If you're interested in using any of these photographs in any way, please contact me. Send an e-mail to naturalhistoryphotos(at)gmail.com. Thanks!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Waiting for summer fruit -- Part 2

A few nights ago I posted some photos of juvenile Cedar Waxwings in Bodega Bay see "Waiting for summer fruit" on 18 September 2020.  Ruth wrote to say that there wasn't confirmed nesting data for Cedar Waxwings in Sonoma County.  Well, since this is a rare event, I'm including a couple more photos for the record:

(Eric thinks the young waxwings look like little dinosaurs.  Do you agree?)
(This bird starting actively begging when an adult flew in with food.)
Cedar Waxwings generally nest in more northern locations e.g., from southeast Alaska through British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon, and extending down to northwestern California (Del Norte and Humboldt counties) Sonoma County is south of the main breeding range for them along the West Coast.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Beach hoppers for brunch


Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) feeding on amphipods (beach hoppers) at Salmon Creek Beach. 



Friday, September 18, 2020

Waiting for summer fruit

Juvenile Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) resting among lichens on a pine branch.
There were four juveniles being fed by an adult.  Here's a view of them watching and waiting:

Cedar Waxwings are late nesters, breeding late in the season when summer fruits and berries have ripened.  The adults will feed the young for ~10 days after they leave the nest.  (These fledglings were being fed coffeeberries.)

Thursday, September 17, 2020

On the sand


Recently I spent some time sitting and watching some Tidewater Gobies (Eucyclogobius newberryi). Here's a selection of photos, showing how well camouflaged they are against the sand.
The females develop darker fins:
A close-up of the eyes with beautiful chromatophores:
At home on the sand:

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Sipping verbena

Fiery Skippers (Hylephila phyleus) on Pink Sand Verbena (Abronia umbellata)

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Ashes on her eyes

Late this afternoon I was walking by a wall that I pass by regularly when something caught my eye.   A large dragonfly was perched there, so I approached for a closer view:

As I moved closer, I noticed little white flecks here and there, and wondered if they might be ash.  You can see them on the green thorax and on the dark brown eyes:

Well, I couldn't tell for sure if the flecks were ash, but they look like the ash that's on our car right now.  This is a Common Green Darner (Anax junius), photographed on 13 September 2020.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Aboveground network


Carol was asking me about Pacific Silverweed (Potentilla anserina ssp. pacifica) today, which triggered a memory of this photo I took back in 2007.   

This species has an amazing network of stolons (aboveground runners).  This was fairly early in the growing season, but imagine the leaves getting larger and filling in the spaces.  Later in the summer and fall, the stolons are harder to see.   

Pacific Silverweed likes wetlands, e.g., on Bodega Head we find it in freshwater marshes, wet seeps along the bluffs, ephemeral dune ponds, and the upper edges of salt marshes.