JO, KG and four newbies joined me in scouting on Friday, 8/20/10. We met at Skyline at 6:00, and left the lot at 6:20 to caravan to the alternate parking area.
We started out on the trail at 6:50, after some discussion of logistics. The non-native everlasting pea was blooming, and the seed pods of the Lunaria annua were there. Heading uphill, we passed Yampah, and fragrant Madia. We got to the “open area” at 7:16.
Around 7:25, we found a spider turret. A few feet beyond that, JO spotted a BIG surprise–a 70mm Cerambycid, probably Ponderous Borer. I don’t usually wear insect repellent or have other chemicals on my hands, and I wanted to see what the underside was like. In hand, it was very strong, and made a clicking noise when it had enough, so we put it back where it had been (like we usually do).
In one grassy opening in the woods, we heard the pip-pip-pip of an Olive-sided Flycatcher.
The beetle delayed our arrival at the ridge, so we were a few minutes after sunset. There was a small insect in front of the bench. I thought it was a beetle and took a photo. Upon examining the photo at home, there were no elytra (wing covers). Hmm…it looked suspiciously like a cockroach! Who knew there were native cockroaches that live here, in the wild.
A couple of different bicycle riders were out a little late, one passing at official closing time. A couple of bats fluttered by as we had dinner. The temperature was mild, and the sky clear.
We left the bench area around 8:50. Shortly afterwards, I found a small scorpion, California Common Scorpion, Paruroctonus sylvestrii. We looked at the ventral side to see if we could determine the gender (we think it was a male). We found three others.
At 9:19, we arrived at the next intersection and turned left. There weren’t as many turrets as in the past. We found a medium-sized occupied turret. Heading downhill, we heard barking from a Western Screech-owl.
At the pond around 9:50-9:55, we stopped to check for wildlife. JO found a tetragnathid spider.
Since we had time, we did quiet, spaced-out walks. A deer or two crashed through the vegetation as we waited for the others. The people who left later heard a Great-horned Owl The “newt pond” held water, but there were no newts.
Turning right at the trail leading out at, we came upon a cricket, then noticed there were tiny things crawling around on the ground near it–tiny ants, a little over a millimeter long. There was a small hole into which they went in and out.
We took a few minutes outside the gate to soak in the night, before we left.