Saturday, August 6, 2022

Checking the Trap


Prowling Bobcat
(Video Frame Capture)

I hadn't checked my camera trap in a while, so the day after I got back from visiting family in Chicago I packed up my saddlebags and biked across Golden Gate Park and the Presidio, over the Golden Gate Bridge and through Sausalito, then climbed up Panoramic Highway until I finally emerged from the fog and reached clear skies a short ways before the Bootjack Campground. As always, it was a beautiful day to be on the mountain.

After locking my bike to an oak tree I set out toward the trap at a very relaxed pace in the hope of finding interesting insects or reptiles to photograph. A fence lizard drew my attention with its brilliant colors, as if it had recently shed its old dull skin, and up around a bend in the trail I encountered a small meadow with countless stalks of yampah swaying in the breeze. Their tiny white flowers were being visited by many buzzing insects, the most prominent of which, to my eyes, were the black-footed drone flies (identified thanks to the brilliance of iNaturalist).

On the far side of the yampah meadow I stopped to try to spot the white-breasted nuthatches that I could hear foraging among the cones up high in the Douglas fir trees. Once they became used to my presence, a couple of goldfinches fluttered onto some nearby thistles to gather seeds, perturbing an Anna's hummingbird that was gathering nectar from the remaining blossoms. A Wilson's warbler made a brief appearance, and a pacific slope flycatcher emerged from the woods to gaze out over the edge of the meadow. I suspect the little flycatcher (I thought it was a ruby-crowned kinglet at first) couldn't concentrate on hunting with a pesky human so close by, and it soon disappeared back into the woods. 

Fir Forest in the Fog

Magic on the Mountain

Showing Off Its Colors

Black-Footed Drone Fly on Yampah Blossoms

Eristalis hirta Feeding on Perideridia kelloggii

Goldfinch With Seed Halo

Goldfinches Gathering Thistle Seeds

Wilson's Warbler

Pacific Slope Flycatcher

Empidonax difficilis

Bobcat Passing Through

Gray Fox at the Water Hole

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