Local Bay Area Wildlife August 2017
“Hot Times” Hope everyone is having a great summer, and staying cool!
Lately I have visited local burrowing owl areas and chased the local swainson hawks. Here in Oakley, I have been fortunate enough to capture decent photos of a pair of swainson hawks that hunts each day along our railway property, open fields and the many grape orchards that are becoming so popular around here. It is good to report that most orchards are using barn owl boxes rather than bait stations to control rodents. Perhaps there is hope for the future to end poison use, and protect our environment. Thank you Raptors Are The Solution (RATS) who have been successful getting the word out.
I also have returned to the Livermore foothills. The seasonal creeks and water ponds have held out better than I have seen in many years, providing many animals with a reliable water source. This time of year the raptors are prevalent. By finding a wide spot near the top of the hills one can observe red tails, golden eagles, and turkey vultures along with others spiraling in the skies. Many folks with spotting scopes and cameras come out to witness. Sometimes I think those hawks are showing off with aerial performances and passionate screams.
Within this same Livermore area, up in the sage brush and open areas, roadrunners and whip tail lizards can be seen. I know from other enthusiasts, they have been always here, but this year I am seeing roadrunners each time I visit. Sharing a not so great picture as lighting was not on my side. They are a tough catch as their first reaction is usually to bolt. Many times they are gone before one can raise the camera.
|Pair of Red shoulder hawks from earlier in the season...|
|Swainson hawk was not picking grapes in that orchard...|
|Western burrowing owl in Oakley...|
|Roadrunner in Livermore, saw a group of three last week. Best I could do, I'll try to get a better look.|
|Another of the same swainson...|
|Red Tail hawk out on the Delta.|
|The dark swainson, mate of the previous.|
|Musk rat near Bethel Island.|
|Eared Grebe S/S Los Vaqueros reservoir.|
|Older burrowing owl photo, when they were common at Alameda County near Kelso Rd.|