Σεπτέμβριος 11, 2017

2017-09-10 Natural History of the Vertebrates field trip to Rodeo Lagoon and Valley, Marin Headlands, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Marin County, California

Overview:

Today I met with the Natural History of the Vertebrates (UC Berkeley Zoo 113, Zoo 107, IB104) Class Reunion participants on a field trip to the Marin Headlands focused on Rodeo Beach, Lagoon and the valley above led by UC Lecturer Ornithologist Andrew Rush. 

Participants: Below is a list of the participants with the year the NHV course was taken, which instructors they had, and a idea of what they are doing now: 

  1.  Andrew Rush , IB104: 2002, Ned Johnson, Harry Greene and Jim Patton, now teaches BIO 1B. 
  2. Stephen Ruth, NHV in 1969, Instructors R.C. Stebbins and others, did PhD with Stebbins "Captain Salamander", Naturalist.
  3. Bessie Citrin, 1968-69, NHV in 1969, Instructors R.C. Stebbins and others, worked in the MVZ and designed a Human Ecology major, was supervised by Stebbins, Naturalist.
  4. Seth Larosa, 2016, IB104 with Alan Shabel, Jim McGuire, and Andrew Rush, UBC IB NRS major, Naturalist.
  5. Marisa Lim, IB104 in 2010 with Rauri Bowie, Jim McGuire, and Alan Shabel. "I'm now in graduate school at Stony Brook University studying Andean hummingbird evolution!"
  6. Natalie Tam, NHV in 2010 with Rauri Bowie, Jim McGuire, and Alan Shabel. Currently planning on getting a masters in data science.
  7. Clinton Cleveland, MBA, IB104: 2011 Student and UGSI, With Jim McGuire, Rauri Bowie and Alan Shabel, Cal graduate Environmental Sciences 2012, Working on sustainability.
  8. Sarah Parnell, IB 104 in 2001, with Ned Johnson, Jim Patton.  Natural history education and now a science teacher.
  9. Sean Parnell , with Sarah. Also runs the E. Bay Vivarium!
  10. Joshua Povitch, GSI,Alan Shabel, Jim McGuire, and Andrew Rush, Graduated from UCB, Plants / microbes. Now works on BIO 1B at UCB.
  11. Kelsey Lyberger, 2013, 2014 with Rauri Bowie, Jim McGuire, and Alan Shabel.now at UC Davis with Thomas W. Schoener.
  12. Durrell Kapan, Zoo 107 in 1985 with Ned Johnson, Harry Green and William Lidicker, now Senior Research Fellow at California Academy of Sciences.

Route overview: I left Tam Valley at 7:27 AM, the temperature was 57°F, and I arrived at the visitor Center at Rodeo Lagoon at 7:37 a.m. (8.6 miles). Leader Andrew Rush and I met with arriving participants until 8:34 AM. We then car-pooled to the beach (0.6 mi) with the group, arriving at 08:41 with fog over the waves. We proceed to hike up the hillside above the lagoon and along the edge of the lagoon on the trail through the coastal scrub, noting water birds and passerines. After this we proceeded to the upper end of the lagoon (about 2.2 km from the cars at the beach). Then we crossed the street (10:58 PM) and up the main trail to the N of the creek we turned around about 11:50 hiking back to the visitor center and finished with the trip about 12:48 when we got ferried back to our cars at the Rodeo Beach parking area. I left the area at 1 p.m. with the beach full of people and dogs.

Overall weather and habitat data: 

+Insolation/Clouds: clear above and fog over the western half of rodeo lagoon. 
+Temperature: 57 - 75 F. 
+Wind: none to light 
+Wind direction: direction not noted 
+Precipitation: none 
Notes: 
+Habitat: Fresh water lagoon surrounded by freshwater marsh, willow grading into coastal scrub. Planted Monterey Cypress and Monterey Pine and Eucalyptus dot the hillsides and areas near buildings. Willow is abundant around the lagoon and up the main creek. 
+Tide: low .46 m @ 08:22 
+Physical setting: this is a partially developed national recreation area. Great outcrops of rock punctuate rolling hills eroded by streams that form the main valley, fill the lagoon and drain below (now) the beach.

For details of the route and what we saw, see below.

2017-09-10 Visitor Center lot 07:27 - 08:34 AM:

Route: Stayed at the parking lot with nearby Baccharis, Poison Hemlock and other coastal scrub species, with leader Andrew Rush meeting arriving participants (12), where we spotted a very healthy looking coyote walking above the road, until 8:34 AM.

