tailed Kite, Elanus leucurus
  84. White-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys
  85. White-Faced Ibis, Plegadis chihi

As an Aside

Wow. Some bee-otch on the Birding California group complained about my adding scientific names to the species photos I post. (Which I do as a naturalist to be specific with my IDs and to help others learn.) She wrote: “Does listing the ‘official name’ of each bird make you feel superior? No just egotistical.”

Geez, cranky much? I consider this harassment (as it’s personally denigrating and inaccurate.) I reported her to the admin of the group, reported her to Facebook, and blocked her. No one has to take harassment and bullying from any troll — ever, anywhere.

It was nice to see others in the group stand up for me. One person wrote: “…Keep doing it. Great photos. Ignore the trolls.” and another wrote: “Great posting for us newbies. I used your photos as “flash cards” to see if I could correctly identify each bird before reading your label. Thanks teach!”

A Many Otter Morning, 03-20-21

I got up at 6:30 this morning, so I could head out with my friend Roxanne to the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. We had heard online that the Yellow-Headed Blackbirds (YHB) were starting to show up at the bypass again.

I’ve seen some juvenile and female YHBs, but they were individuals, here and there. I’ve never seen the fully mature males, which have vibrant yellow heads, and I’ve never them in flocks before. So, Rox and I decided we’d go to look for them. Then some of our naturalist friends Rachael and Karlyn said they wanted to go, too, so we told them we’d meet them over at the bypass around 8:00 am.

Rox met me at the house around 7:00 and we headed in toward Davis, stopping briefly to get some coffee and then trying to see if the Burrowing Owls were out by the ag fields. We didn’t see any owls — the fact that a woman went jogging right by where it was didn’t help –but I did catch a glimpse of a Yellowthroat and I saw my first ever Horned Lark. It was a young female, and wasn’t showing any horns (which can be raised or lowered), but, hey, it was a “lifer” for me!

Horned Lark, Eremophila alpestris

We then went to the Yolo Bypass and met up with Karlyn and Rachael at the parking lot in front of the start of the auto tour route. Rox and I went in one car, and Rachael and Karlyn went in another. Rachael couldn’t stay for the whole day, so we tried to keep an eye on the clock as we went along.

We were seeing a lot of the usual suspects: sparrows, egrets, some ibises, but also saw a handsome Raven sitting on top of a post. He posed for a while before taking off. 

As we went along, though, Roxanne spotted some dark forms galloping across the road in the distance. We realized right away that they were North American River Otters, Lontra canadensis, and saw them go into a slough/ditch area by a bridge. It was hard not to just SPEED to the spot, but we didn’t want to startle the otters, so Rox drove toward them at a moderated speed.

Our sort of stealth was rewarded when we got to the bridge and found a whole raft of otters in the water. As we watched them, the otters used the large drainage pipe adjacent to bridge to move from one side of it to another; sometimes hiding from us by piling up inside the pipe. Sometimes all we saw with the rippling effect they had on the water, or the bubbles they released when they were submerged.

Eventually, the otters felt comfortable enough to come out and climb onto the levee on the side opposite from us where they shook their fur, did some grooming, greeted and rolled over one another, and even did their “poopy dance”. All the while, one or more of them would be snorting at us; low sounds, like they were grumbling about us under their breath.

We counted SIX of them for sure, and then thought we’d spotted a SEVENTH in the water… but it was hard to keep track of everyone because they were all moving about.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

I tried getting single shots of each one of them, which again wasn’t easy, in the hopes that I could maybe identify individuals later from their photos but… sorry to say, they all look pretty much the same to me. Trying to get group shots was hilarious. It was like trying to find a family photo for a Christmas card when not all of the subjects are cooperating. Some would look this way, while others looked that way, or fell out of the frame, or decided to shake their head just as the picture was snapped… Hah!

Still, what a wonderful treat! Those little guys made my day.  At that was the largest group of otters I’ve ever seen. Karlyn and Rachael were equally impressed.  Of course, I reminded all of them to log their sighting at the River Otter Ecology Project’s “Otter Spotter” site.

The other unexpected sighting was seeing some Black Crowned Night Herons day-roosting in one of the fields. There’s supposed to be a large colony of them there, but we couldn’t find them on our drive or our walk. I saw a pair of otters in the water in a field as we were going along, but they disappeared into the tules.

