Archivos de Diario para marzo 2012

05 de marzo de 2012

Total vertebrate mayhem at Sunol

I went to Sunol Regional Wilderness for the first time yesterday. I'd been poring over geologic maps the night before, paying particular attention to the serpentine units to be found at Sunol, so it was with visions of Mimulus douglasii and fragrant fritillaries that I schlepped it down 680 toward the county's southern reaches. There was serpentine aplenty, and even what looked like bunchgrass to my poaceaphobic eye, but almost nothing in bloom.

Happily there were numerous vertebrates to distract me from the botanical letdown, including Mountain Yellow-legged Frogs (my first in the East Bay), Sharp-tailed Snake (my first outside of Leona Canyon, I think), Rufous-crowned Sparrow (my first ever!), and tons of raptors. Most amazing of all was a Northern Pygmy Owl, that was just sitting in an exposed tree, right next to a busy stretch of trail. I almost never see owls other than Great-horned, and I never see those in anything other than half light, so that was a real treat.

Sunol in general was mostly grassy hillsides and oak savannah. The Eagle View Trail offers a nice cut through some sagebrush chaparral where Selaginella bigelovii practically coats the ground beneath, and Camp Ohlone Road parallels some beautiful riparian habitat, but otherwise there wasn't a whole lot of ecological diversity. Lots of nice views, though. Well worth the trip. I want to explore the Maguire Peaks area next time I'm down there. Looked intriguing.

Note to visitors: this park actually has a gate, so the opening and closing times aren't quite as "flexible" as they are at other EBRPD holdings. I was told if you need to leave after the gate closes, someone will be called in and you'll be fined.

Anotado en 05 de marzo de 2012 a las 04:02 AM por kueda kueda | 74 observaciones | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario