Sights of April 2014

May 03, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

April is typically a great month for birds, flowers, and insects and this year is no exception. My only regret is that I didn't get out more! I have been working on home improvement projects so my time outdoors was limited.

In addition to my usual endeavors, I began an insect study at the nature center comparing a restored native grassland to a non-native habitat. The study, along with my searching for interesting spiders for my entomology and arachnology class, I have added many new species to my site.  http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/new_apr_2014

There were lots of wildflowers blooming during my monthly butterfly survey with Irvine Ranch Conservancy and of course a few butterflies. http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/irc_apr_2014

A special trips was to the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Reserve  and the Condor Recovery Program. Yes, I saw condors! http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/condors_apr_2014

I welcome corrections or ID's I am missing.

Highlights:

 I do a regular bird survey at Sims' Pond Biological Reserve which is home to coyotes. They are never a problem for us and I rarely see them. Two people doing mosquito control just before we got there were walking in opposite directions around the pond and must have flushed him out.  I got a few good shots.

Coyote - Canis latransCoyote - Canis latrans

I took a brief trip to Rosamond, CA and didn't take many pictures but I saw a male peacock displaying for a female. She was not impressed. I caught images of the courtship.

Blue Peafowl - Pavo cristatusBlue Peafowl - Pavo cristatusNative to the Indian sub-continent. Males are called Peacocks and Females Peahens.

Wildflowers are blooming. When we count butterflies we also take note of what plants are blooming.  It takes a lot longer in spring. We have a wonderfully knowledgeable person with us for plants. I have learned some but have a long ways to go.

Arroyo Lupine - Lupinus succulentusArroyo Lupine - Lupinus succulentusIRC Butterfly Count, Irvine Ranch, Dripping Springs-Limestone Canyon, 04/06/2014

Condors are magnificent birds.  Here is one being pursued by a raven. A small flock of ravens were harassing to condor. The scenery is just stunning. We saw 14 condors all at the same time and suspect there were about 18 to 20 in the area.

61 and a raven in pursuit61 and a raven in pursuit61 and a raven in pursuit

One of the interesting insects we found during our insect study was a Camel Cricket.  They are nocturnal and like dark moist places. We set out pitfall traps and collected them the next morning. Anything that crawls by at night drops in. We found quite a few critters including this one.  We released all our little captives back into the field.

Camel cricket - Ceuthophilus sp.Camel cricket - Ceuthophilus sp.Family Rhaphidophoridae - Camel Crickets

Want to explore the full series?


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