Black-Crowned Night Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax

We never did see any of the Yellow-Headed Blackbirds, but figured that they might be foraging in another field or something. We DID get to see a Black Phoebe near a little viewing platform gathering nesting materials. They build mud nests then line the nest with fine twigs and feathers and other soft stuff.  Rox and I kind of consider the phoebes “our” birds because we see them almost everywhere we go. This one’s nest was UNDERNEATH the platform we were standing on. As long as the water level of the pond doesn’t rise too much, it should be fine there.

Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans

At that same spot, we got a glimpse of two more otters. They were fussing along the edges of the stands of tules, and then disappeared. We wondered if they had a holt in there somewhere.

As we were driving out, we flushed an American Bittern which took off flying tour left across the marsh. We had been keeping an eye out for bitterns, but didn’t see any until this one surprised us. Of course, it all happened so fast, we didn’t get any photos of it.

Between the driving and the walking out at the bypass, we were out for almost five hours!  The weather was gorgeous, the company was fun, and the animal sightings were enjoyable… A good morning all around.

Species List:

  1. American Bittern, Botaurus lentiginosus
  2. American Coot, Fulica americana
  3. American Pipit, Anthus rubescens
  4. American Wigeon, Anas americana
  5. Audubon’s Warbler, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
  6. Black Mustard, Common Wild Mustard, Brassica nigra
  7. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  8. Black-Crowned Night Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax
  9. Black-Necked Stilt, Himantopus mexicanus
  10. Blessed Milk Thistle, Silybum marianum
  11. Brewer’s Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
  12. Broadleaf Cattail, Bullrush, Typha latifolia
  13. Brown-Headed Cowbird, Molothrus ater
  14. Bufflehead Duck, Bucephala albeola
  15. Bur Clover, Medicago polymorpha
  16. Canvasback Duck, Aythya valisineria
  17. Carrot, American Wild Carrot, Daucus pusillus
  18. Cheeseweed Mallow, Malva parviflora
  19. Cinnamon Teal, Anas cyanoptera
  20. Cooper’s Hawk, Acipiter cooperii
  21. Cut-leaved Crane’s-Bill, Geranium dissectum
  22. Fennel, Sweet Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare
  23. Fremont’s Cottonwood, Populus fremontii
  24. Golden-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
  25. Goodding’s Black Willow, Salix gooddingii
  26. Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
  27. Great Egret, Ardea alba
  28. Greater White-Fronted Goose, Anser albifrons
  29. Greater Yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca
  30. Greenbottle Fly, Marsh Greenbottle Fly, Lucilia silvarum
  31. Green-Winged Teal, Anas carolinensis
  32. Gumweed, Hairy Gumweed, Grindelia hirsutula
  33. Horned Lark, Eremophila alpestris
  34. House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
  35. Interior Sandbar Willow, Salix interior
  36. Jointed Charlock, Wild Radish, Raphanus raphanistrum
  37. Khella, Bisnaga Weed, Toothpick Plant, Bishop’s Weed, Ammi visnaga [ a kind of carrot, invasive species]
  38. Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
  39. Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
  40. Long-Billed Curlew, Numenius americanus
  41. Long-Billed Dowitcher, Limnodromus scolopaceus
  42. Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  43. Marsh Wren, Cistothorus palustris
  44. Mediterranean Stork’s-Bill, Erodium botrys
  45. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  46. Northern Harrier, Marsh Hawk, Circus hudsonius
  47. Northern Pintail, Anas acuta
  48. Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata
  49. Paper Wasp, Black Paper Wasp, European Paper Wasp, Polistes dominula
  50. Paper Wasp, Red Paper wasp, Apache Paper Wasp, Polistes apachus
  51. Poison Hemlock, Conium maculatum
  52. Prickly Sowthistle, Pigweed, Sonchus asper
  53. Raven, Common Raven, Corvus corax
  54. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  55. Red-Tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis
  56. Red-Winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
  57. Ring-Necked Pheasant, Phasianus colchicus
  58. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia [saw in the field on the drive]
  59. River Otter, North American River Otter, Lontra canadensis
  60. Rough Cocklebur, Xanthium strumarium
  61. Sandhill Crane, Grus canadensis
  62. Savannah Sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis
  63. Shepherd’s-Purse, Capsella bursa-pastoris
  64. Snowy Egret, Egretta thula
  65. Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia
  66. Sunflower, Common Sunflower, Helianthus annuus
  67. Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
  68. Tule, Common Tule, Schoenoplectus acutus
  69. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  70. Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta
  71. White Tailed Kite, Elanus leucurus
  72. White-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys
  73. White-Faced Ibis, Plegadis chihi
  74. Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata

A Pretty Morning at Mather, 03-13-21

 Got up around 6:00 am and headed over to the Mather Lake Regional Park for a walk. On the way there, I saw a White-Tailed Kite “kiting” in the air; and later, when I left, I saw a Say’s Phoebe “kiting” in the air.  Like bookends.

