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OBSERVATION CHECKLIST

Available in PDF Format

 
Bird

Click on the colored names to hear their sounds. Those shown in black either don't make sounds or we cannot find one. You can print this checklist to take with you on your walks!

BIRDS

Black Headed Phoebe

 

Brown Headed Cowbird

Mourning Dove

 

Red Pine Siskin

Great Blue Heron

 

California (Scrub) Jay

Cassin's Finch

 

Hummingbird

Goldfinch

 

Red Tailed Hawk

California Quail

 

Mallard Duck

Turkey Vulture

 

Steller's Jay

California Thrasher

 

Downy Woodpecker

Anna's Hummingbird

 

Anna's Hummingbird's
      wing sounds

Barn Swallow

 

Black Chinned
      Hummingbird

California Quail #2

 

Common Raven

Evening Grosbeak

 

Red Western Curlew

Western Tanager

 

Western Scrub Jay

ANIMALS

Beaver Tail Slapping

 

Feral Cat

Feral Cat

 

Coyote

California Grey Squirrel

 

Raccoon

Cottontail Rabbit

 

Irritated Striped Skunk!


FISH & AMPHIBIANS

Bass

 

Rainbow Trout

Bullfrog

 

Sunfish

Catfish

 

California Toad


CRAWLY THINGS

Alligator Lizard

 

Western Fence Lizard

Garter Snake (harmless)

 

Western Pond Turtle


INSECTS

Butterfly

 

Grasshopper

Cidada

 

Bumble Bee

Cricket

 

Water Boatman Photos


TREES AND SHRUBBERY

Digger Pine Tree

 

Manzanita

Golden Oak Tree

 

Poison Oak

Incense Cedar Tree

 

Valley Oak Tree

Interior Live Oak Tree

 

Willow Tree


FLOWERS

Baby Blue Eyes

 

Lupine {Bluebonnet}

California Poppy

 

Paintbrush

Fiddlehead Fern

 

Sierra Shooting Star

Indian Pink

 

Woolly Sunflower

 

Yellow Star Thistle

   

Superb Climate, Diverse Wildlife

At left, our Creatures Checklist proves to be a mere "starter" for your trip along the Oakhurst River Parkway.

Due to Oakhurst's unusual location in climate zone 7 - between San Joaquin Valley's foothills and the high Sierra mountains - birds and other animals frequent our area from zones both above and below us.

The plant-growing season - early May to late September - is shorter than in the foothills and valley below us, but also being below the higher elevations mean we have milder winters (lows average 13. This is not only fine territory for plants needing winter chill and dry, hot summers, but these very plants are a smorgasboard for hoardes of birds.

We have deer descending to Oakhurst after summer feeding at higher elevations, and some animals - the California Fence Lizard is one example, have simply set up shop and remain in Oakhurst year round.. Furthermore, Oakhurst lies above the smog layer, and yet below the heavy snows.

Rare things, too...

Orobanche VallicolaWhen it comes to plants, Oakhurst is proud to be the location of only the second Orobanche vallicola officially noted in Madera County! This rare plant grows from a root over six feet long, which attaches itself to the roots of the native plant, the Elderberry. Only when exactly the right moisture beneath the elderberry is perfect will this parasitic root begin growing up until it breaks the surface. Once it does, it presents fur-like leaves in late Summer and pops into a bloom of very small pink flowers, which fade to white as Fall comes in.

Because Orobanche vallicola freezes in winter, it is always a toss-up whether it will grow again the following year. The newly discovered plants are located within the grounds of Oakhurst Petanque Club where they are protected with a small fence. Usually the club is open on Saturday mornings, and during daylight savings time Wednesday afternoons as well.

Yellow Star ThistleAnother local plant resident you might see is the Yellow Star Thistle. This plant has been making news lately as a rangeland danger. While pretty to look at, its spiny bristles can lead to a painful leg if you - or animals - don't notice it while walking. Ranchers dislike the plant because Star Thistle-infested rangelands cannot be used for livestock grazing. Horses are susceptible to "chewing disease" brought on by Star Thistle. It is a good plant to just stand back and admire.

A Grosbeak tends to youngAlso visible to the eye along the trail, all types of birds have made the area their much preferred habitat. It's a tough job finding food, raising youngsters, and calling out quite frequently.

As you walk the trail you'll see everything from Red Tail hawks to tiny goldfinches. We have even seen a bald eagle soaring overhead, and every town's scanvenging denizen, the large black ravens squawk their whereabouts.

Whatever time of year you visit Oakhurst, you're sure to find that many creatures, plants, and flowersfrom our checklist are quite visible along the Oakhurst River Parkway Trail.

 
© 2008
Oakhurst River Parkway