Today we visited another part of Anthony Chabot Regional Park. Our second outing there. And, I don’t know what it is, but I get the worst looks (and thus, photos) of wildlife in the parks along that Eastbaysian range!
After doing a short Naturing outing with a friend (who requested a birding outing led by me – my first request!) and his visiting mom (who likely expected more birds than a Naturing outing but seemed pleased anyhoo) at Fort Mason yesterday, I was looking forward to a larger-scale outing today in a place I’m still getting to know.
We tried out the Red Tail and Brandon Loop. Which mostly had mountain bikers on it. Which might have been a sign what these trails are best used for.
Saw Coyote scat to start out, and later saw lots more of it plus some Bobcat scat. Ruby-crowned Kinglets were with us for much of our time out there. And we managed to see a couple fungi sightings, Oak-loving Gymnopus (or were those Scurfy Twiglets?) and Western Hardwood Sulphur Shelf.
Spotted one eaten-up Red Admiral and one Western Fence Lizard and one Variegated Meadowhawk.
But what was quite exciting was seeing what I think might’ve been a Dusky-footed Woodrat! After noticing one of their homes, we saw a mouse-looking creature scurrying about nearby. Watched him run then stop then scurry then run! It was pretty hard to get a good look at it, as it was under leaf litter and in shade. But it was SO CLOSE to the Woodrat home! So, yeah. That’s it. Right?
What we mostly heard and saw were birds. But getting good looks at them was tough. Not sure if it’s the shade or what (too many eucs?), but they were hard to see in general. Northern Flickers and Chestnut-backed Chickadees and Yellow-rumped Warblers and one Oak Titmouse (that Brian saw) and Dark-eyed Juncos and American Robins and two Spotted Towhees. Likely a Wrentit, that Brian saw and I heard.
But the surprise was a Sapsucker woodpecker! We heard woodpeckery sounds above, like we did during much of our time there. And I saw Sapsucker holes on a slim tree trunk. Then Brian spotted it. Red-breasted Sapsucker, I think! It was in shade pretty much the whole time. Exciting, nonetheless!
As for flora, not a whole lot going on, as was expected. But a couple Pink Honeysuckle berries and Fall-colored Ocean Spray leaves and Toyon berries were nice to see.
On our last stretch back to where we started, we spotted a Deer. It soon boinged away from us, along with another that went in the other direction. And we got to watch it further ahead of us alongside the trail, and then it boinged across the trail. Had a couple of them cross in front of my car or try to on the way out of the area. Didn’t expect to see Deer!
The last thing we saw was a California Scrub-Jay. Perched and out in the open in the sunshine. What a treat! So I was at least able to get a decent photo or two of it. Kinda makes up for getting crap photos overall today. But a Woodrat and Sapsucker are nottooshabby highlights to have, I think.