It was about 39°F when I got to the park, and remained relatively cool (under 60°) all day. A lot of the willows are now starting to get their leaves, the wild plum trees were in blossom, and some of the other trees were just starting to bud new leaves and catkins.  Here and there, the Jointed Charlock plants were blossoming. They’re basically “weeds” but I think the flowers are pretty, especially in their variety of colors.

Clouds over the lake.

Among the sparrows, I also saw a couple of chubby Robins. One of them, seemingly, had lost an eye, but it was still able to get around all right. Robins hunt by sound, listening for worms under the surface of the ground…so losing an eye wouldn’t be too much of a disadvantage as far as finding food goes.

American Robin, Turdus migratorius. This one was missing an eye.

There were both Mourning Doves and Eurasian Collared Doves cooing from the trees and telephone lines.  The Great-Tailed Grackles and House Wrens were out singing, too. So much birdsong!

The real standouts of the day, though, were the Tree Swallows. They were everywhere, foraging for bugs, chasing one another, singing their gurgly songs, looking for nesting cavities. One of the folks in the Birding California Facebook group suggested I read “White Feathers: The Nesting Lives of Tree Swallows” by Bernd Heinrich… so that’s on my wish list right now. Heinrich noted that the Tree Swallows line their nests with only white feathers.

 There were lots of Coots and some Pied-Billed Grebes swimming and foraging around the edges of the lake. One of the grebes caught a little fish, and swallowed it down whole. I got a video snippet, but the bird turned its back to me for most of it. Hah!

I also got some really bad, really fuzzy video of a muskrat as it swam its way across the lake. It was headed toward shore, but I can’t move very fast with my cane. When I got to the place where I thought it might have landed, it was already gone. Sigh.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

One of the last bits of video I got was of a pair of Canada Geese. I’ve seen this species of geese all over the place, in forested areas, along the river, lakes and ponds, and in urban areas. But I’d never seen them mating before. The geese form pair bonds that last throughout their lives, but they won’t form a bond or start mating until they’re about three years old.

A lot of the display I watched, before I started filming, was the typical “Triumph Display” where the pair approach one another honking loudly. The honking is followed by a sort of “snorting” or “snoring” sound and the threat of a bite.  Once in the water, the pair I was watching did the “head-dipping” routine — like they were bathing, dipping their heads into the water and then lifting the head so the water flowed over their neck and body.  Then the male mounted the female. She was bouncing like a bobber, and he had trouble staying on top, so I don’t know if he actually accomplished anything. Poor dude. 

As I mentioned before, on my way out of the park, I saw a brown bird “kiting” in the air over a field. I didn’t recognize what it was at first, so I took some video of it.

Luckily, the bird flew in closer to the edge of the road and landed briefly on the fencepost, so I was able to get a few clear shots of it. I was surprised to realize it was a Say’s Phoebe.

Say’s Phoebe, Sayornis saya

According to Cornell, these phoebes kite when they’re foraging and when the male is displaying around a nesting site to show the female where it is. Say’s Phoebes, unlike the Black Phoebes, don’t make mud nests to they don’t need to nest near a water site. They can sometimes use old nests of Black Phoebes, but otherwise build their nest of a variety of materials, like weeds, wood and other plant fibers, rocks, cocoons and spiderwebs, hair, paper, basically whatever is readily available and can be easily manipulated.

Like the Black Phoebes, the Say’s nest in or around ledges, where the nest can be partially or wholly covered to protect it from the weather, like on rafters, shelves, ledges, drainpipes, eaves, etc. I’ve never found one, but now, at least, I know what I’m looking for.

I walked for about 3½ hours and then headed back home. This was hike #27 in my #52HikeChallenge.

