Category Archives: Naturalist

Two Exciting Naturalist Events Coming Up

I got my Executive Director, Sara, and I signed up for the CalNat (California Naturalist) Conferencenaturalist pin that is taking place in September in Southern California.  I’ll be doing a book selling/signing thing and will also do a poster presentation at the event.

And I’m working with the local CalNat folks to set up an outing for the training partners who will be participating in the training on May 10th and 11th.  We’ll hammer out the details in the next few weeks, but I’d like to take them to somewhere like Lake Solano.

More information will follow… but I really excited to be working on things like this!

Bobcat Ranch

Got into a lottery for a chance to go birding on Bobcat Ranch in Winters, CA.  Along with California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Audubon Society is inviting people to go birding there on specific days throughout the next several months.  I put in a lottery ticket for two different Saturdays in December. 

According to their site: “The ranch is home to a variety of wildlife, including Lark Sparrow, Golden Eagle, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Oak Titmouse, Nuttall’s Woodpecker and Yellow-billed Magpie, as well as bobcat, mountain lion, black-tailed deer and black bear. The Audubon Society bought it in 2007 and it’s now an important conservation anchor within the Blue Ridge-Berryessa Natural Area (BRBNA), a 750,000 acre matrix of private and public lands. Also nearby are the 27,000- acre Blue Ridge BLM lands, the Department of Fish and Game’s Putah Creek Wildlife Area and University of California’s Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve.” 

You can usually only get in by invitation, so… it would be awesome if I could get a Saturday date to get in there and look around.

Almost Done with My Certified Naturalist Class

After work I went home to change clothes and have some supper before heading off to my naturalist class.  This is the last formal class we’re having; next week is our graduation and the night when we each present our capstone projects.

After an intital lecture by Brett Korven of SMUD, we all went out onto the preserve for an hour or so to document the changes the river since the first day of class.  When the class first started the flow in the American River was around 800 cfs; today it was around 2500 cfs… So a lot of the area we’d been able to walk on during the first excursion was now under water.  That was kind of cool to actually witness and document over a period of several weeks.  With the water rising in the river, the waterfowl were closer to shore, so we were able to see geese, Killdeer, cormorants, a Great Blue Heron, a Merganser, Mallards, a Great Egret, a Spotted Sandpiper and other birds or easily.

On the way back to the nature center, I also came across a large bullfrog singing in one of the man-made ponds, and a gorgeous blue dragonfly… and there were about 8 Monarch Butterfly caterpillars on the Showy Milkweed right near the center in their native plant garden.  So that was cool, too.

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Here is a video of the caterpillar:

Here is a video of a goose feeding in the river: