Total vertebrate mayhem at Sunol

I went to Sunol Regional Wilderness for the first time yesterday. I'd been poring over geologic maps the night before, paying particular attention to the serpentine units to be found at Sunol, so it was with visions of Mimulus douglasii and fragrant fritillaries that I schlepped it down 680 toward the county's southern reaches. There was serpentine aplenty, and even what looked like bunchgrass to my poaceaphobic eye, but almost nothing in bloom.

Happily there were numerous vertebrates to distract me from the botanical letdown, including Mountain Yellow-legged Frogs (my first in the East Bay), Sharp-tailed Snake (my first outside of Leona Canyon, I think), Rufous-crowned Sparrow (my first ever!), and tons of raptors. Most amazing of all was a Northern Pygmy Owl, that was just sitting in an exposed tree, right next to a busy stretch of trail. I almost never see owls other than Great-horned, and I never see those in anything other than half light, so that was a real treat.

Sunol in general was mostly grassy hillsides and oak savannah. The Eagle View Trail offers a nice cut through some sagebrush chaparral where Selaginella bigelovii practically coats the ground beneath, and Camp Ohlone Road parallels some beautiful riparian habitat, but otherwise there wasn't a whole lot of ecological diversity. Lots of nice views, though. Well worth the trip. I want to explore the Maguire Peaks area next time I'm down there. Looked intriguing.

Note to visitors: this park actually has a gate, so the opening and closing times aren't quite as "flexible" as they are at other EBRPD holdings. I was told if you need to leave after the gate closes, someone will be called in and you'll be fined.

Posted by kueda kueda, March 05, 2012 04:02 AM

Observations

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:15 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:16 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:19 AM PST

Description

Nesting in a sycamore

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:15 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:16 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:19 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:19 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:20 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

California Towhee (Melozone crissalis)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:22 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:23 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Ánade Real (Anas platyrhynchos)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:25 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:23 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:43 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:47 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:45 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:48 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:51 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:51 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Blue Dicks (Dipterostemon capitatus)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 10:05 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 11:15 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Nightshades (Genus Solanum)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 10:26 AM PST

Description

Woody perrennial, hairs minutely pinnate.

Photos / Sounds

What

Northern Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium gnoma)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 11:16 AM PST

Description

Yesssssss

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 11:17 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Typical Cicadas (Family Cicadidae)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 11:17 AM PST

Description

Creaking call heard, presumably platypedia.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Oak Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 11:18 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 11:30 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Coffee Fern (Pellaea andromedifolia)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 11:48 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Goldback Fern (Pentagramma triangularis)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 11:48 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Polypody Ferns (Genus Polypodium)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 11:50 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 12:00 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 12:19 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Common Raven (Corvus corax)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 12:13 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 02:53 PM PST

Description

Eating what looked like a vole.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 12:30 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 12:55 PM PST

Description

Pair of them.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 01:26 PM PST

Description

3 females sitting in a cow pond.

Photos / Sounds

What

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 01:29 PM PST

Description

Very pale underneath, dark wing tips. Possibly light patched on top of wings, need to look up. ....and apparently they do. Confidence boosted. Wait, now looking at photos, and belly looks too dark, plus dark marks on the fronts of the wings. It does have white patches on the wings though. Is it just a really weird red-tail?

Photos / Sounds

What

Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 01:43 PM PST

Description

Small flock, nervous mvmt on ground, grey and white, very little brown. Repeated tseet call. Was thinking Vesper, but looking at the range that looks a bit ridiculous, and Savannah seems more likely. But they weren't as brown as the Savannah Sparrows I've seen, and none in a flock of 10 or so had yellow lores. Thoughts?

Photos / Sounds

What

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 01:54 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Yellow-billed Magpie (Pica nuttalli)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 2012

Photos / Sounds

What

Dwarf Checkermallow (Sidalcea malviflora)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 01:58 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Osoberry (Oemleria cerasiformis)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 02:27 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Hillside Gooseberry (Ribes californicum)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 02:11 PM PST

Description

Honey bees seemed to be enjoying it.

