I got up about 5:30 this morning, fed the dog his breakfast and then headed out to the Cosumnes River Preserve for a walk.
There was little to no water in the “wetland” areas, so not a lot of birds or dragonflies. I walked along the slough on the side of the road, and then walked through the oak woodland to the nature center, and then back to the car. Along the slough, I saw Tree Swallows, a pair of Western Kingbirds, and a trio of Brown-Headed Cowbirds doing their bowing thing. They were on the top of a tree, so bowing was difficult, and they kept rolling off their twiggy branches. Eventually, they gave up and flew off.
Further along, I came across a small flock of Snowy Egrets who were feeling for things in the water with their feet. As I was watching them and taking pictures, a Great Egret flew in and joined them. Seeing the great Egret and the Snowy Egrets side-by-side really exemplifies their size difference. It looked like a mama bird with lots of babies around her. Some of the Snowy Egrets were flashing their top knots at one another. I got the sense that it was a more an aggressive, territorial thing than a romance thing. None of the birds had their long, trailing feathers in; and none of them were sporting the pink blush in the face the Snowies get when their breeding.
CLICK HERE for the album of photos.
Beyond the regular Oak Apple galls, there weren’t a lot of other ones out yet. I saw some Red Cones just starting to grow – looking like tiny red pimples on the leaves of some of the Valley Oaks. I did see the curling leaf galls and “flower” galls on the ash trees, but not as much as I’m used to seeing.
As I was walking through the oak woodland, I was surprised to see a large flock of American White Pelicans fly overhead. By the time I got my camera up and focused, though, they were gone. It’s always so neat to see those big birds flying. They don’t look like they should be able to stay aloft, but they’re so graceful in the sky.
I also got a glimpse of a Green Heron when he flew out from the rushes around the bridge area, and up into a willow tree. There were so many twiggy branches around him, though, it was hard to get any decent shots of him.
Near the nature center, I saw some House Finches, Anna’s Hummingbirds, and a baby cottontail rabbit. The baby was a surprise; my brain couldn’t get itself around how small it was at first, and I just stared at it. I did come to enough to get a few shots of the bunny before it scrambled away, though.
Even going down to the boat launch area, I was surprised by the lack of insects. I was hoping to see dragonflies, damselflies and spiders there, but… nothing.
I walked for about three hours and then started to head home. My insides were starting to complain, and I hurried to the restroom near the boardwalk area where my car was parked – only to find that the thing was locked shut. Seriously?! Guh! I hate it when that happens.
- American White Pelican, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos,
- Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna,
- Ash Flower Gall Mite, Eriophyes fraxinivorus,
- Ash Leaf Curl Aphid, Prociphilus fraxinifolii,
- Asian Ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis,
- Bermuda Grass, Cynodon dactylon,
- Bindweed, Field Bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis,
- Birds-Foot Trefoil, Lotus corniculatus,
- Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans,
- Blue-Eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium angustifolium,
- Broadleaf Cattail, Bullrush, Typha latifolia,
- Broadleaf Mistletoe, Phoradendron macrophyllum,
- Brown-Headed Cowbird, Molothrus ater,
- Buttonbush, Cephalanthus occidentalis,
- California Brodiaea, Brodiaea californica,
- California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica,
- California Wild Rose, Rosa californica,
- Cleveland Sage, Salvia clevelandii,
- Common Knotweed, Persicaria lapathifolia,
- Common Yarrow, Achillea millefolium,
- Convergent Ladybeetle, Hippodamia convergens,
- Coyote Brush Bud Gall Midge, Rhopalomyia californica,
- Curly Leaved Dock, Rumex crispus,
- Desert Cottontail Rabbit, Sylvilagus audubonii,
- Doveweed, Turkey Mullein, Croton setigerus,
- English Field Daisy, Bellis perennis,
- Fennel, Sweet Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare,
- Floating Water Primrose, Ludwigia peploides,
- Goodding’s Willow, Salix gooddingii,
- Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias,
- Great Egret, Ardea alba,
- Green Heron, Butorides virescens,
- Green Pea Aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum,
- House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus,
- Hoverfly, Syrphidae,
- Hummingbird Sage, Salvia spathacea,
- Jointed Charlock, Raphanus raphanistrum,
- Killdeer, Charadrius vociferus
- Lippia, Turkey Tangle, Fogfruit, Phyla nodiflora,
- Long-Jawed Orb Weaver, Tetragnatha extensa,
- Oak Apple Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus,
- Oregon Ash, Fraxinus latifolia,
- Pearly Everlasting, Anaphalis margaritacea,
- Poison Hemlock, Conium maculatum,
- Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum,
- Purple Finch, Haemorhous purpureus,
- Purpletop Vervain, Verbena bonariensis,
- Rabbitsfoot Grass, Polypogon monspeliensis,
- Red-Winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus,
- Seven-Spotted Ladybeetle, Coccinella septempunctata,
- Snowy Egret, Egretta thula,
- Swift Crab Spider, Mecaphesa celer
- Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor,
- Tule, Schoenoplectus acutus,
- Valley Oak, Quercus lobata,
- Variable Flatsedge, Cyperus difformis,
- Western Fence Lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis,
- Western Kingbird, Tyrannus verticalis,
- Wild Onion (white), Allium sp.,
- Willow Apple Gall Wasp, Pontania californica,
- Willow Bead Gall Mite, Aculops tentanothrix,
- Willow Bud Gall Mite, Aculops aenigma,
- Willow Stem Gall Wasp, Euura exiguae,