Three Hooded Mergansers were in this small pond early in the morning (along with around a dozen Mallards, a few American Coots, a Great Egret, and a Black Phoebe).
Took this at a field workshop
This European native is extremely common in dry, disturbed lots, weedy fields, and sidewalk cracks in Salinas, CA.
At least three adult females were found in their webs at the base of a large prickly-pear (Opuntia sp.) in a weedy lot.
Wrentits are common but secretive chaparral-loving birds. While they often hide deep in the brush, their raspy calls and "dropping ping-pong ball" like song are often heard. They are the only New World representatives of the family Sylviidae.
Bewick's Wrens are one of the most common birds in California's coastal scrub and chaparral. This individual was seen carrying a fecal sac from the brush meaning its nest was nearby.
This is one of the coastal "brown-capped" coastal bushtits, Psaltriparus m. minimus. (family Aegithalidae) Several birds were working their way through a grove of Coast Live Oaks.
Western Snowy Plovers (Charadrius n. nivosus) are small, federally threatened shorebirds that breed on open sandy beaches and lakeshores. We are fortunate enough in Monterey County to have a small year-round population that nest on our beaches and coastal dunes. Unfortunately, these small birds are susceptible to predation, disturbance, and nest destruction as their eggs are nearly invisible against the sand.
Two males were displaying to between 12 and 15 apparently disinterested females.
This patch was in a highly disturbed strip of land between a school and fields of row crops.
Around a half dozen individuals growing in a wood chip covered and shrub planted garden. Several individuals were excavated for identification. Identification of these mushrooms was based on their overall appearance, their rusty-orange spores, non-viscid caps and stems,and adnexed gills.
One of many very similar Agaricus, this individual was identified by its broad, persistent veil, slightly fibrous cap, and the yellow staining that appeared when the cap was rubbed and when the base of the stalk was cut.
It was found in a suburban yard near downtown Salinas.