City Nature Challenge Day 1

It's been a week and 20 hours and I'm just now done uploading all my observations. What a whirlwind!
It started at midnight Friday morning 4/29. I set up a sheet and black light in the backyard before going to bed and the alarm was a rude one at 11:50pm. As expected, there were only a few creatures that visited the trap due to low temperatures. After quick photos, I turned off the operation to set them free.
The next morning I was up at 6:30am to do birds in my Point Loma neighborhood. I don’t do a whole lot of birding anymore since I became “bug” obsessed. When I have my nose down to the bushes and the ground, I just don’t really see the birds (unless there are there eating the bugs). It was a treat to see a Western Tanager pair and a Black-Headed Grosbeak. Both of these species don’t reside here, they just pass by during migration. I got back home in time for a snack and headed to Cabrillo National Monument to run my 2-hour bee survey on a tide-pool transect. The blooms, though better than last year, are shy and so are the bees. I was surprised by a few Carder Bees species (genus Anthidium) feeding on California Dodder. Metallic Sweat Bees (subgenus Dialictus) also ignored the California Buckwheat to feed on the smothering Dodder. Last year toward the end of April, I ran a survey on the same patch of blooming Dodder and not a native bee was to be found. Another treat was the smallest praying mantis I've ever seen. It looks like a small twig pushed by the wind. In fact, I dismissed it as such at first and then noticed the movement was just different. Trying to photograph a moving "grain of sand" is definitely a challenge!
After the survey was completed, I chose to head back to the parking lot via the road, hoping I would maybe see something different. Just before I reached the lot, I saw a snake moving at a great pace above the vegetation and heading straight toward me. I froze and the snake kept coming. My initial reaction was “that’s probably a Gopher Snake” and by the time my pea brain processed the pattern and head shape, I realized I was starring at a Southern Pacific Rattlesnake. Only it wasn’t starring back at me. So I moved (and grabbed my camera at the same time, out of habit) to make myself known. The snake froze about four feet from me. He stared at me, I stared at him and we stared at each other like this for a few second. Then he decided he didn’t want to be my best friend after all (I’m totally cool with that, our Zodiac signs were probably incompatible anyway). He changed course to head back up the slope while a snapped a few shots. What a lucky and special encounter. Be still my heart!
After the survey, I went back home for a quick lunch and rest. I knew the night was going to be a long one.
My shift at Cabrillo started at 8pm, but I showed up a little early to set up my sheet and laundry baskets with UV lights. The wind made the whole operation very challenging and I was grateful for the help of @carrotpeople, @thumbwave and @cjackson, who helped me out with sandbags and set up. What a treat to have these accomplished naturalists participating in the Cabrillo National Monument 24hr Bioblitz! As the Bat Team headed by @steph_taylor and the amazing Kristen started up toward the lighthouse, us ‘buggers’ stayed behind and waited for the small creatures of the night to flock to our traps. The trap worked on @u_phantasticus, @jessmullins, @alantorretto and @drsalty who all flocked to them to check the buzzing action. We also walked around the park to see other night crawlies. We checked under wood board for scorpions, none found :(
We finally wrapped up our business around midnight and headed for some much needed rest after setting our alarm clocks to 3:15am for an intertidal survey.
A big thank you to all the participants.
@biohexx1 I’m sorry I missed you. I know you were there as well, we just never ran into each other! Thanks for coming down to the park!

Publicado por patsimpson2000 patsimpson2000, 07 de mayo de 2022

Observaciones

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Piranga Capucha Roja (Piranga ludoviciana)

Observ.

patsimpson2000

Fecha

Abril 29, 2022 09:12 AM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Piranga Capucha Roja (Piranga ludoviciana)

Observ.

patsimpson2000

Fecha

Abril 29, 2022 09:13 AM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Picogordo Tigrillo (Pheucticus melanocephalus)

Observ.

patsimpson2000

Fecha

Abril 29, 2022 09:19 AM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

patsimpson2000

Fecha

Abril 29, 2022 01:37 PM PDT

Descripción

Seen during 10-mn survey with E. fasciculatum. The bee only landed for a fraction of a second on buckwheat bloom but didn't forage. Landed and foraged on dodder several times. A few individuals present.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Abejas Metálicas del Sudor (Subgénero Dialictus)

Observ.

patsimpson2000

Fecha

Abril 29, 2022 12:07 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

patsimpson2000

Fecha

Abril 29, 2022 12:38 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Abejas Metálicas del Sudor (Subgénero Dialictus)

Observ.

patsimpson2000

Fecha

Abril 29, 2022 12:57 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Abejas Metálicas del Sudor (Subgénero Dialictus)

Observ.

patsimpson2000

Fecha

Abril 29, 2022 12:55 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

patsimpson2000

Fecha

Abril 29, 2022 01:41 PM PDT

Descripción

10-mn survey.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Cascabel del Pacífico (Crotalus oreganus ssp. helleri)

Observ.

patsimpson2000

Fecha

Abril 29, 2022 02:32 PM PDT

Descripción

A big one! What a treat.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Arañas Cazadoras del Dios del Fuego (Género Curicaberis)

Observ.

patsimpson2000

Fecha

Abril 29, 2022 09:17 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

patsimpson2000

Fecha

Abril 29, 2022 09:18 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

patsimpson2000

Fecha

Abril 29, 2022 09:49 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

patsimpson2000

Fecha

Abril 29, 2022 10:56 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

patsimpson2000

Fecha

Abril 29, 2022 11:01 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

patsimpson2000

Fecha

Abril 29, 2022 11:01 PM PDT

Comentarios

We'll catch up. Maybe a bee party!

Publicado por biohexx1 hace 5 meses (Marca)

@biohexx1 Definitely a celebration at the end of the season!

Publicado por patsimpson2000 hace 5 meses (Marca)

My apologies if I missed anyone above. I don't know everyone's iNat's name and all. Please feel free to tag people in the comments :)

Publicado por patsimpson2000 hace 5 meses (Marca)

It was a great experience and fun to put some faces to usernames. I learned a lot and enjoyed my midnight nap under the stars.... not too many opportunities in San Diego to enjoy that! Looking forward to any other opportunities to observe and record after hours in the future.

Publicado por thumbwave hace 5 meses (Marca)

Pat:
My first official afoot and afield black-lighting experience. It's just been my back yard until 29-30 April 2022. I learned a lot from you and really enjoyed observing the other photographers. I must get out again soon someplace.
"Mr. Jackson"

Publicado por cjackson hace 5 meses (Marca)

Such a fun weekend! Haha, maybe the rattler is an Aries. =)

Publicado por steph_taylor hace 5 meses (Marca)

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