Weather and habitat data:

+Insolation/Clouds: clear above and fog over the western half of rodeo lagoon. 
+Temperature: 62 F 
+Wind: none 
+Wind direction: NA 
+Precipitation: none 
Notes: 
+Habitat: Coastal scrub downhill and W. planted Monterey Cypress and Monterey Pine and Eucalyptus
+Tide: low .46 m @ 08:22 
+Physical setting: parking lot, road and recently mowed field surrounded by scrub on two sides.

Ebird list Visitor Center lot:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S39120550

2017-09-10 Rodeo Beach to top of the lagoon 08:41 - 10:58 AM:

Route: Car-pooled from visitor center to the beach (0.6 mi) with the group, arriving at 08:41 with fog over the waves. We walked across the bridge and to the top of the beach where we heard an interesting shorebird calling in the mist, faintly similar to a semipalmated plover, the bird had a three note call “dd d…dd d…” with the first two notes doubled (I later thought it might be a softly calling Wandering Tattler though Andrew pointed out that it could have been a Pacific Golden Plover, it didn't appear to be a typical call of this species, but it did sound a bit like this flight call found here on xeno-canto (Pacific Golden Plover flight call). As we walked towards the trail circling the lagoon we studied Double-crested Cormorants, pelicans, egrets and Pied-billed Grebes on the shore and water and gulls flying by. We heard and interesting ‘kik kik kik kik’ call that was likely a Sora. From the hillside above the lagoon we scoped the shore and saw dolphins (initially thought to be Pacific white-sided, see photographs here on flickr):

Natural History of Vertebrates field trip to Rodeo Lagoon

Natalie, Clint and Marisa also though Common Bottlenose Dolphin which turned out to be correct!

Later, I forwarded the photographs to our collections manager for Mammals Moe Flannery who suggested bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops) and she shared the information with Bill Keener (Golden Gate Cetacean Research) via iNaturalist. He concurred and identified it to species see here and scroll down to the comments:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/7879553

We also saw distant loons (probably Pacific Loons though one Common Loon was noted). We then hiked the edge of the lagoon on the trail through the coastal scrub, noting water birds and passerines including a confiding Hutton's Vireo chasing and eating moths. We also re-spotted the Coyote on the NW shore hunting voles, we saw at least 3 successful catches in over about 15 ‘pounces’. As we walked towards the end of this trail we heard Chestnut-backed Chickadees scolding and there was a young very ill looking Red-tailed Hawk in the same tree, it had a pretty obvious gape, a punk hairdo and an infected eye, from what looked like an encounter with something tougher than it! After this we proceeded to the upper end of the lagoon (about 2.2 km from the cars at the beach) where we did not see any otters (!) we then walked across the road (10:58 PM).

Weather and habitat data:

+Insolation/Clouds: clear above and fog over the ocean burning off as we watched (off by 9:30). 
+Temperature: 66-75 F 
+Wind: none 
+Wind direction: NA 
+Precipitation: none 
Notes: 
+Habitat: Beach, Coastal scrub to willows, open areas with grass and planted Monterey Cypress and Monterey Pine and Eucalyptus. Lagoon and lots of sky. 
+Tide: low .46 m @ 08:22 
+Physical setting: lagoon, beach, hillside.

eBird list Rodeo Lagoon
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S39120600

2017-09-10 Up the creek valley 10:59 AM -12:48 PM:

Route: Crossed road and walked up the main trail to the E. of the building N of the creek. We dipped out on the hoped for gnatcatchers but we did see a good smattering of birds including some high-flying raptors, missed a snake that crossed the trail, but saw ample coyote sign and had a nice stroll through open grassy and shrubby habitat with Baccharis and twinberry to the far Eucalyptus where we turned around about 11:50 hiking back to the visitor center when we heard an awful screaming from the marsh that Andrew speculated was a dying egret (possibly being preyed upon by an otter)? We were all finished with the trip about 12:48 when we got ferried back to our cars at the Rodeo Beach parking area. Left the area at 1 p.m. with the beach full. 

Weather and habitat data:

+Insolation/Clouds: clear above and fog over the ocean burning off as we watched (off by 9:30). 
+Temperature: 74-75 F 
+Wind: 0.2 m/s 
+Wind direction: not notable, but up creek very slightly. 
+Precipitation: none 
Notes: 
+Habitat: Coastal scrub to willows, open areas with grass and planted Monterey Cypress and Monterey Pine and Eucalyptus, much grassier than below. 
+Tide: low .46 m @ 08:22 
+Physical setting: valley, marsh, hillside, sky.

eBird list Up the Creek Valley
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S39121026

Flickr photos of the group:

NHV Field Trip Rodeo Beach, Lagoon and Valley

iNaturalist records for day:

Αναρτήθηκε στις Σεπτέμβριος 11, 2017 0735 ΜΜ από cydno cydno | 14 παρατηρήσεις | 1 σχόλιο | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

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