A Short Walk at Gristmill, 09-06-21

I got up around 6:00 o’clock and headed over to the Gristmill Recreation Area to see if I could find galls there. It was 61º when I got there but got up to 102º by the afternoon. PM2.5 AQI levels reached: 184 AQI (Unhealthy) .

There are a variety of oak tree there including Interior Live Oaks, Valley Oaks, some Black Oaks and Holm Oaks. I was shocked, therefore, when I found only a handful of galls. The Holm and Black Oaks gave me nothing, but it’s always fun to see them.

On the live oaks I found Erineum mite galls, Pumpkin galls, some fold galls and Live Oak Bud galls… but that was only on two trees. I didn’t find anything at all on the other live oaks I looked at.

On the Valley Oaks, I was expecting to see Red Cone galls everywhere but I only found them on ONE tree, along with a single Yellow Wig Gall, some Jumping galls, a handful of Spined Turban galls, small Flat-Topped Honeydew galls, and stem galls. And, of course, there were Oak Apple galls on a lot of the trees.

I got a few photos of a Jumping Spider (Colonus hesperus) on one of the leaves, and it was eating its breakfast. I had to chase it from one side of the leaf to the other until it finally stopped to stare me down.

Here are the photos from today: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mkhnaturalist/albums/72157719793315661

I could hear a few birds like Nuttall’s Woodpeckers, Killdeer, Belted Kingfishers, and Oak Titmice, but I couldn’t get photos of them. I saw your basic Wild Turkeys, Common Mergansers, Mallards, Canada Geese, Wood Ducks, a Great Blue Heron, Mourning Doves, Black Phoebes and some Cedar Waxwings. There was also a small flock of Bushtits, but trying to get photos of any of them is always a challenge for me. They’re small and they move so fast!

I came across a birding ground that was following a “Warbling Vireo” in the treetops. I couldn’t see it, but it was fun to know that it was out there.

Not a lot happening, and I was only out for about 90 minutes because it was heating up fast, but I enjoyed the exercise. #CABiodiversityDay. This was hike #76 in my annual hike challenge.

Species List:

Belted Kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon [heard]
Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
Black Walnut, Eastern Black Walnut, Juglans nigra
Black Walnut Pouch Gall Mite, Aceria brachytarsa
Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
Bushtit, American Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus
California Black Oak, Quercus kelloggii
California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
Cedar Waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum
Common Fig, Ficus carica
Common Merganser, Mergus merganser
Crow, American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
Flat-Topped Honeydew Gall Wasp, Disholcaspis eldoradensis
Gall Inducing Wooly Aphid, Stegophylla essigi [in live oaks, folds the leaf over itself; sometimes the leaf turns red/reddish]
Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
Holm Oak, Quercus ilex
Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
Irregular Spindle Gall Wasp, Andricus chrysolepidicola [on white oaks, Blue, Valley, etc.]
Jumping Spider, Colonus hesperus
Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
Live Oak Bud Gall Wasp, Callirhytis quercusagrifoliae
Live Oak Erineum Mite Gall, Aceria mackiei
Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
Oak Apple, California Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
Pumpkin Gall Wasp, Dryocosmus minusculus
Red Cone Gall Wasp, Andricus kingi
Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
Spined Turban Gall Wasp, Cynips douglasii [summer gall, pink, spikey top]
Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
Western Gray Squirrel, Sciurus griseus
White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
Wood Duck, Aix sponsa
Yellow Wig Gall Wasp, Andricus fullawayi

Posted on September 10, 2021 07:30 PM by simpylmare55 simpylmare55


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