What’s Abuzz 2

On 5/2/10, JO, JH, KG and I led a bee (and other invertebrates) hike at Skyline Ridge OSP. We were scheduled to start at 1:30, and got out of the lot around 1:45 (one person arrived late and had to use the restroom, so we waited to start). Well, at least we tried to get out. We found a jumping spider on one person’s leg, so of course we had to put it in a box to look at.

There were six participants, three of whom knew JH from the past. There was at least one new to these hikes, and despite the publicity in Bay Nature, everyone had found out about the hike through the online calendar.

It was warm, and there was a strong enough breeze to keep some of the bees down.

On the way up the trail, we saw an Osprey–that was a surprise. An Oak Titmouse was singing, and one of the participants asked about it. Orange-crowned Warbler, Wrentit, Black-headed Grosbeak, and Black-throated Gray Warbler (I think) were singing. A Band-tailed Pigeon flew by, and an Anna’s Hummingbird perched in the chaparral.

A small tick

California Buttercups and poppies seem to be the best locations to find things, but there weren’t as many leading to the chaparral area as last year. Lupine, Baby Blue Eyes, Madia, Tomcat Clover, Plectritis, Woodland Star, linanthus, and Blue-eyed Grass, Field Madder, Milk Maids, Red Maids, Hounds Tongue, Fiddleneck, Rock Rose (Helianthemum oelandicum), California Plantain, English Plantain, Grassland Gilia, Miner’s Lettuce, Sweet Cicely, Ithuriel’s Spear, Blue Dicks, and Scarlet Pimpernel were in bloom.

We found three species of bee flies, and what I thought was Bombilius major last year played dead in the tube again. There were no Osmia that we could see in the mud along the trail and bank, as there were last year. There were quite a few very small bees that were hard to see in the tube. Some flies appeared to be lekking. We caught a fairy moth (Adela), small robber fly, a yellow crab spider on buttercup, syrphid fly, velvet ant, and a brown crab spider.

Fairy moth (Adela)

On the way to the chaparral area, a tiger moth was found on the trail! It was probably Grammia ornata. This is only the second tiger moth I’ve seen on district land. Butterflies included Propertius Duskywings, Variable Checkerspot caterpillars, and Bramble Hairstreaks plus Common Ringlets.

At the lake were a stone- or caddisfly, and Pacific Forktails. The lakeside trail had some robust, Blue Orchard Bees (Osmia) visiting the blackberry blooms.

We arrived back around 5:30.

See more photos here.

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