Good Morning Barbara,
Thank you for witnessing the Jessie St. Marsh vegetation removal work and sending your front seat report. It made me realize how essential it is for all sides to come to the table and work out beneficial solutions. After this experience what do you think needs to happen to improve the environmental future?
Standing on the Trestle bridge the other morning, I saw a slight indentation in the river mouth sandbar. My breach antennas wiggled instantly and so I rode to the cliff overlook. And sure enough there was the beginning of a breach channel in the sandbar, filling up with water. Judging by the fresh tire tracks and clear foot print, this breach attempt was dug very recently. I notified all agencies since a sudden breach with so many people on the beach, would be very dangerous. Of course it’s bad for fish as well, because the water literally gets sucked out from underneath them and they get stranded in the rocks and land.
You should have seen our wing injured COMMON GOLDENEYE sleep next to the juv. COMMON MERGANSER. At first I couldn’t unscramble what I was seeing, because this duo combination is kooky. The uniquely marked COMMON MERGANSER has been lollygaging by itself on the river. This morning the two loners decided to share each others company and hang out together. When the sleeping beauty awoke, they paddle together over to the 3rd St. tree trunk. The C. MERGANSER hopped on, not leaving any space for the new friend, who swam unhappily back & forth. After some feather spiffing the C. MERGANSER moved over, the C. GOLDENEYE eagerly climbed up, surveyed the surrounding and then nestled down next to her sidekick.
You won’t believe, who I saw: a big GOPHER SNAKE right next to the river path with its body partially in a ground squirrel hole. As I was looking at it, a cyclist stopped and worried that it was a Rattle Snake. This id mistake has cost many GOPHER SNAKES their lives and I assured him quickly that it was a harmless snake. We oohed and ah-ed about this fine, strong species and were thrilled that the river banks harbored such unexpected wildlife. When I returned an hour later, the snake was in the same spot and hadn’t moved. This made me nervous, because I have seen people act out their fear response to snakes and it’s not pretty! So I moved GOPHER SNAKE down the bank by a bush. It was stiff and one eye looked clouded, which meant it was either dead or ready to shed its skin. When I checked the hiding spot the next day, the snake was gone and hopefully doing fine.
Okay, that sight floored me: a ground squirrel was delicately munching Calif. Poppies blossoms, only the forlorn stems remained. I do sympathize with this little rascal’s need for some juicy delicacies, but my favorite cheery Poppies?…not a good idea!
To-day a juv. GREEN HERON was keeping its parent busy by exploring landing maneuvers. The parent would fly to a perfect perch branch, waiting for the offspring. The teenage bird refused to take the hint and complained mightily as it slid off the weak branches of its choice. The parent couldn’t take it anymore, flew off and after a moment’s hesitation, was followed by the screeching juv. GREEN HERON.
BTW: be sure to catch the info. on Santa Cruz Critter Club Facebook about the San Lorenzo River bioblitz on July 9th. I am tickled to meet Critter people!
‘till next time, jane