Date: 3/18/23 4:15 pm
From: Jim Chiropolos <jnc...>
Subject: [EBB-Sightings] Mt Diablo - Spring -WOW!
Ann Griffith and I biked North Gate Road to Juniper Campground and it was one of the most amazing days I have spent on Diablo. Wildflowers are going off! At one area, I was lucky enough to enjoy one of the best wildflowers fields I have seen in my life (picture posted NextDoor). Some  slopes have good poppy blooms going where I never remember poppies blooming before. It is going to be an amazing wildflower spring. I think many bay area parks will have amazing blooms. Walj tour parks and find the blooms!

Uh-oh - Aaron just reminded me to maintain posting privileges I have to say something about birds. Hmnn, lets see....

Lewis Woodpeckers are still around. Five or more at 400 feet elevation where the valley oak savannah begins. A group of three were seen at the Diablo Ranch Gate at 1600 feet elevation right below the switchbacks. These were about 70 feet off the road. Did this group move up the mountain with the warming temperatures - this is also grassland savannah- great habitat for them. This is the highest elevation I have seen Lewis Woodpeckers this year.

A phainopepla was seen iff the switchbacks, the first one I have seen off my North Gate Road patch. A Prairie falcon was patrolling the foothills behind the first ranch 1/2 mile from the entrance gate.

Lots of fiddleneck wildflowers blooming along the switchbacks. This is a favored food for Lawrence’s Goldfinches and I always note fiddleneck blooms as areas to look for them. Maybe not this year as flowers are blooming profusely everywhere but this will be a good area to look for them. Will Lawrence’s Goldfinches stay south or move north this year?

But the big story was the wildflowers!

Jim Chiropolos

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