Nature Explorations at Arastradero

The weather turned out to be glorious today. We hiked about 3.75 miles: Juan Bautista de Anza Trail, Arastradero Creek Trail, Woodrat Trail, Vista Point for lunch, Meadowlark Trail back to Juan Bautista.

Meadowlark Trail

Meadowlark Trail

Cooper’s Hawks, Red-shouldered Hawks, Western Bluebirds, singing Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Orange-crowned Warblers, Acorn Woodpeckers, Nuttall’s Woodpeckers (a pair of males, muttering to each other and foraging close together), California Thrasher, Ruddy Ducks, Pine Siskin, a pair of Purple Finch, Wild Turkeys with males displaying, House Wrens, and other birds made themselves known.
3/18/09 Western Scrub Jay, Anna’s Hummingbird, Nuttall’s mutterings, California Thrasher, Lesser Goldfinch, etc. Recorded with an Olympus LS-10 (headphones best)…

Osoberry, Blue Witch, Blue Dicks, Lupine, Red Maids, California Buttercups, Ruby Sand-spurrey, Rosy Sand Crocus, Purple Sanicle, Blue-eyed Grass, Fiddleneck, and more delighted our eyes. So did the Bluets, hidden in the grass.

Quite a few insects were out, including syrphid flies, a beefly, Mourning Cloak, Acmon Blue, a Checkerspot, and California Ringlet butterflies.

Pacific Treefrogs called from the creek near the gate. There were American Bullfrogs visible near Sobey Pond. The big surprise was a (Western) “toad in the hole”! Noticed only because I happened to catch movement out of the corner of my eye, I looked in the hole and saw its head from the side. After lunch, I took another look, and there were two, one standing on the other. One of them was bolder and sat face forward in the hole.

Toad in the hole!

Toad in the hole!

We heard stories of hundreds of juvenile amphibians–treefrogs near Sobey Pond, and toads from a nearby lake–a moving carpet of little anurans. I wish I could have seen that.

Although I’ve been here many times before, I’m glad we did go here today.

Best photos here: