Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Toadlets!

On April 19th I finally hiked on the trails of Daley Ranch in Escondido. I say "finally," because, I had been visiting Dixon Lake off and on for a couple of years. They both share the same parking lot! The lake seemed more green and inviting than the rather steep trail that headed into Daley Ranch through the dry chaparral.

But after this winter's rains I had heard that the ponds had refilled.

Indeed, the first half mile was upward into dry brush, but then dropped through oak woodlands into a fertile valley and the preserved ranch house.

Walking around the ponds that had probably been dry for the past 5 years, I heard the calls of coots and Gadwall ducks. And then I noticed little inch-long (if that) toadlets scrambling away from my footsteps.

California Toad

California Toad

California Toad

These are just-out-of-the-pond California Toads. They will grow much larger, up to 5 inches in length, snout to bum.

Some birds of Daley Ranch...

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk stare-down.
Acorn Woodpecker
Acorn Woodpecker looking for that one perfect hole...
Acorn Woodpecker
Nope! This acorn must belong in a different granary!
Lazuli Bunting
Lazuli Bunting