I was taking a pic of something else, when I heard the ground squirrels squeaking. I looked up and thought, "Cool a hawk. A giant hawk. I giant hawk that looks like a bronze-brown wooden blank of doom." By the time I had realized what it was, it had dipped behind a hillside.
I know, awful pic. Trust me on this one. There were a couple in the pond.
Red maids were the only flowere really out in abundance (some buttercups, too).
A syrphid, perhaps? It was quite small, like 5-7 mm.
One of my favorite parts of working as a wildlife biologist was driving down trails with horned larks. You'd approach in the truck, they'd fly off 40 ft, approach, fly, approach, fly, approach, fly, ad infinitum.
First of the season. Not sure what the fly is.
For comparison with the White-tailed Kite, the male harrier has all-white underwings, mottled tops, and it bulkier overall. Harder to see from afar is it's flattened, owl-like face and white rump.
One of two I found that seemed like they might have been hibernating. Looked almost dead.
I haven't seen a Say's in a long time, so this was a treat.
Crummy shots, but I'm hoping they help me remember how to tell these apart from male harriers. Kites have black shoulder pads, two big spots underwing, have a more slender build, and are smoother in color overall.
This stand of trees showed a couple possible symptoms of SOD. There was definitely crown death, and some trees had some seeping or Hypoxylon infestation. I saw absolutely no evidence of beetle attack, which might mean that it's not SOD.
I saw a flock of crows mobbing something, so I figured something interesting was going on. Sure enough, this accipiter had just killed something. The raptor was pretty big, so I'm guessing it was a Cooper's, but I can't really be sure.
This was some serious seeping. The fluid was brown, and seemed odorless.
As Western Skinks age, their tales fade, sadly.
I thought this was a Red Admiral when I saw it, but Red Admirals apparently have red-orange bands on the their wings, and are otherwise dark.
Looks like old seepage.
Newts were doing the same right next door. 'twas a pool of ill repute!
Urgh, flies. Seen on a redmaid.
Found under a fallen fence post.