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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.

Friday, March 14, 2014


In December, people were starting to freak out in California about water. I had heard from some local farmers that they were worried about their entire crop coming close to failure.

Several rainstorms came in 2014 and they changed the drought situation from completely dire to pretty screwed.

Back in December, camera trapping was experiencing the effects of the drought as well, however a cure was on the way. Teacher chum Ryan brought up the idea of a Winter Solstice hike up Mt. Tam from one of the reservoirs.

We would bring a couple traps and surely along the way we would find a nice stream to place a set? 

Environs were mighty dry as we began bushwacking, with most stream beds solely dusty rocks and an occasional puddle of stagnant water.

Eventually, we did find a section of the stream that was running and choose to settle, given what we had observed previously. The stream itself was slow moving as it wound between boulders and underneath two fallen Doug Fir. I focused my camera on the widest pool that had formed at one bend. The camera would remain up for six weeks.

Today's post focuses on our feathered friends. They can claim first visit, and frankly it always seems like a nice treat when they show up during sets.

3 sharp-shinned hawk drink visits

A couple of Band-tailed Pigeons then arrived for a drink and a bath. 
You can see the "scum" that begins to accumulate in the water. The Codger had a recent post where a flock of band-tails invaded a pool leaving their mark behind. 
The great discussion that followed in the comments section included the fact nugget that the scum is a powder produced by the pigeons and is a sign of good health.

Finally, one of the last visitors to the set, a Varied Thrush. Unfortunately not in color, so we miss out on the splashes of vivid orange, but we do get to see some nice behavior as it forages among the leaf litter.

Next up: Bob

1 comment:

  1. Excellent to see the sharpie and the pigeons at the same place. Looking forward to seeing Bob!