Date: November 10, 2019
Place: Bobelaine Audubon Sanctuary, Yuba City, California
Address: 15 Laurel Ave, Yuba City, CA
Length: 2.4 miles
After a busy summer of much travel I was looking forward to a calm family vacation not too far from home. Mid-November is an excellent time to go bird watching in the Central Valley and this year we decided to go to Yuba City and explore the refuges and preserves in that area.
Some time after making that decision we found out that the Yuba City Swan Festival was taking place that very same weekend we were planning to go there. What a happy coincidence! Similar in concept though smaller in magnitude the festival offers tours and field trips to various birding hot spots. We arrived fairly late to the festival but were able to book spots for the Bobelaine Audubon sanctuary birding tour on Sunday morning.
At about 8:30 am we arrived with the rest of the group to the small parking area of Bobelaine Audubon Sanctuary where our guides were waiting for us. While my ears were cocked to listen to the introduction my eyes were attracted to the one plant I saw blooming near the cars - an invasive verbena that found a cosy home in California.
|Seashore Vervain, Verbena litoralis. Non-native.|
In 1975 Bob and Elaine Crandall the owners of the area's farm had donated 450 acres of near-wild land along the river to be protected as a nature reserve. This land is now managed by the Audubon Society as a plan and wildlife sanctuary.
|The Levee. On the left - the sanctuary. On the right - the farmlands|
|Our hike as captured by my GPS|
|View to the Sutter Buttes|
|Into the Sanctuary|
The poison oak was in it's most difficult stage to identify - the winter leafless phase. By now however, I do recognize the general shape of this bush/vine, especially when they bear the berries.
|Berries of Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum|
|Wild California Grape|
|California Wild Grape, Vitis californica|
the guide pointed out the button bush and as I was taking the photos I noticed the green Heteroptera bug crawling up the stem. By the time I finished looking at it I had to run to catch up with the rest of the group.
|Common Buttonbush, Cephalanthus occidentalis, with a stink bug|
|Galls on Valley Oak, Quercus lobata|
|California Sycamore, Platanus racemosa|
Not forgetting the primary goal of this hike, the group of birders were pointing out birds here and there. Someone spotted a bluebird and the elder chika caught it on camera.
|Cottonwood, populous fremontii, and Mistletoe, Phoradendron leucarpum|
|Fall Colors at the Bobelaine Audubon Sanctuary|
Well, only one species, to be accurate. And the one trusted to bloom this late in the year.
|Telegraph Weed, Heterotheca grandiflora|
|Feather River reflection|
Pappa Quail took a few high zoomed photos of the fish and later I emailed it to ur guide, who in turn passed it on to a fish expert. The answer came back that this fish was a male king salmon at at the end of his days.
|King Salmon, male|
They didn't walk too fast as to miss the ruby-crowned kinglet. This is a common bird that is difficult to photograph because it likes to hide in thick vegetation and it constantly on the move. But the elder chika got it :-)