Upper Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area - March 26

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yolodave
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Upper Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area - March 26

Post by yolodave » March 17th, 2016, 8:58 pm

Hi all, I've gained permission to take a group to the Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area in Merced County. This is approximately 6,300 acres of steep oak-grassland north of Highway 152, west of Interstate 5 and the town of Los Banos. We'll meet at the parking lot on the north side of Highway 152 in the Upper Unit at 9 AM. (See Map).

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I stop here sometimes on my way back to the coast from the Central Valley. Here are some of the critters I've seen over the years.

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Diablo Range Gartersnake
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Red-legged Frog eggs
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If you are interested in going, chime in here. I'd like to get a head count.

Thanks.

Dave

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Fieldnotes
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Re: Upper Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area - March 26

Post by Fieldnotes » March 18th, 2016, 10:20 am

Interesting post :thumb:

hellihooks
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Re: Upper Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area - March 26

Post by hellihooks » March 18th, 2016, 3:17 pm

always wanted to try herping there... been through that pass plenty
6 hr drive for me... :shock:

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rpecora
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Re: Upper Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area - March 26

Post by rpecora » March 19th, 2016, 5:25 pm

Beautiful grasslands, bring plenty of water if you plan to go deep in. Watch out for wild pig. The kingsnakes there are nice and rattlesnakes are quiet. Almost stepped on one on the crawl, jumped over it and it never rattled.
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Calfirecap
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Re: Upper Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area - March 26

Post by Calfirecap » March 22nd, 2016, 5:39 am

You can count me in and thanks for getting us access.

Lawrence

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Re: Upper Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area - March 26

Post by Zach_Lim » March 22nd, 2016, 8:26 am

I should be available for this.

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Owen
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Re: Upper Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area - March 26

Post by Owen » March 24th, 2016, 10:16 pm

I'm in.

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yolodave
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Re: Upper Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area - March 26

Post by yolodave » March 26th, 2016, 9:37 pm

Beautiful day in the field today. We were perhaps a bit early in the year for the herps. Most animals we found were cold.

Wildflowers were looking great.

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This Southern Alligator Lizard was sunning itself on a partially shaded rock at the base of an oak tree.

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These two rattlesnakes were out in the open and appeared to have just come out of an adjacent burrow.

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I think a total of four California Kingsnakes were found.

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Stock ponds were full. I'd found Red-legged frog eggs at this pond on previous visits. Owen was able to view and photograph a red-legged frog here today.

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We also found these strange animals. Anybody know what they are?

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This beautiful Cardinal Meadowhawk was found around the pond.

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One more cold fence lizard.

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Obligatory group shot.

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In the future, we'll try and do this trip in mid April. Seemed plenty warm but the herps were definitely not completely active.

Should be plenty more photos coming from others. Thanks for looking.


Dave

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Owen
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Re: Upper Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area - March 26

Post by Owen » March 27th, 2016, 7:50 am

Thanks Dave!

Nice varied habitat out there. Here are some pix...

Wildflowers/Arthropods:

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Horned Lark posing:

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Folks in habitat:

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Herps:

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Watch where you step in tall grass
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Overall, a nice day out

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Calfirecap
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Re: Upper Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area - March 26

Post by Calfirecap » March 27th, 2016, 9:38 am

It was a great day in the field, thanks Dave for organizing this.
The Wildflowers were out in force so there was something new around every corner.
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Can anyone help with identifying this tadpole?
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California Kingsnake in situ
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It's good to be in California!

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Re: Upper Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area - March 26

Post by hellihooks » March 27th, 2016, 10:07 am

:thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

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Re: Upper Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area - March 26

Post by El Garia » April 2nd, 2016, 4:53 pm

That's a great spot for a survey. Not many folks head out that way. Very nice, guys :thumb:


Dave - I had to do a double-take on that "cold fence lizard". Looked like a Desert Spiny at first glance.

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Upper Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area - March 26

Post by Brian Hubbs » April 5th, 2016, 11:12 am

Nobody saw any turtles in those ponds?

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yolodave
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Re: Upper Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area - March 26

Post by yolodave » April 5th, 2016, 12:38 pm

Brian Hubbs wrote:Nobody saw any turtles in those ponds?

Negative. We only investigated a couple of ponds and no turtles.

Dave

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Re: Upper Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area - March 26

Post by Fundad » April 5th, 2016, 12:40 pm

Thanks Dave for putting this together..

Brian Hinds
California Chapter President

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Upper Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area - March 26

Post by Brian Hubbs » April 5th, 2016, 11:15 pm

Yeah, thanks Dave. I wish I'd known about it...I was down in the marshes photographing turtles and birds that day.

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