|The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group. It is a place to note of any observations you have made of the world around you. Insects, weather, meteorites, climate, birds and/or flowers. All are worthy additions to the bucket. Please let us know what is going on around you in a comment. Include, as close as is comfortable for you, where you are located. Each note is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the patterns that are quietly unwinding around us.
Solano Lake, CA
Continued below the orange coprolite
Tuesday, February 25th, on the suggestion of a neighbor, we wandered up to Solano Lake, or perhaps Lake Solano, in nearby Solano County, CA. It is man made, they damned Putah Creek (No! With an H, and is not at all related to that other word, but is of Native American origin, but heavily modified). It is a small lake a bit west of Winters, which is about an hour North of my place in the East Bay.
Before we even got parked we saw & heard an Osprey, and while parking saw a grey squirrel and a plethora of black butterflies. While we were there, we discerned that many of the latter were mating. The grey squirrel was nice to see because they are scarce here due to introduced Eastern Fox Squirrels driving them out.
As we got out of the car, we first heard and then spotted a Phainopepla sitting in the top of one of the many oak trees. This is far and away the furthest north I have ever seen one. Though I associate them with the SoCal deserts, they are really associated with mistletoe, hence oaks and oak woodlands, which this area was.
We were at Lake Solano from roughly 10:50am to 1:30 pm and logged the following species:
Phainopeplas, Western Scrub Jays, a plethora of Acorn Woodpeckers, maybe 20 Canada Geese, a few White Breasted Nuthatches, Western Bluebirds, Brown Creepers, maybe 30 Buffleheads, a Northern Mockingbird, a lone Great Egret, a Kingfisher that we heard only and assumed to be belted a half dozen Mallards and some Butterbutts, A Coopers Hawk, a Ferruginous Hawk soaring in the distance, a flock of Common Goldeneyes, some Spotted Towhees, Chestnut Backed Chickadees, a Red Shouldered Hawk, a Wrentit a Pied Billed Grebe, Black Swifts, a Bewick's Wren, a Lewis' Woodpecker, a Lesser Goldfinch, Crows, Ruddy Ducks, Dark Eyed Juncos (Oregon), a Flicker, some double Crested Cormorants, a Hermit Thrush, at least a dozen Common Mergansers, 6 Hooded Mergansers, 15 Cedar Waxwings, some Eurasian Wigeons, and over 30 peafowl.
The park has a day use area, which is where we spent most of our time and saw most of the birds. We were almost immediately accosted by this:
Then we went over to the campground to check it out. That's where the hooded mergansers were, as well as at least 30 Peafowl, including one Peacock displaying in the middle of the road, which I didn't get a picture of.
"Green Diary Rescue" will be posted every Saturday at 1:00 pm Pacific Time on the Daily Kos front page. Be sure to recommend and comment in the diary.
Now It's Your Turn What have you noted happening in your area or travels? As usual post your observations as well as their general location in the comments.