Species List:

  1. Almond Tree, Prunus dulcis
  2. American Coot, Fulica americana
  3. American Mistletoe, Phoradendron leucarpum
  4. American Robin, Turdus migratorius
  5. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  6. Audubon’s Warbler, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
  7. Azolla, Water Fern, Azolla filiculoides
  8. Beaver, American, Beaver, Castor canadensis [sign on tree]
  9. Bishop Pine, Pinus muricata [fascicles of TWO needles]
  10. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  11. Brewer’s Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
  12. Bushtit, American Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus
  13. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  14. California Quail, Callipepla californica [heard]
  15. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  16. California Wild Rose, Rosa californica
  17. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  18. Candleflame Lichen, Candelaria concolor [bright yellow-orange]
  19. Common Stork’s-Bill, Erodium cicutarium
  20. Cork Oak, Quercus suber
  21. Coyote Brush Bud Gall midge, Rhopalomyia californica
  22. Coyote Brush Rust Fungus, Puccinia evadens
  23. Coyote Brush Stem Gall Moth, Gnorimoschema baccharisella
  24. Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
  25. Crow, American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
  26. Double-Crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auratus
  27. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  28. Eurasian Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto
  29. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  30. Fremont’s Cottonwood, Populus fremontii
  31. Golden-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
  32. Goodding’s Black Willow, Salix gooddingii
  33. Great Egret, Ardea alba
  34. Great-Tailed Grackle, Quiscalus mexicanus
  35. House Wren, Troglodytes aedon
  36. Interior Sandbar Willow, Salix interior
  37. Jointed Charlock, Wild Radish, Raphanus raphanistrum
  38. Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
  39. Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  40. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  41. Muskrat, Ondatra zibethicus
  42. Mute Swan, Cygnus olor
  43. Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
  44. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
  45. Oyster Mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus
  46. Pied-Billed Grebe, Podilymbus podiceps
  47. Poison Oak, Pacific Poison Oak, Western Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
  48. Red-Winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
  49. Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Regulus calendula
  50. Rusty Popcornflower, Plagiobothrys nothofulvus [tiny]
  51. Say’s Phoebe, Sayornis saya
  52. Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia
  53. Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
  54. Tule, Common Tule, Schoenoplectus acutus
  55. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  56. White Tailed Kite, Elanus leucurus
  57. White-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys
  58. Willow Pinecone Gall midge, Rabdophaga strobiloides

Coyote Morning, 03-11-21

It was still cold (around 34°F) this morning, and there were still hail stones in piles on the ground in the shadier places; nonetheless, around 6:30 am I headed out to the American River Bend Park for a walk. When I arrived there, I could hear a pack of coyotes yip-yowling at one another. I tried recording their calls but there was too much other outdoor noise — wind, cars, etc. — to really hear the ‘yotes.

Inside the park, I stopped off to take a look at mama Great Horned Owl first. She was sitting toward the back of her nest, and was dozing. [I wondered what she did when it was hailing yesterday.] I looked for papa in the surrounding trees, but never caught sight of him. He might have been out hunting.

While I was looking for him, I could hear a Wild Turkey giving an alarm call to my left, so I looked over there. The turkey came up over a rise, running, and behind it was a coyote! As soon as the coyote saw me, it stopped, and then loped off down the drive and into the woods. An owl and a coyote in the first five minutes of arriving! That was an auspicious start to my walk.

Coyote, Canis latrans

At one point, I thought I’d spotted papa Great Horned Owl in a tree, but on close inspection realized it was just Fox Squirrel that was curled up and grooming itself in the tree top. The way the sunlight was hitting it made it almost “glow”.

I stopped to take some photos of a beautiful outcropping of flowering manroot vines before moving on to another part of the park. I didn’t have anything specific in mind to look for, so I just enjoyed the walk and had fun viewing whatever Nature wanted to show me. The water in the river was higher than I’ve seen it recently, and was flowing very quickly. Lots of logs floating in the water faked me out — thought they were beavers.

In and around the water, I saw Common Mergansers, Snowy Egrets and Canada Geese. I also came across a Double-Crested Cormorant who was sporting his crests (that look like bushy eyebrows). The crests of this guy were white, which indicates he probably migrated from Alaska.

Double-Crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auratus

I also saw a Spotted Sandpiper (that didn’t have her spots yet), and a male/female pair of Wood Ducks.

I saw some Lesser Goldfinches, Bewick’s Wrens, Oak Titmice, and California Towhees in the wooded areas. One kind of humorous sighting was seeing a troupe of Turkey Vultures sitting in the top of a tree over a fancy house doing their “heraldic” pose.  Looked very “ominous” and “foreboding”.

