58/250 and a morning on the bay.

In my efforts to photo-document 250 species in each of California's 58 counties, there are iconic places that can't be missed. These include large, internationally known locations like the Farallon Islands, Death Valley National Park, and Redwoods National Park. There are also smaller spots that are of more localized importance or hold a special place in the hearts of the region's naturalists. The Palo Alto Baylands is just such a place. Wedged between East Palo Alto and Mountain View, it is the largest tract of undeveloped marshland in San Francisco Bay. As such it attracts amazing numbers of shorebirds , waders, and waterfowl. It is also home to numerous endangered species such as the Black Rail, Ridgway's Rail, and Saltmarsh Harvest Mouse. I was fortunate enough to spend a few hours there last week and had an amazing time. This included several looks at Ridgway's Rails, one of which was still long enough that I was able to get a few good photos. I look forward to returning in the winter for more wildlife and hopefully, with a good high tide, some of the other, more secretive animals of the marsh. Returning from this trip puts me at 72 species for the county with future trips planned that cover Henry Coe State Park, Sierra Azul Preserve and Almaden Quicksilver County Park, urban walks for parrots and the Mediterranean Spiny False Wolf Spider (Zoropsis spinimana), and more time along the waterfront.

Observations from this day include:

Posted by rjadams55 rjadams55, October 21, 2019 23:15

Observations

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What

Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 09:32 AM PDT

Description

With a Ruddy Duck in the background. Several hundred Northern Shovelers were in the Palo Alto Duckpond.

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What

Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 09:34 AM PDT

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Grey House Spider Badumna longinqua

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 09:34 AM PDT

Description

The cribellate webs of this extremely common, introduced spider are distinctive. They consist of radiating or parallel sheets made up of adjoining ladder or lattice-like sections.

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What

American Coot Fulica americana

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 09:36 AM PDT

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Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 09:36 AM PDT

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Green-winged Teal Anas crecca

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 09:36 AM PDT

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White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 09:36 AM PDT

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Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 09:36 AM PDT

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Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 09:36 AM PDT

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Dunlin Calidris alpina

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 09:49 AM PDT

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Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 09:49 AM PDT

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Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 09:49 AM PDT

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Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 09:52 AM PDT

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Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 09:52 AM PDT

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Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 10:14 AM PDT

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Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 10:17 AM PDT

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Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 10:20 AM PDT

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Snowy Egret Egretta thula

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 10:20 AM PDT

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Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 10:20 AM PDT

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Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 10:31 AM PDT

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Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 10:31 AM PDT

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What

Eastern Mudsnail Tritia obsoleta

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 10:31 AM PDT

Description

Tens of thousands of these snails were found on the silty mud flats at low tide.

Photos / Sounds

What

Striped Green Sea Anemone Diadumene lineata

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 10:31 AM PDT

Description

Dense patches of this anemone could be found in protected spots along the Baylands Sailing Station dock.

Photos / Sounds

What

Coyote Brush Baccharis pilularis

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 10:34 AM PDT

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White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 10:34 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

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Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 10:34 AM PDT

Description

It flew up to the top of the powerline tower with a bird in its talons. I could not make out the species, but as it began plucking it, small puffs of white feathers floated off in the wind.

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What

Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 11:02 AM PDT

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Fennel Foeniculum vulgare

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 11:02 AM PDT

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Great Egret Ardea alba

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 11:09 AM PDT

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Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 11:23 AM PDT

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What

California Horn Snail Cerithideopsis californica

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 11:23 AM PDT

Description

It was interesting that the invasive Eastern Mudsnail was found by the tens of thousands in the open slough mudflats;

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/34515926

The native California Horn Snail was only seen in good numbers in these pond-like, interior mud flats. These areas were protected from the main body of San Francisco Bay's mudflats by thick beds of pickleweed (Salicornia sp.).

Photos / Sounds

What

Marsh Gumplant Grindelia stricta var. angustifolia

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 11:28 AM PDT

Description

Subspecies identified by habitat and its long, tapered leaves with scattered, small serrations.

Photos / Sounds

What

Ridgway's Rail Rallus obsoletus

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 11:52 AM PDT

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Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 12:09 PM PDT

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Fiery Skipper Hylephila phyleus

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 12:09 PM PDT

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American Avocet Recurvirostra americana

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 12:29 PM PDT

Description

With a female Green-winged Teal.

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What

Green-winged Teal Anas crecca

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 12:29 PM PDT

Description

Female teal with an American Avocet.

Photos / Sounds

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What

American Coot Fulica americana

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 12:35 PM PDT

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What

California Ground Squirrel Otospermophilus beecheyi

Observer

rjadams55

Date

October 14, 2019 11:55 AM PDT

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