Journal archives for October 2020

October 22, 2020

Stink Bug watch

Ameeds, who I'm sure you all know because he is our #1 Stink Bug identifier, just sent me this message:

"I wanted to ask you to keep an eye out for a stink bug that I think is newly arrived to southern California. I haven't seen any observations that make it quite as far north as your observations, but you're close enough to the area that they may still be around.

https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/317598-Pellaea

Previously, these guys only have US records in south Texas, but an expert that I talked to said that if anyone was able to collect physical specimens for him to arrange to have sent for examination and confirmation of identity, this would be a very interesting record and may be a species that requires closer study as a possibly harmful invasive.

The species may be associated with glossy privet, Ligustrum lucidum, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/77740-Ligustrum-lucidum."

Just in case you come across it, and/or have Glossy Privets in your neighborhood. Laura?!

Posted on October 22, 2020 15:26 by andreacala andreacala | 5 comments | Leave a comment

October 25, 2020

October 23rd

On Friday, 10/23, I wanted to have a special outing to an area I’d never been before, looking for a bird I had never seen in person. I asked @kimssight for suggestions, and she made a great list of destinations in the area she is roaming.

My first stop was the El Dorado Nature Park in Long Beach. I’m happy I briefly visited this popular, well designed park that offers a variety of habitats in a compact way. It’s a bit like a zoo without cages, and especially suitable for families with children in strollers, and seniors who need a clean, even, clearly marked path to walk safely. For Covid, the park made all its trails one-way, which works well to keep people distanced. However, whenever I stopped to look for a bird, I was an obstacle in the flow as there’s no space to step off the trail to let people pass safely.
Coming from the Santa Monica Mountains, the contrast was incredible. Not only is the South Bay much greener and lusher than the late summer mountains, it is also home to so very many more people, freeways, businesses… and was really noisy to my spoiled ears. But the pockets of wilderness in between all this human development are very intriguing. El Dorado is tamed, presented wilderness, but educational, and hopefully inspiring. I took one of the loops, then walked along Spring Street to the San Gabriel “river,” a small stream of water in a concrete channel.
Highlight: a banded Green Heron, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/63429490, and a tiny, wild growing sage with striking colors, Autumn Sage, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/63429180.

Then I drove to the West San Gabriel River Parkway Nature Trail, at Monte Verde Park, in Lakewood. This is an in and out trail in a strip of green between a residential area and the river, lined with mature Sycamores, Cottonwoods, Blue Elders, Toyon, Sages and Matilija Poppies that were cut down for the winter. It was an interesting mix of “weeds” and deliberately placed plants that attract birds and pollinators, not too manicured, but also not neglected. I had a wonderful time exploring this pocket, and among the highlights was running into Kim in person, and seeing several groups of Scaly-breasted Munias for the first time, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/63350411. Fun to watch were also two Scrub-Jays mobbing a Kestrel, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/63509360. Although it was a cold, overcast day, I saw several Hover Flies, and the tiniest bee yet, but I couldn’t find the Genus Pellaea Stink Bug someone had sighted in Lakewood.

I then made two quick stops at Colorado Lagoon and Mother’s Beach, but found them deserted (or didn’t know where to look), but was also quite tired, hungry, in need of a bathroom, and called it a day, and went onto the freeway for the 75 minutes drive back.

Thanks Kim for the suggestions! I’ll be back!

Posted on October 25, 2020 20:25 by andreacala andreacala | 8 observations | 3 comments | Leave a comment

Excursion to Kim's territory

Posted on October 25, 2020 20:32 by andreacala andreacala | 6 comments | Leave a comment