Turkey Vultures, Cathartes aura, in the “heraldic” pose which allows them to soak up more heat from the sun more efficiently.

Lots of pipevine plants are now coming up, just in time for spring, but the plants here are kind of “behind” the same plants in other areas. They’re just sporting their flowers.  Lots of Mugwort and Bedstraw everywhere; and the clarkia are just starting to emerge. No flowers on them yet.

CLICK HERE to see the full album of photos.

I watched a hummingbird flitting around the outdoor arena along the trail, and it flew up in front of my face a couple of times. I think it was attracted to the colors in my scarf. It then flew down into the fire pit and was eating (or at least licking) something inside the rim of that. It wasn’t gathering spider webs, because it was flicking its tongue in and out. After it left, I looked down into the pit, but I couldn’t see anything it might have wanted to feast on.  Weird. 

The rains and hail of yesterday helped to fluff up all of the mosses and lichen, so I took a few photos of the most impressive ones of those I found.

In one of the puddles there was a Hairworm. When I first saw it, it wasn’t moving, so I thought it was dead. I went to the puddle again on my way back to the car, and it was moving then, albeit very slowly. Based on the “ends” of the worm, I assumed this one was a male. It was about 14 inches long.

On my way out of the park, I saw a pair of ground squirrels, and then went back to get a parting look at mama Great Horned Owl. Altogether, I walked for about 3½ hours.  This was hike #26 of my #52HikeChallenge. When I got back to the house, I rested with the dogs for a while.

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  3. Bark Rim Lichen, Lecanora chlarotera [looks like Whitewash Lichen but has apothecia]
  4. Bedstraw, Velcro Grass, Cleavers, Galium aparine
  5. Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
  6. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  7. Boreal Button Lichen, Buellia disciformis [pale gray to bluish with black apothecia on wood]
  8. Brown Jelly Fungus, Leafy Brain, Phaeotremella foliacea
  9. Bushtit, American Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus
  10. California Black Oak, Quercus kelloggii
  11. California Camouflage Lichen, Melanelixia californica [dark green with brown apothecia, on trees]
  12. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  13. California Manroot, Bigroot, Marah fabaceus
  14. California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
  15. California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
  16. California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  17. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  18. Common Merganser, Mergus merganser
  19. Common Sunburst Lichen, Golden Shield Lichen, Xanthoria parietina [yellow-orange,on wood/trees]
  20. Coyote Brush Rust, Puccinia evadens
  21. Coyote Brush Stem Gall Moth, Gnorimoschema baccharisella
  22. Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
  23. Coyote, Canis latrans
  24. Double-Crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auratus
  25. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  26. Elegant Clarkia, Clarkia unguiculata [red line on leaves]
  27. False Turkey-Tail, Stereum hirsutum [thin, flattish, brown underside]
  28. Giraffe’s Head, Henbit Deadnettle, Lamium amplexicaule
  29. Gold Dust Lichen, Chrysothrix candelaris
  30. Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
  31. Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus
  32. Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
  33. Hedwig’s Fringeleaf Moss, Hedwigia ciliata
  34. Hoary Rosette Lichen, Physcia aipolia [hoary, brown apothecia]
  35. Horsehair Worm, Hairworm, Phylum: Nematomorpha
  36. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  37. Jelly Spot Fungus, Dacrymyces stillatus
  38. Lace Lichen, Ramalina menziesii
  39. Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
  40. Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  41. Mealy Pixie Cup, Cladonia chlorophaea
  42. Mealy Rim Lichen, Lecanora strobilina [greenish apothecia]
  43. Miner’s Lettuce, Streambank Springbeauty, Claytonia parviflora [very small]
  44. Miner’s Lettuce, Claytonia perfoliata
  45. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  46. Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
  47. Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  48. Oakmoss Lichen, Evernia prunastri [like strap but with soredia]
  49. Pacific Pea, Lathyrus vestitus
  50. Poison Oak, Pacific Poison Oak, Western Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
  51. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  52. Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Regulus calendula
  53. Shield Lichen, Parmelia sulcata [greyish,veined]
  54. Shrubby Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona candelaria
  55. Snowy Egret, Egretta thula
  56. Spotted Sandpiper, Actitis macularius
  57. Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
  58. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  59. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  60. Western Gray Squirrel, Sciurus griseus
  61. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
  62. Wood Duck, Aix sponsa
  63. Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata

Post-Vaccination Walk, 03-05-21

I got up at 6:00 this morning and headed off with my friend Roxanne to Phoenix Park in Fair Oaks. We’d never been there before, but went to look got the Lawrence’s Goldfinches.

