This trip marked two special things. One was Father’s Day. The other was the start of our search for the elusive Coast Horned Lizard. We had read about some sightings in Lime Ridge Open Space and decided to head there. Our walk in Lime Ridge was through some fairly open grassy slopes, interspersed with some chaparral, rock outcrops and a few trees. We were keenly eyeing every sandy patch on and off trail and getting our hopes up at the sight of each ant colony we encountered. As usually happens with wildlife outings, we ended up seeing several other interesting species.
One avian highlight was the Rufous-crowned Sparrow. We had several great sightings and heard 2 different vocalizations. Before this we had only gotten fleeting glimpses or distant looks. Other nice fillers were a pair of Ash-throated Flycatchers and four Bewick’s Wrens in one tree.
It turned out to be a good day for insects. We saw 6 species of butterflies – Common Buckeye, Anise Swallowtail, Variable Checkerspot, Acmon Blue, Mylitta Crescent and Cabbage White. My second “officially” recorded species of odonate (dragonfly) – Variegated Meadowhawk. To round out the variety of animal life we also saw a mother Black-tailed Deer and her young one. And a fat, flattened-out Western Fence Lizard really got our hearts racing.
We ended up empty-handed or rather empty-eyed. We could not locate the Horned Lizard. But the search will continue. You can see some great photographs of the Horned Lizard here on wildherps.com. Lime Ridge is located at the foot of the northern slopes of Mount Diablo. Much more information about our local wildlife and wild areas is found on sfbaywildlife.info.