Photos / Sounds

What

California Golden Violet (Viola pedunculata)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 01:47 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Coffeeberry (Frangula californica)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 02:28 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Bigelow's Spikemoss (Selaginella bigelovii)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 02:34 PM PST

Description

Practically coats the ground beneath the sagebrush.

Photos / Sounds

What

California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 02:37 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Silver Lupine (Lupinus albifrons)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 02:41 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Pacific Hound's Tongue (Adelinia grande)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 03:06 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Woolly Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja foliolosa)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 03:08 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 03:19 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 03:19 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 04:02 PM PST

Description

For sure this time

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 04:19 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 03:16 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Hutton's Vireo (Vireo huttoni)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 04:03 PM PST

Description

Chew calling.

Photos / Sounds

What

Nuttall's Woodpecker (Dryobates nuttallii)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 04:15 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 04:19 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 04:38 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

California Slender Salamander (Batrachoseps attenuatus)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 04:24 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 04:38 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Mylitta Crescent (Phyciodes mylitta)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 11:30 AM PST

Description

Quite a few of these flitting about the Camp Ohlone Road.

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:34 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Foothill Yellow-legged Frog (Rana boylii)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 2012

Description

As soon as I saw the Little Yosemite area of Sunol, I figured yellow-leggeds were a possibility: fast-flowing water, pools, rocks. Unfortunately there were also abandoned water bottles, dogs, and cows, so I had doubts. Luckily those doubts were unfounded.

Photos / Sounds

What

Sharp-tailed Snake (Contia tenuis)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:34 AM PST

Description

Always a good way to start the day.

Photos / Sounds

What

Little Western Bittercress (Cardamine oligosperma)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 10:38 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 10:01 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Rufous-crowned Sparrow (Aimophila ruficeps)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 03:49 PM PST

Description

Another lifebird for me. Pretty sure of the ID.

Photos / Sounds

What

Rusty Popcornflower (Plagiobothrys nothofulvus)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 12:25 PM PST

Description

Was kind of hoping to get around the issue of nutlets on this one since it's so hairy, has those red veins and margins, and looks kinda weedy.

Photos / Sounds

What

California Newt (Taricha torosa)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 11:57 AM PST

Description

Found dead under a log with its guts hanging out. Maybe something took a bite, didn't like, and cached it?

Photos / Sounds

What

Coville's Lip Fern (Myriopteris covillei)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 11:45 AM PST

Description

I'm calling it C. covillei since the fronds are mostly glabrous and there's a pre-existing record of that species in Sunol, but I still don't see how one really draws a line between this and C. intertexta based on morphology. Actually looking at Jepson now and it refers to characters of the rhizome scales. Will have to check that next time.

Photos / Sounds

What

Emery Rocktripe Lichen (Umbilicaria phaea)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 11:43 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 09:57 AM PST

Description

Was hoping it was a dogface. Oh well.

Photos / Sounds

What

Bigelow's Spikemoss (Selaginella bigelovii)

Observer

kueda

Date

March 3, 2012 11:42 AM PST

Comments

Sunol had past problems with rowdies coming in after dark for dr.inking parties at the Little Yosemite area. Hence the strict enforcement of hours.

Posted by dbring almost 10 years ago (Flag)

Interesting. Thanks for the info!

Posted by kueda almost 10 years ago (Flag)

Kueda san is this site set up to ask general questions or is there a procedure for that? I saw a huge log on the beach. It has been in the ocean for some time so that the tree rings are wearing down so u see concentric circles of rings that are high in between ones that are worn down what makes some rings stronger is it summer growth that'd be softer so they r wearing faster than the winter rings? I hav some other questions to...let me know how u r set up to do this? Thank you.
Timkin

Posted by timkin over 9 years ago (Flag)

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