A 5'-long snake with a number of small scars.
A pair of Common Ravens has been nesting in McClellan Ranch this year. I don't believe this species has nesting in McClellan Ranch in the precious 25 years.
A large gopher snake with a blunt tail, presumably from some injury. I have been trying to keep notes on the markings of snakes to determine if I am encounter the same snake multiple times, or new individuals. With gopher snakes I number the splotches that run from the head down the center of the tail, noting any that are distinct.
This snake was found by Austin Pleban.
The third white band from the head of this California Kingsnake was unique in that it did not completely cross the back. I have been trying to keep notes on the markings of snakes I see at McClellan Ranch in order to determine if I am seeing the same snakes over and over or whether I am seeing different individuals. I have only seen a California Kingsnake on two occasions, and after checking notes and photos, it appears to be the same snake. I also found a shed skin from the same snake. The snake was previously seen on May 7, 2010.
Baby rabbit being eaten by a gopher snake.
This snake pulled at least two baby rabbits out of a burrow while an adult brush rabbit cowered nearby. It did not eat the first rabbit before going back into the burrow for another.
A lousy photo, but wanted to document the first sighting at McClellan Ranch this season.
This photo is of a tree with male flowers just upstream from the amphitheater.
There were four Red-shouldered Hawks in the park this morning.
Great Blue Heron
Wading in Stevens Creek.
At 5:15 pm two White-tailed Kites showed up and perched at top of sycamores and hunted over field. A few crows arrived to harass them.
Many groups of these mushrooms showed up simultaneously over a wide area of the meadow.
At this season just the strikingly marked leaves are up. This plant has been one of the most agressively spreading of the introduced plants at McClellan Ranch Park, and it hasn't been one volunteers have found easy to control.
I think this is Armillaria mellea. They seem to have a slightly different appearance this very dry (so far) winter.
Found this dead deer under an oak with a young bobcat sitting next to it.
Looks like a young cat. I've recently seen a larger, more robust cat in the same area. I found this young bobcat next to a dead deer. I can't imagine a bobcat taking down a deer, so I am guessing it died from other causes. If anyone disagrees, please let me know.
I am pretty sure I saw a tarantula hawk, (Pepsis). I didn't get a chance to get a good look at it before it disappeared under a Baccharis, but these wasps are pretty distinctive and I can't think of anything similar with a black body and orange wings. I have never seen this wasp in McClellan Ranch the 25 years I've spent there, nor have I ever seen tarantulas at this site. I have seen other larger spiders here including Calisoga longitarsis.
A pair of Dark-eyed Juncos were feeding a juvenile Brown-headed Cowbird that was noticeably larger than the Juncos. I have seen Juncos feeding cowbirds on several other occasions.
I'm not sure if these tiny disks are galls or something else.
A pair was flying Thursday and Friday over the filed at McClellan Ranch and perching in the redwood near the entrance. In 2009 a pair nested in late June just downstream at Blackberry Farm.
This fledgling used his crampons to scale this tree. He didn't yet seem to be competent in the use of his wings.
I found these galls on Black Cottonwood leaves. Field Guide to Plant Galls of California and Other Western States by Russo shows Aspen Leaf Gall Midge, Prodiplosis morrisi. It mentions these galls are found on aspens and East Coast polars, but it doesn't say anything about other California Populus species.