2011 Northern California Trip (Part 2)

Jack Rabbit ... I ended the day with a lifer mammal and started the day with another!!

Jack Rabbit … I ended the day with a lifer mammal and started the day with another!!

Day two of my adventure started at the crack of dawn to the sounds of birds singing.  I woke up to discover I was the only one in the entire campground and as I looked outside the truck I noticed lots of Jack Rabbits feeding on the grass.  There had been some sprinklers running over night and they were just munching down enjoying their breakfast.

Phainopepla ... The Black Cardinal ... and such a cool name!!

Phainopepla … The Black Cardinal … and such a cool name!!

It didn’t take long to realize it was really birdie and everywhere I looked were birds I’ve never seen before!  Bird’s with cool names like Phainopepla (L), tougher to find birds that I was thrilled to see like Lawrence’s Goldfinch (L) and Nuttall’s Woodpecker, tons of Western Scrub Jays and probably a dozen or more other species.

Lawrence's Goldfinch ... This was a bonus species as I had read they were very difficult to find in the Fall.

Lawrence’s Goldfinch … This was a bonus species as I had read they were very difficult to find in the Fall.

Oak Titmouse

Oak Titmouse

Western Bluebird ... Enjoying the morning sun!

Western Bluebird … Enjoying the morning sun!

Nuttall's Woodpecker

Nuttall’s Woodpecker

I only spent 3-4 hours scouring the campground and park across the street as my plans were to get to Yosemite NP before the massive Labor Day crowds showed up.  Because of my preplanning I had read about an area where Barn Owls might be found so on my way West on Route 130 I stopped at a group of cliffs that contained a number of small caves and sure enough one of them had an Owl!

Barn Owl ... Staying out of the intense afternoon sun.

Barn Owl … Staying out of the intense afternoon sun.

The next couple of hours was driving West across the state on California Route 140 heading West towards the Yosemite Valley and I was happy that it was birdie most of the way.  I had only driven to Gustine the first town West of Interstate 5 when I noticed a city park with quite a few ducks milling about so I decide to stop and look.  Most of the ducks were of the feral type but I decided since I had driven for a couple of hours to at least give the rest of the park a quick look-over … Wow, I sure am glad I did!!

Tomorrow I’ll let you know what fantastic find was awaiting me in this small county park!

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About sheriffsmith

I have worked for the Broward County Sheriff's Office the last 13 years and spend most of my free time birdwatching / naturewatching and photographing the birds and nature that I encounter. I believe God has blessed us with a world that is so absolutely fascinating and wonderful and I'm doing my best to discover and show others all that he has provided us with in nature.
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2 Responses to 2011 Northern California Trip (Part 2)

  1. Terri Smith says:

    That Oak Titmouse – fantastic photo – what a cutie – another printable one!

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