The park has a paved wheel-chair accessible trail that goes around one side of it, 1½ miles long, encompassing six different baseball diamonds of varying sizes (from t-ball to the majors), a picnic area, access to a small community garden, and a dog park. On the other side of the park are dirt footpaths that meander around a series of vernal pools and features some very large trees (which we think were Blue Oaks based on their silver-white bark; it’s are to tell when they don’t have their leaves.)

Vernal pools at the park

We opted for the dirt path, and were happy to see that there was a little water standing in a few of the vernal pools. They, like all of the vernal pools in the area, need more rain, and the flowers around and inside of them aren’t awake yet but we figured in a couple of weeks, they should be more interesting to look at.

I’m not certain that we ever clapped eyes on a Lawrence’s Goldfinch, but we did see Lesser Goldfinches and American Goldfinches, along with other birds like Oak Titmice, Western Meadowlarks, Canada Geese, Killdeer, and Western Bluebirds.

There was a small flock of Starlings who I think were trying to nest in cavities in what was clearly an Acorn Woodpecker granary tree. The woodpeckers were not happy with the interlopers, but the Starlings were insistent and held their ground.

European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris, emerging from a nesting cavity in the Acorn Woodpeckers’ granary tree.

We also watched some Yellow-Billed Magpies fly back and forth to their nest. It looked like they were bringing materials for the floor of the nest, but they’d already built the dome over the top of it, so we couldn’t see inside.

We’d only walked for about 90 minutes or so, though, before I was so exhausted I could hardly take another step. The trail was an easy one, and the weather was beautiful, so I couldn’t understand why I was so-so-so tired. Later it occurred to me that the fatigue was most likely an after-effect of the COVID vaccination working its way through my body.  Tiredness is an expected symptom and can show up 1-3 days after injection and last for about three days… so I may have more of this feeling for a little while.

We decided to leave the park, but because it was still relatively early in the morning, we went over to the American River Bend Park to look in on mother Great Horned Owl and her nest there. She was sitting up on her nest, but had her back to us to start with.

Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus

We got distracted by Dark-Eyed Juncos, some White-Breasted Nuthatches, and the Stinging Nettle which is growing quite profusely on the lawn. There were also flowering Giraffe’s Head henbit plants and lots of little blue Speedwell flowers in the grass.

Rox wanted photos of the “hypodermic needles” on the leaves of the Stinging Nettles, and found out very quickly why they’re called that. It takes very little to get the plant to sting you, and the burning sensation can last quite a while. I got stung in the ankles walking through a patch.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

There were several Pipevine Swallowtail Butterflies flittering about. We chased down a male while he fed on the nectar of the Giraffe’s Head. You can tell the males from the females by the intense blue iridescence on their hind wings.

A male California Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly, Battus philenor hirsuta. This subspecies is endemic to the Central Valley of California; found here and nowhere else on earth.

By the time we got back to the car, mama owl had turned around in her nest and was giving us the stink eye. Hah! I saw something “bright” in a nearby tree, and thought maybe it was another owl. But through the viewfinder of my camera, it just looked like a reflection of sunlight on bark and leaves. When I got the camera home, though, and took a closer look at my photos, I realized it WAS a second owl. The bright light was reflecting off his belly feathers. Wow! Now I’ll need to go back and look for him again.

Can you see papa Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus? He’s very well camouflaged.

We left there and headed over to the Gristmill access area to see how the Red-Shouldered Hawk was doing, and to check on the little Western Screech Owl there. We found the female hawk sitting beside the nest, squawking for her mate. I don’t know if she has eggs yet, or if she was just taking a short break from sitting on them. Eventually, the male showed up. He hadn’t brought her any food, but he did mate with her very briefly.

We found more Pipevine Swallowtail Butterflies at the site — even though we couldn’t find any obvious pipevine anywhere. One of the butterflies had just come out of her chrysalis, we supposed, because her hind wings hadn’t fully extended yet; they were still a little wrinkled. She let me pick her up from the grass so we could get some closer photos of her.

