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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Waving hello from SoCal

We're at a meeting in Southern California, but before the meeting started we took a quick walk on Newport Beach.  Here are a few quick wave shots taken on 16 November 2017.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Orange ears

Okay, maybe we just haven't lived in Cotati long enough, but this morning was the first time we've seen a squirrel in our yard.  I managed to take a few quick photos to document it before we left for work.

Eric looked out the window early this morning to see an Eastern Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger) walking along the fence and climbing up a nearby tree. 

At first, the orange coloration below made us think about Douglas' Squirrel (Tamiasciurus douglasii), but this squirrel was larger.  And later when reviewing the identification, I noticed the orange ears, bushy tail, and lack of black line between the gray on the back and the orange belowcharacters which led to Eastern Fox Squirrel.

Since I'm relatively new to California, I don't know the entire story of how Eastern Fox Squirrels made it to the West Coast.  I hear they were introduced to the Los Angeles area in the early 1900s, and possibly to San Francisco in the late 1800s.  

P.S.  If you're interested in comparing squirrel species, review the post from 4 December 2012 to see some photos of a Douglas' Squirrel in Sebastopol.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Rain on the way

Approaching rain clouds, from Salmon Creek Beach, 13 November 2017

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Rocky, Part 2

Lots of chores today, so here are two more images of the Rock Sandpiper on Bodega Head during the winter of 2012-2013.  That year, the Rock Sandpiper stayed around until early March.

A comparison with Surfbirds:

(The Rock Sandpiper is on the right.) 

Saturday, November 11, 2017


Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) focused on possible prey below.  Bodega Head, 7 November 2017.

Friday, November 10, 2017

What color is your landscape?

Perhaps it changes with the moment, or the day, or the season, or the year.  

Today the ocean off Bodega Head was silver and gray:

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Fall beauty

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia), photographed in the Bodega Dunes on 7 November 2017

This butterfly was alternating between basking in the sun and nectaring from male Coyote Brush (Baccharis pilularis) flowers:


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Tree frog

Sierran Treefrog (Pseudacris sierra) on a Douglas-Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), 7 November 2017.  

We're received 0.7 inches of rain so far today (8 November 2017), and it looks like showers will continue for a couple of days. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Two of the locals

Nice views of two local raptors in the Bodega Dunes today (7 November 2017):

Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)

White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Resting on the rocks

Yesterday (6 November 2017), a few people reported a Rock Sandpiper (Calidris ptilocnemis) at the southern end of Bodega Head.  It has been observed on the rocks below the outer State Parks parking lot.  

I haven't seen it yet, but here's a photo of a Rock Sandpiper from several years ago (on Bodega Head in February 2013). 

Rock Sandpipers are rare in the Bodega Bay area.  I hope the one that was spotted yesterday stays around for a little while!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Light rain

We've been busy lately, including some field work during the low tide tonight.  I don't have too many recent photos to share, but here's one showing the light rain during our surveys on 5 November 2017:

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Eye to eye

We were finishing up some surveys tonight (2 November 2017) in the intertidal zone when Eric spotted a small Red Octopus (Octopus rubescens) among the rocks.  

The octopus was under water, but shallow enough that I could use my underwater camera to zoom in for a close-up of its eye.  Be sure to click on the image above and explore the diversity of colors and patterns and texturesExploring the eye of an octopus is like visiting another world!

ADDENDUM (3 November 2017): Hmmm...clicking on the photo above didn't enlarge it that much, so here's a zoomed in view of the octopus' eye...

In case you're curious, here's a view of the little octopus:

With its tentacles curled in, this octopus was only ~4 cm (1.5 inches) long.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A starry celebration

Well, I was caught up in listening to Game 7 of the World Series tonight.  And when the Astros won, I decided to post a sea star picture to help their fans celebrate. Here's an orange Sunflower Star (Pycnopodia helianthoides, in the class Asteroidea) to sayCongratulations, Houston!  

P.S. Astro is Greek for "star."