Birds and Bobcats! Sierra de San Pedro Martir-Part 2
Located at 5000 feet in the Sierra de San Pedro Martír, Rancho la Concepción sits a good ways off the paved Observatory Road that leads up to the National Park and Picacho del Diablo at well over 10,000′ of elevation. The highest point in Baja California. 6km of dirt and rock track, 4×4 only really. Getting the big sled of the Dodge Diesel in is always a slow go but so worth it when you arrive. The quiet, no cars, no planes, no trains, ok, sometimes you see and can hear a faint plane travelling over the peninsula:) just birds and well, recently we’ve been graced with the presence of our resident Bobcat hunting the hordes of Spring gophers coming out of hibernation, and a few ground squirrels as well!
I’m pretty sure she is girl, haven’t seen any tackle when the tail is swishing but she is pretty furry;) She’s been around for many years if it still the same young, well maybe oldish lady now and it is always a pleasure to see her working the open bits of field and around the fruit trees where the highest concentration of gophers seem to be located. Groot and Gamora got quite the sight as she walked right past the back glass door without giving any of us a secound look;) Groot stops purring when he see’s his larger relative out the window. She has put on quite a show every morning and evening for the last few days. It is exhilarating watching a wild animal like this go about its life!
We have a wealth of wildlife here, not just the birds. Mule deer are occasionally seen as well as coyotes, gray foxes, jack rabbits (hares) and bunnies. Not every day mind you, but they are always there:) You can see the deer hoof prints down by the water where they come to drink and the rabbits and hares come out at dawn and dusk to feed on the grass in the orchards. The coyote no doubt stalks them:) although I think he eats many of the same small rodents the bobcat feed on as well. The coyotes feast on the fallen apples late in the Summer into the Fall. He/she stares at the chicken coop on a regular basis…:)
Having running water in the arroyo all year long as well as several ponds we keep full keeps the critters coming back, for safe places to drink, green grass to much on and oh the croaking off the frogs and toads-the Spring Symphony has started!
It is a glorious chorus that greets you as you open the doors or windows after dark! We say it is quiet here but actually it is a roar at times, but such natural pleasant sounds of birds and frogs. It washes over you like a fresh breeze calming your senses.
There are lot’s of other crawly things, some pleasant, some not, but mostly harmless and they help with the rodent and gopher populations as well. The Pacific Gopher Snake and the Two-Striped Garter snake are common neighbours spotted in the grass and going in and out of holes the rodents make as the temperatures warm. The Two-Striped Garter Snake also likes to go for a dip. I see him in the arroyo hunting frogs and tadpoles no doubt, absolutely fascinating watching it swim around!
There are also Racers and the softest snake I have ever felt in my life, a Rosy Boa. Stunning creatures both of them! looks like this is turning into another novel and I haven’t even gotten to the lizards and hummingbirds yet!
I get overwhelmed at times by the variety and beauty of the natural world we get to encounter here. The flora and fauna are so diverse and untouched here. It is a magical spot if you take the time to stop, look and listen. It’s not a Disney World ride where everything is thrown in your face, it is a place you need to walk into quietly with open eyes and ears and watch the drama of Mother Nature unfold before you…and I still haven’t gotten back to birds, how about tomorrow. I still have lizards and butterflies and other insects and from the smallest, hummingbirds, to the largest, California Condors I’ll try and finish up this week;)
Saludos amigos-stay tuned for more of Mother Nature’s finest!
Oh Pamela, I can almost hear the wonderful sounds you describe! As always, I look forward to your stories and pictures, keep them coming!