A female California Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly,Battus philenor hirsuta

There wasn’t a lot going on in the river today — we saw a few Coots and Goldeneye ducks — but in and around the bird boxes along the trail we got to see the Western Screech Owl again, several Tree Swallows, and a pair of Western Bluebirds. We also saw several Nuttall’s Woodpeckers, including a female who hung around for quite a while, so we were able to get quite a few photos of her. (I used my laser pointer to show Rox where the bird was in the tree.) In the water, we saw a pair of male Common Goldeneyes, Bucephala clangula, fighting one another.

Cornell doesn’t provide a lot of information on the behavior: “…Brief fights occur among males. Males submerge toward an intruder and surface near or under the rival. Short chases ensue, with individuals occasionally diving to escape pursuit. Fights end when the intruder(s) leave the territory, often pursued in the air by the territorial male…”

What we were seeing seemed “much ado about nothing”. The males would square off against one another on the surface, then swim around each other, flapping their wings, splashing a lot, sometimes diving underneath one another, chasing each other in circles… but I didn’t see any biting or stabbing. No one lost feathers or drew blood. A civilized form of warfare.

We also saw a Snowy Egret pacing some Common Mergansers along the shore of the river, trying to steal the fish they caught.  I saw similar behavior at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery, with gulls attacking Goldeneyes to steal their food. It’s a rough old world out there!

In another spot, we came across one area where there were five turtles sunning themselves in the morning sunlight. They were all Red-Eared Slider Turtles, and most of them looked like they were shedding their old scutes. The scutes are those scales or plates you see on the turtle’s shell; larger ones across the back and smaller ones around the margins. They’re made of keratin (like horn). In order for the shell to enlarge, scutes have to be regularly shed and grown.

Red-Eared Slider Turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans

Red-Eared Sliders are considered an invasive species in California because they displace native Pond Turtles. The sliders were brought into the state for the pet trade, but ended up in the waterways throughout California when the pet owners got bored with them and dumped them… “a situation which has continued for several decades since the 1930s, reaching a peak during the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle television cartoon craze of the late 1980s-early 1990s.” 

These turtles can live for up to 30 or 40 years, and females (which are generally larger than males) can get up to 18 inches long. Males are distinguished from the females not only by their smaller size, but also by the fact that they have very long fingernails on their front feet.

The most fun thing we spotted there was a very large Jackrabbit run-hopping back and forth across the landscape in front of us. He was so animated!

Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus

Altogether, even with my fatigue, I managed to walk for about 3 hours before we headed home. This is hike #25 in my #52HikeChallenge.

When I got home, I was so tired I went to rest on my bed… and fell asleep sitting up. My snoring woke me up, but not until almost 4:00 pm. Sheesh!

Species List:

  1. Almond Tree, Prunus dulcis
  2. American Coot, Fulica americana
  3. American Goldfinch, Spinus tristis
  4. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  5. Audubon’s Warbler, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
  6. Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
  7. Bird’s-eye Speedwell, Veronica persica [tiny blue flowers]
  8. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  9. Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
  10. Blue Dicks, Vernal Pool Blue Dicks, Dipterostemon capitatus lacuna-vernalis
  11. Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii
  12. Bushtit, American Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus
  13. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  14. California Manroot, Bigroot, Marah fabaceus
  15. California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
  16. California Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly, Battus philenor hirsuta
  17. Chickweed, Common Chickweed, Stellaria media
  18. Common Goldeneye, Bucephala clangula
  19. Common Merganser, Mergus merganser
  20. Common Water-Crowfoot, Ranunculus aquatilis [tops floating on the surface of vernal pools]
  21. Dark-Eyed Junco, Junco hyemalis
  22. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  23. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  24. Fennel, Sweet Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare
  25. Giraffe’s Head, Henbit Deadnettle, Lamium amplexicaule
  26. Golden-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
  27. Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus
  28. Green Trichoderma Mold, Trichoderma viride
  29. Hairy Vetch, Winter Vetch, Vicia villosa ssp. villosa
  30. House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
  31. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  32. Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
  33. Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
  34. Lomatium, Barestem Biscuitroot, Lomatium nudicaule
  35. Lupine, Miniature Lupine, Lupinus bicolor
  36. Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  37. Medusa Head Grass, Taeniatherum caput-medusae
  38. Miner’s Lettuce, Claytonia perfoliata
  39. Mistletoe, American Mistletoe, Big Leaf Mistletoe, Phoradendron leucarpum
  40. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  41. Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
  42. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
  43. Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  44. Peach, Prunus persica [dark pink flowers]
  45. Pennywort, Centella sp.
  46. Red-Eared Slider Turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans
  47. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  48. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  49. Shepherd’s-Purse, Capsella bursa-pastoris
  50. Snowy Egret, Egretta thula
  51. Spined Turban Gall Wasp, Antron douglasii [spring gall, round on the stems, blue oaks]
  52. Stinging Nettle, Urtica dioica
  53. Tangle Web Spider, Theridion sp.
  54. Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
  55. Trembling Crust Fungus, Merulius tremellosus
  56. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  57. Wavy-Leafed Soap Plant, Soaproot, Chlorogalum pomeridianum
  58. Western Bluebird, Sialia Mexicana
  59. Western Screech Owl, Megascops kennicottii
  60. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
  61. Wood Duck, Aix sponsa
  62. Yellow-Billed Magpie, Pica nuttalli

