Updating with summer pictures back inland in Contra Costa / Alameda County. Some of these photos are older as I wanted to relay some experiences I thought were worth sharing. Others new including second picture I am thankful for of a young Song dog. White heron, coyote, merlin, red tail, white pelican, great horn (was on my roof-ran back and got the camera for this night time shot) , Tarantula hawk (Wasp), rattlesnake, newts (interesting photo, wildlife porn--not good), pipe vine butterfly.
One area I have been heading too of late is San Pablo Dam reservoir. There have been ospreys all over the place. (my estimate is between 10 and 20 there most of the time daily) Have had tough luck with photos as early fog and few close encounters have occurred unfortunately. But ospreys are there along with bald eagles who are now successfully breeding at this lake. San Pablo Dam is very plush with most areas covered with ferns, pines, oaks, shrubs and poison oak everywhere. Add ticks as well, just stay on the trails. It is late August now, trout are on the surface at the north end and I have been blinding out. It has been stellar weather days and no one around, in fact so quiet all one could hear is the wing beat of an occasional cormorant flying just off the surface crossing the lake. I love this place. The white pelican photo was taken on Friday. Butterfly photo was taken here in June or July.
If anyone has a wildlife hot spot around don't be shy, please let me know. I am looking for solid areas always.