Many small ground-dwelling squirrels in Tahoe – California Ground Squirrel, Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel, and a number of species of Chipmunk.
Interesting interaction between a Northern Harrier, Raven and Turkey Vulture (not pictured) – the Harrier seemed to be highly agitated by the other birds. I would expect this perhaps around fledge time, but it seems late in the season – is this play? Competition? Just a pissed off bird?
I’ve never seen a Harrier so aggressive towards other birds.
A fellow raptor-lover / naturalist friend of mine lives on a boat by Point Richmond, and this winter she convinced the harbor master to install a platform on the breakwater in hopes that osprey would nest there. They did! Osprey have been continuing to be present in increasing numbers here in the Bay Area, and I was able to get to see the nest last week, just a week after the two babies hatched. It was difficult to see them because they are still so small, but I hope to return to see them in a couple of weeks when they are more visible.
Right when I got there, dad (named Lee) had just caught a nice sized striped bass and was looking for a place to start eating. The fish looks like it is saying “oooooooohhhhhhh shit.” Valid.
My friend said that he typically has been the one hunting, and the female sits on the nest with the young since they hatched. Evidently he seems to always get this size and type of fish, and there were reports about a year ago of a surge in the density of striped bass in the Bay. He usually finds a spot to eat the head, before he delivers it to the nest. Today though, he left a nearby perch possibly due to the high winds and he went right over the nest. But not before the gulls harrassed him for his dinner.
The gulls are always looking for an easy meal, and two great-blue herons that were on the breakwater were not pleased …
A double-crested cormorant popped up right by us on the dock, beautiful creatures.
Pops decided to re-locate after mom (Eileen) had fed herself and the tiny little hatchlings. He went on a perch just to the side of the nest to keep working on dinner, as the sky turned to pink and purple with the setting sun.
Special thanks to Shirley for all the work she does and her love for these birds.
Black-tailed Mule Deer / Point Reyes National Seashore
Spending moments with this incredible animal was sublime – he is in the prime of his life, overflowing with strength and vitality. His coat glows with a luster of brilliance, his eyes are dark and bright; a wet nose constrasts the softness of the fur around his snout, and those antlers – oh, those antlers. Fuzzy and stout, with many branches, each of which speaks to the stories of his years. He walks with confidence, grace, and strength.
Thank you Deer.