The Usual Suspects at Effie Today, 03-02-21

I got up around 6:00 am again and headed over to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve for a walk. It was about 40° when I arrived, and it got up to about 70° by the late afternoon.

It was a lot of the usual suspects today: birds, deer, squirrels. No super-interesting standouts, but I did get to see quite a few Red-Shouldered Hawks including one that landed briefly on the ground near me to eat something small near the exhibition pond before taking off again. I’m not sure where they have their nests this year.

The Black Phoebes who, each year, build a nest in the overhang of the nature center, were working on it again. The female sat briefly on the nest, which looked almost finished to my eye, but I don’t think she has eggs yet. Any day now…

It seemed like all of the resident birds were out singing this morning, and I saw a lot of Spotted and California Towhees, wrens, Oak Titmice, and nuthatches around.  The Acorn Woodpeckers were out en masse stuffing and re-stuffing acorns into their granary trees. So much chatter in the air.

The fruitless almond and plum trees in the preserve are in bloom, but not too many of the other spring plants are awake yet, and most of the other trees are still without their leaves.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

I found one solitary Giraffe’s Head henbit plant and a small patch of blooming bittercress, but not much else. Even the manroot vines there are slow-going for now.

Among the deer, there are still several boys sporting their antlers, including one 4-pointer buck. His antlers were interesting in that one of them has a prong that is turned backward, in toward his head and shoulder. I wonder if he’ll retain that into the next shed-and-growth period.

A four-pointer Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus, buck with wonky antler.

I caught a very brief glimpse of a beaver in the river(!), but it moved faster than I can walk so I wasn’t able to get into a position to see it better. I got only a blurred photo of it as it passed by. Nice to see it, though.

A really blurry photo of a Beaver, American, Beaver, Castor canadensis, swimming in the river.

I walked for almost 3½ hours before heading home. This was hike #24 of my #52HikeChallenge.

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Almond Tree, Prunus dulcis
  3. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  4. Audubon’s Warbler, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
  5. Azolla, Water Fern, Azolla filiculoides
  6. Beaver, American, Beaver, Castor canadensis
  7. Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
  8. Bittercress, Hairy Bittercress, Cardamine hirsuta
  9. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  10. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  11. California Manroot, Bigroot, Marah fabaceus
  12. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  13. California Sycamore, Platanus racemose
  14. California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  15. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  16. Cherry-Plum Tree, Prunus cerasifera
  17. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  18. Common Goldeneye, Bucephala clangula
  19. Common Merganser, Mergus merganser
  20. Common Sunburst Lichen, Golden Shield Lichen, Xanthoria parietina [yellow-orange,on wood/trees]
  21. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  22. European Honeybee, Western Honeybee, Apis mellifera
  23. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  24. Giraffe’s Head, Henbit Deadnettle, Lamium amplexicaule
  25. Golden-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
  26. Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
  27. Hoary Rosette Lichen, Physcia aipolia
  28. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  29. Lace Lichen, Ramalina menziesii
  30. Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  31. Mediterranean Stork’s-Bill, Erodium botrys
  32. Miner’s Lettuce, Claytonia perfoliata
  33. Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  34. Periwinkle, Greater Periwinkle, Vinca major
  35. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  36. Red-Tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis
  37. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  38. Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Regulus calendula
  39. Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  40. Tule, Common Tule, Schoenoplectus acutus
  41. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  42. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  43. White Horehound, Marrubium vulgare
  44. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis