April 28-30, 2021 Carrizo Plain

I've finally completed posting my observations for my second trip to Carrizo this year. One month from my March visit, I returned to find the vegetation even drier than before. It is going to be a long hot summer in Carrizo and I fear for the wildlife there.

Yet, in spite of the terribly dry conditions, I managed to find abundant wildlife everywhere. I'm simply amazed at the adaptations plants and animals have made to survive and sometimes even thrive where the environment is so forbidding. For instance, I stopped on my way to Carrizo at an area off Elkhorn Grade Road just to see what might be about. This area still has cattle grazing in some areas which probably hasn't helped the ecosystem. Yet, in spite of the sere, desolate looking area, I saw a singing horned lark, a couple of Nelson's antelope squirrels and a family of Bell's sparrows.

The big story in Carrizo this time around was the grasshoppers. I have never seen so many in my life. There must have been millions of them and I don't think I'm exaggerating. On one trail they were so numerous that every time I took a step at least 15-20 must have jumped. Most of the areas I went had abundant grasshoppers but there were definitely areas with more than others. The most numerous was the Valley grasshopper which are also some of the most colorful.

I also saw evidence of several birds nesting in the area including western meadowlarks and loggerhead shrikes both of whom were definitely taking advantage of the grasshopper abundance. As in March, I continued to see many, many young Nelson's antelope squirrels who are simply adorable and fortunately are omnivores so hopefully they will make it through the long hot summer to come though they are a major prey item for larger carnivores as well as hawks.

And I still managed to find some flowers. There was an area near Padrone Spring (dry as a bone) where there was a hill with many speckled clarkia. I also made my first sighting of some blow-wives flowers

Aside from seeing two female pronghorn, the other highlights of the trip were finding a LeConte's thrasher--definitely a bird that's not seen very often though they are known to nest in Carrizo and a sighting of a blunt-nosed leopard lizard--one of my all time favorite reptiles. Highly endangered, these lizards love the heat. When I found this one it was 96 degrees and I worked hard to find it. While I didn't get a great photo, it was a fitting way to end my trip.

Lähettänyt naturephotosuze naturephotosuze, 7. toukokuuta 2021 00:51

Havainnot

Kuvat / Äänet

Havainnoija

naturephotosuze

Päivämäärä

Huhtikuu 29, 2021 11:07 AM PDT

Kuvaus

Carrizo Plain
I think this was some sort of feeding frenzy but not sure what they were eating

Kuvat / Äänet

Mitä

Aavikkosirppimatkija Toxostoma lecontei

Havainnoija

naturephotosuze

Päivämäärä

Huhtikuu 29, 2021 01:11 PM PDT

Kuvaus

Carrizo Plain

Kuvat / Äänet

Havainnoija

naturephotosuze

Päivämäärä

Huhtikuu 30, 2021 10:50 AM PDT

Kuvaus

Carrizo Plain

Kuvat / Äänet

Havainnoija

naturephotosuze

Päivämäärä

Huhtikuu 30, 2021 11:37 AM PDT

Kuvaus

Carrizo Plain

Kuvat / Äänet

Mitä

Huilupreeriaturpiaali Sturnella neglecta

Havainnoija

naturephotosuze

Päivämäärä

Huhtikuu 30, 2021 12:05 PM PDT

Kuvaus

Carrizo Plain
Carrying food to the nest

Kuvat / Äänet

Havainnoija

naturephotosuze

Päivämäärä

Huhtikuu 2021

Kuvaus

Carrizo Plain
So happy to find this!

Kuvat / Äänet

Mitä

Hanka-Antilooppi Antilocapra americana

Havainnoija

naturephotosuze

Päivämäärä

Huhtikuu 29, 2021 03:08 PM PDT

Kuvaus

Carrizo Plain
Maybe pregnant?
One of two females seen

Kuvat / Äänet

Mitä

Amerikanisolepinkäinen Lanius ludovicianus

Havainnoija

naturephotosuze

Päivämäärä

Huhtikuu 29, 2021 03:42 PM PDT

Kuvaus

Carrizo Plain
With grasshopper prey to feed youngsters

Kuvat / Äänet

Mitä

Sanjoaquininorava Ammospermophilus nelsoni

Havainnoija

naturephotosuze

Päivämäärä

Huhtikuu 2021

Kuvaus

Carrizo Plain

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