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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A remote spring on the Yuba

A spring feeding the North Yuba River, Sierra County, CA

Red fir logs had blocked the spring and created pools in several places. 

I chose this one, about 75 yards below the source to set a camera because it seemed most accessible to wildlife. 

Ferns, Delphinium, various unidentified herbaceous plants, and a few small mountain alders blanketed the stream for much of its length. 

The rest of the area was practically devoid of ground cover, which I understand is typical of red fir forests.

A few species of birds visited the pool -- and you birders out there, don't hesitate to correct my identifications.

Hermit thrush

Townsend's solitaire

Saw whet owl

Robin and unidentified fledgling assumed to be a robin

I expected the usual rodents -- red and gray squirrels, golden-mantled ground squirrels, shadow chipmunks, and perhaps a wood rat. 

Aplodon crosses the rotten log forming the pool.

But here where I found no signs of aplodon -- burrows or plant cuttings -- one showed up on two consecutive nights. 

Aplodon wades through the water on its way to who-knows-where.

I thought I was starting to know where to predict their occurrence, but I guess I am still climbing the learning curve.

The sierra got its first snow this past weekend and soon the roads will be closed, but next spring I'm going back to this ravine and I am going to look for burrows and other sign very carefully.

I am also going to camera trap the length of the spring to see if there is a resident population. 

More plans, more work, more fun. 


Anonymous said...

Fun for me too!
Thanks for sharing your work,

Mike and Joanna said...

Really fun to see the wildlife caught with your great talent living in the red fir forest. I just love it up there too.