I found this guy in my old backyard on Columbia St. (map location is approximate). My guess is it migrated from Neary's Lagoon.
I saw this odd duck years ago in Neary's Lagoon, Santa Cruz. I think it may be a hybrid or mutant: the overall body pattern is mallard, but the blue bill and brown head are confusing. It was seen associating with other mallards, but was a bit larger than them. After consulting the Sibley guide, I'm pretty certain it's a mallard-domestic hybrid.
Sea Otter between Santa Cruz Warf and Seal Rock
Scrub jays gathering sticks
Eating prunus flowers in back yard last night
A bottom fish was caught in a crab trap
A falcon had made a meal of a pigeon on the Santa Cruz beach between the warf and some cliffs.
Parent and offspring.
Calling in back yard
Gathering nest materials this morning
This bird was going after insects the way a flycatcher should in the mid to upper conopy of cottonwoods on east bank of San Lorenzo River. I don't think I would have been confident identifying this bird if I had been alone, but I was with members of the Santa Cruz Bird Club, including Steve Gerow, who are reliable at identifying species like this.
The following birds were also seen nearby:
Working the trunk and limbs of several cottonwoods. Two other trunk creepers were present in these same trees and from time to time one would chase the other. There was a Red-breasted Nuthatch and a Brown Creeper.
First swallows I've seen this year.
A pelican at the end of the Santa Cruz Municipal Warf
Sea bird observed at "Seal Rock" in the Pacific Ocean.
These caterpillars hatched Friday, March 4 from eggs laid by a Hyalophora euryalis moth on March 18.
In grass along San Lorenzo River levee. I think this could be Arachnis picta,painted tiger moth.
White crab spider with honeybee on borage.
An Orange-crowned Warbler was singing about 4:30 pm in oaks in area between Arana Gulch and Frederick Street Park.
Under Quercus agricola
There are a few species of this aquatic fern in the state. I need to figure out how to identify them.
Many, many of these have grown in since the 2008 Martin Fire.
There were many Bombyliids in the area today of varying sizes and colors.
Extremely small ants. Saved specimens to ID under microscope, but if anyone out there wants to guess what family, genus or species, go right ahead.
In area burned in Martin Fire of June, 2008.