Two Nesting Doves and a Squirrel Alarm, 04-02-19
I got up around 6:15 this morning and headed out to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve again. It was overcast and drizzly on and off all day and was about 51° when I got to the preserve.

I was joined there by two of my naturalist students, Johannes T. and Kelli O. Whenever I take students out, I’m more focused on trying find things for them to see, and explaining what they’re looking at, than I am on trying to get photos. So, I don’t have as many photos to share this time as I usually do. Johannes and Kelli seemed to be interested in everything and had lots of personal stories to share about their own outings and hiking adventures.

We saw several small herds of deer; many of them hunkered down in the grass waiting for the rain to pass.

We also came across a California Ground Squirrel munching on a large peeled acorn, and another one standing on a log giving off an alarm call. That one looked soaked and I wondered if maybe his burrow got flooded. And we came across a small dead mole on the trail – and they get drowned out often by the river.

We also saw an Eastern Fox Squirrel ripping the tules out of one of the tule huts on the grounds. Hah! Wutta brat!

At one point along the trail we saw a California Towhee... and then a Spotted Towhee landed on the same part of the trail, so we got to see them side by side, and see how different their field markings are.

Around that same area, we saw a male Mourning Dove flying by with some long grasses in its beak and followed it to where it handed off the grasses to its mate, sitting on her nest on an odd flattened part of a bent branch. So cool. The nest is visible from the trail, so I’ll have to keep an eye on it; see if they get any babies. Mourning Doves can have up to six broods a year!

At the pond near the nature center, there was the paid of Mallards sleeping on log. That’s a bonded pair, and I’ve seen them every week for the past several weeks; they like resting there.

We walked for about 3 ½ hours and then went on our separate ways.
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