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This blog is predominately about camera trapping in California. We camera trap to save our souls and to teach primary school students about biology and conservation. We will also touch on other camera trapping news and musings, sets from afar, mediocre herpetology, sucky birding, and other natural history discussions.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Introducing the Otters

Greetings loyal readers!

As mentioned a couple of months ago, my high school Biology classes are taking part of a pilot program with the River Otter Ecology Project, completing data surveys through camera trapping and scat collection.

Several initial disappointing camera checks frequently resulted in many captures of newish local resident, the devil bird:




...Or tremendous growth in shore plants that did offer a meditative atmosphere:



Throughout these trap fails, students were still able to build skills in identifying signs of otters, collect scat that is currently being analyzed at SF State, develop a greater understanding of the local ecosystem and from time to time, see them swimming at a a distance.

In April, with some minor camera adjustments after Spring Break, the students finally captured the local otters:


With a month left in the school year, students will close out this first otter school season with two more weeks of data, then compile a best of video. Exciting times!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Blergh

11.2015 San Francisco Peninsula

this image sums up the feelings toward March 23rd, 2016



also RIP Phife Dawg

Sunday, March 20, 2016

SHADOW OF THE CHICKAREE




As mentioned in a previous post, Deadman did not prove to be a highly successful camera trap trip in winter 2014-15.

This mysterious footage was all that was recovered from a video set.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Face Off


The Hummer isn't quite in focus, but I'll take it from a camera trap.
Same spot as the glorious bathing spotted towhee
Mariposa County: April 2015

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Backyard Business

For the first time since I left my parents' house, I have a backyard and it is glorious.

The idea of a yard list was such a foreign concept and I never thought that I would be able observe so many species from the comfort of a back porch and yet here I am. It adds to that strange feeling like I am actual adult... Terrifying!

With this new territory to examine, experiment with and observe throughout the changing of the seasons, the clamor of the cities --  despite all of their draws -- are not missed.

Birds & herps are the most common fauna and right off the bat, slender salamanders have been under nearly every flipped rock.

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this February '16 slender was about half the size of a dime

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The most exciting herp thus far has been a juvenile Arboreal Salamander:


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making use of prehensile tail
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climbing the great succulent pot
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a look at the underside reveals organs and glands
The birds have also been visiting with decent number and variety. The annual winter appearance of a Flicker has been a highlight. Here is last year's visitor:

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Camera trapping stories to follow...