Decided to go somewhere new this past Saturday, and ended up at Round Valley Regional Preserve, an EBRPD holding east of Mt. Diablo. Wasn't really sure what to expect other than some nice scenery. Ended up find that in spades, along with all manner of interesting things, foremost among them being a night snake and a bobcat.
As far as I can tell Round Valley is almost all oak savanna, predominated by blue oak, with some valley and interior live oak mixed in with some buckeyes and walnuts. I don't think I saw any completely closed woodland on the loop I did. Plenty of rocks and fallen logs for herps and spiders and the like, so definitely worth revisiting.
The night snake was curled up under one of those logs, looking like it had just molted. Also found a Diabolical Ironclad Beetle nearby, which, I have learned, is not quite the same as the Plicate or Pustulose Ironclad Beetles. Noted.
The bobcat was something of a shock, as I came up behind it without realizing. It didn't notice me for quite some time, and I had almost changed to my telephoto when it did and loped off. I pursued, of course, and manage to get a few decent shots. I had never noticed how black and white the backs of their ears are! Really quite a sight.
Hurrying back in an effort to escape before the gate to the parking lot closed, I nevertheless stopped for a late-season male tarantula, and for some very nice trap doors, which may or may not belong to some cyrtaucheniids. Would love to go back at night, or perhaps after rain to see if I could catch some wandering males.