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What

Harbor Seal Phoca vitulina

Observer

dbring

Date

November 18, 2013

Description

Just after noon, with the tide coming in, we saw this lone seal swimming in San Francisquito Creek beside the Palo Alto golf course. It repeatedly bobbed its head up (to breathe?) and then dove, each time coming up sone distance downstream (i.e., against the tide). Walking back about 20 minutes later, we saw probably the same individual just beyond the footbridge to East Palo Alto, still bobbing and diving on the way out to the Bay.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Pileated Woodpecker Dryocopus pileatus

Observer

dbring

Date

August 21, 2013

Description

This woodpecker was large -- over a foot long and almost the size of a crow. I more often see acorn woodpeckers in the Bay Area, but this one was too big to be that.

Photos / Sounds

What

Pacific Ringneck Snake Diadophis punctatus ssp. amabilis

Observer

dbring

Date

August 12, 2013 10:23 AM PDT

Description

I have seen two previous ringneck snakes at Windy Hill, one very near this spot (perhaps even the same individual) and the other on the Hamm's Gulch trail. Those moved too fast for pictures, as did the one I saw at Long Ridge OSR, but finally today's ringneck was sluggish enough for pictures -- a beautiful little snake!

Photos / Sounds

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What

Millipedes Class Diplopoda

Observer

dbring

Date

August 6, 2013

Description

This four inch millipede was foraging beside the Chaparral Trail in Huddart Park. It looks the same as the millipedes I observed in Huddart last year, and different from the one observed in Long Ridge OSR.

Photos / Sounds

What

Giant Blazingstar Mentzelia laevicaulis

Observer

dbring

Date

July 16, 2013

Description

This Blazing Star was blooming right at the edge of a major washout on the trail about a mile up from the inlet of Convict Lake.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Northern Rubber Boa Charina bottae

Observer

dbring

Date

July 17, 2013 11:00 AM PDT

Description

We only got one good image of this rubber boa before it climbed into a shrub, and it does not show head or tail. The tail was blunt, as expected. The prominent skin folds that formed at tight curves as the snake moved were also characteristic of the species. I once kept for several weeks a rubber boa captured by a neighbor, and then released it near a stream in the Owens Valley, so I'm pretty sure of my identification of this one.

The location for this one is at about 8000 feet, just after crossing the middle fork of the San Joaquin River and starting the ascent to Shadow Lake.

Beautiful snake!

Photos / Sounds

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What

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus ssp. oreganus

Observer

dbring

Date

June 25, 2013

Description

Our third and largest snake of the morning -- a literal snake in the grass.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Pacific Gopher Snake Pituophis catenifer ssp. catenifer

Observer

dbring

Date

June 25, 2013

Description

About 50 feet beyond our first rattlesnake of the morning, we saw this gopher snake on the same side of the trail. It was more nervous than the rattler, and didn't allow a good picture including its head.

Photos / Sounds

What

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus ssp. oreganus

Observer

dbring

Date

June 25, 2013

Description

About 3 feet long; flowed into bushes at a leisurely pace. Did not rattle.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Wolf Spiders Family Lycosidae

Observer

dbring

Date

June 10, 2013

Description

Spider on trail in Rancho San Antonio.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Wolf Spiders Family Lycosidae

Observer

dbring

Date

June 16, 2013

Description

Nickel-sized spider crossing sunny dirt road in Long Ridge OSR.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Snowy Egret Egretta thula

Observer

dbring

Date

July 2, 2013

Description

Snowy Egret and Common Egret fishing together.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Great Egret Ardea alba

Observer

dbring

Date

July 2, 2013

Description

Common Egret and Snowy Egret fishing side by side.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

dbring

Date

July 3, 2013

Description

An alligator lizard sunning itself at the edge of the trail, sluggish enough that we got several pictures.

Photos / Sounds

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What

California whiptail Aspidoscelis tigris ssp. mundus

Observer

dbring

Date

July 8, 2013

Description

This is the third site in Foothills Park where I have observed Western Whiptails.

Photos / Sounds

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What

California whiptail Aspidoscelis tigris ssp. mundus

Observer

dbring

Date

June 26, 2013

Description

This western whiptail was foraging thru leaf litter in filtered sun under shrubs. We saw, but did not get a picture of another smaller whiptail a few yards further along the trail. The location (an area of chaparral near Bobcat Point on the Panorama Trail) is about a mile from my previous observations of western whiptails at the summit of Vista Hill in Foothills Park. It seems that whiptails persist at at least two sites in Foothills.

Photos / Sounds

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Observer

dbring

Date

June 16, 2013

Description

This 2 inch long millipede crossing Peters Creek Trail in Long Ridge OSR looks to me like a different species than the ones I saw in Huddart Park in July, 2012.

Photos / Sounds

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Observer

dbring

Date

June 18, 2013

Description

We were looking for racers like this one, but not sure they would be out. Weather was cool with occasional wind gusts. This racer had its head up about 4 inches off the ground and at one point moved it rapidly from side to side (my guess is to get a better view of us, since we were standing as still as we could).

We also saw a muskrat swimming in San Francisquito slough, but were not fast enough to get an image of it.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Western Whiptail Aspidoscelis tigris

Observer

dbring

Date

June 8, 2013

Description

Went back to check on the whiptails at the Foothills Park vista hilltop parking area. Saw three of them foraging in broken shade under tall manzanita bushes.

Photos / Sounds

What

California Thrasher Toxostoma redivivum

Observer

dbring

Date

June 5, 2013

Description

We took several pictures of this thrasher as it busily sorted thru debris with its down-curved beak. It repeatedly flew away when noisy human groups passed, but came right back and ignored us as we stood quietly about five feet away.

Photos / Sounds

What

California Quail Callipepla californica

Observer

dbring

Date

June 5, 2013

Description

Quail and their chicks were out in force today at Rancho San Antonio.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Western Pond Turtle Actinemys marmorata

Observer

dbring

Date

May 22, 2013

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

Two turtles sunning together on log in Los Gatos Creek.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias

Observer

dbring

Date

May 21, 2013

Description

Blue heron fishing in a fairly mucky section of Los Gatos Creek.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Canada Goose Branta canadensis

Observer

dbring

Date

May 15, 2013

Description

A large and well-mannered family of geese, walking in good order at the edge of the narrow trail.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Canada Goose Branta canadensis

Observer

dbring

Date

April 30, 2013

Description

A pair of Canada geese with their large group of offspring.

Photos / Sounds

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What

California Newt Taricha torosa

Observer

dbring

Date

April 22, 2013

Description

Newts swimming in reservoir at Salamander Flat.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Western Yellow-bellied Racer Coluber constrictor ssp. mormon

Observer

dbring

Date

May 1, 2013

Description

We saw several yellow bellied racers this morning, often in the heads-up position shown in the image.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Pacific Gopher Snake Pituophis catenifer ssp. catenifer

Observer

dbring

Date

April 28, 2013

Description

Gopher snake was on earth dike just east of the paved trail.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Monarch Butterfly Danaus plexippus

Observer

dbring

Date

May 19, 2013

Description

Monarch (butterfly) was just across trail from King (snake).

Photos / Sounds

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What

California King Snake Lampropeltis californiae

Observer

dbring

Date

May 19, 2013

Description

This beautiful king snake was sunning itself a foot south of the trail.

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