Tuesday, May 5, 2009
A good trail
Coyote came down the trail at 7:07AM on March 29
We're in Marin County, and this shady trail gave me a good feeling.
It follows the contours of a steep slope, winding around the bulges and into the drainages, and all the way it climbs gradually.
Here and there the chopped duff shows where animals arrive or leave it for a steeper route to some unknown destination.
There was animal scat too.
So, I set the camera in front of a Douglas fir looking up the path, and a month later the camera confirmed my hunch.
There were 96 pictures of mammals and birds on the memory stick.
Black-tailed deer accounted for 30% of the animal pictures.
The bucks were wearing velvet antlers that looked like fuzzy bratwursts.
Deer mice took second place among mammals (22%).
There was lots of bird activity .
Hermit thrushes were on the trail at dawn or late afternoon.
Together with varied thrushes they were the most frequent avian users (28%), but scrub and Steller jays, a robin and dark-eyed juncos also visited.
Only one raccoon made an appearance,
but bobcats showed up four times.
All were moving up the trail, meaning none faced the camera. (I put out a second camera for the next go-around, and aimed it down the trail.)
And here's the only other coyote picture -- following a shower at 5:15 in the morning.
I had great hope for a camera I set at a coyote latrine about a quarter mile away, but the camera had an electrical short.
After I left that evening, it took 400 photos in two and a half hours -- filling the memory stick. A couple of moths were the only animals photographed.