If you're a birder, you'll know what a life list is. It's basically a list of all the bird species one has observed and positively ID'd in one's lifetime. This blog is a record of my "critter" life list (mostly of birds), including photos I've taken over the years, some of the actual lifer if I was lucky enough to get the shot. Don't expect National Geographic quality stuff here, just the work of an amateur photog who loves to trudge out into nature.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Ringed Turtle Dove (Streptopelia risoria)

4/22/16 Kyle Court, La Cresta, Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA 

4/22/16 Kyle Court, La Cresta


7/21/18 Kyle Court, La Cresta, Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA

LIFE LIST NOTES:

COMMON NAME: Ringed Turtle Dove 

SPECIESStreptopelia risoria

FAMILY: Columbidae (Pigeons & Doves)

LIFE LIST DATE: 6/22/16

LOCATION: One observed eating birdseed on the ground with Mourning Doves, on our property at Kyle Court, La Cresta, Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA

Friday, June 1, 2018

Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)

4/3/11 Shaver's Well, Box Canyon Road, Mecca Hills, E. Riverside County, CA

LIFE LIST NOTES:

COMMON NAME: Desert Iguana

SPECIESDipsosaurus dorsalis

FAMILY: Iguanidae

LIFE LIST DATE4/3/2011

LOCATION: Shaver's Well, Box Canyon Road, Mecca Hills, E. Riverside County, CA

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus)

 11/4/12 Kyle Court, La Cresta, Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA

 11/4/12 Kyle Court, La Cresta, Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA

 11/4/12 Kyle Court, La Cresta, Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA

LIFE LIST NOTES:

COMMON NAME: Greater Roadrunner

SPECIES: Geococcyx californianus

FAMILY: Cuculidae (Cuckoo Family)

LIFE LIST DATE11/4/2012

LOCATION: On our property at Kyle Court, La Cresta, Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA

Friday, May 4, 2018

Coyote (Canis latrans)

11/14/04 Mating pair, Trans Preserve Trail, Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, 
Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA

LIFE LIST NOTES:

COMMON NAME: Coyote

SPECIESCanis latrans

FAMILY: Canidae 

RANGE: North America

LIFE LIST DATE11/14/2004

LOCATION: Trans Preserve Trail, Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Crotalus ruber (Red Diamondback Rattlesnake)

One of 3 rattlesnake species endemic to La Cresta. This one was under one of our bird feeders - its reddish hue and coon tail are unmistakeable. 

8/21/2012 Kyle Court, La Cresta, Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA

LIFE LIST NOTES:

COMMON NAME: Red Diamondback Rattlesnake

SPECIESCrotalus ruber

FAMILY: Viperidae (Vipers)

RANGE: SW California through Baja California

LIFE LIST DATE8/21/2012

LOCATION: Kyle Court, La Cresta, Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Anavitrinella pampinaria (Common Gray)

4/28/15 On the wall of our front portico, 
Kyle Court, La Cresta, Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA 


4/28/15 On the wall of our front portico, 
Kyle Court, La Cresta, Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA 

LIFE LIST NOTES:

COMMON NAME: Common Gray Moth

SPECIESAnavitrinella pampinaria

FAMILY: Geometridae (Geometrid Moths)

RANGE: Most of North America except for arctic regions, south to Mexico

LIFE LIST DATE4/28/2015

LOCATION: On the wall of our front portico, La Cresta, Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Orgyia cana (Western Tussock Moth)

 5/11/15 Kyle Ct., La Cresta, Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA


LIFE LIST NOTES:

COMMON NAME: Western Tussock Moth

SPECIESOrgyia cana

FAMILY: Erebidae (Erebid Moths)

RANGE: Western North America

LIFE LIST DATE5/11/2015

LOCATION: Dining room floor, La Cresta, Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Corvus brachyrhynchos (American Crow)

 1/14/18 Kyle Court, La Cresta, Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA

1/14/18 Kyle Court, La Cresta, Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA

LIFE LIST NOTES:

COMMON NAME: American Crow

SPECIES: Corvus brachyrhynchos

FAMILY: Corvidae (Crows, Jays & Magpies)

LIFE LIST DATE? Don't remember, lol!

From Wikipedia:
The American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) is a large passerine bird species of the family Corvidae. It is a common bird found throughout much of North America. American crows are the new world counterpart to the carrion crow and the hooded crow. Although the American crow and the hooded crow are very similar in size, structure and behavior, their calls are different. The American crow nevertheless occupies the same role the hooded crow does in Eurasia.
From beak to tail, an American crow measures 40–50 cm (16–20 in), almost half of which is tail. Mass varies from about 300 to 600 g (11 to 21 oz). Males tend to be larger than females. The most usual call is CaaW!-CaaW!-CaaW!.
The American crow is all black, with iridescent feathers. It looks much like other all-black corvids. They can be distinguished from the common raven (C. corax) because American crows are smaller and from the fish crow (C. ossifragus) because American crows do not hunch and fluff their throat feathers when they call.
American crows are common, widespread, and susceptible to the West Nile virus, making them useful as a bioindicator to track the virus's spread. Direct transmission of the virus from American crows to humans is unheard of and unlikely.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Chroicocephalus ridibundus (Black-Headed Gull)

6/12/17 Leeds Castle, Kent, England:







LIFE LIST NOTES:

COMMON NAME: Black-Headed Gull

SPECIES: Chroicocephalus ridibundus

FAMILY: Laridae (Gulls, Terns & Skuas)

LIFE LIST DATE6/12/2017

LOCATION: Leeds Castle, Kent, England, UK

From Wikipedia:
The black-headed gull is a small gull that breed in much of Europe and Asia, and also in coastal eastern Canada. Most of the population is migratory and winters further south, but some birds reside in the milder westernmost areas of Europe. Some black-headed bulls also spend the winter in northeastern North America. As is the case with many gulls, it was previously placed in the genus LarusIt breeds in colonies in large reed beds or marshes, or on islands in lakes, nesting on the ground. Like most gulls, it is highly gregarious in winter, both when feeding or in evening roosts. It is not a pelagic species and is rarely seen at sea far from coasts.
The black-headed gull is a bold and opportunistic feeder. It eats insects, fish, seeds, worms, scraps, and carrion in towns, or invertebrates in ploughed fields with equal relish. It is a noisy species, especially in colonies, with a familiar "kree-ar" call. Its scientific name means laughing gull.

Aythya fuligula (Tufted Duck)

6/12/17 Leeds Castle, Kent, England: 







LIFE LIST NOTES:

COMMON NAME: Tufted Duck

SPECIES: Aythya fuligula

FAMILY: Anatidae (Ducks, Geese & Swans)

LIFE LIST DATE6/12/2017

LOCATION: Leeds Castle, Kent, England, UK

From Wikipedia:

The adult male is all black except for white flanks and a blue-grey bill with gold-yellow eyes. It has an obvious head tuft that gives the species its name. The adult female is brown with paler flanks, and is more easily confused with other diving ducks. In particular, some have white around the bill base which resembles the scaup species, although the white is never as extensive as in those ducks
The only duck which is at all similar is the drake greater scaup which, however, has no tuft and a different call.
The tufted duck breeds throughout temperate and northern Eurasia. It occasionally can be found as a winter visitor along both coasts of the United States and Canada. These ducks are migratory in most of their range, and overwinter in the milder south and west of Europe, southern Asia and all year in most of the United Kingdom. They form large flocks on open water in winter.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Branta leucopsis (Barnacle Goose)

6/12/17 Leeds Castle, Kent, England:








  


LIFE LIST NOTES:

COMMON NAME: Barnacle Goose

SPECIES: Branta leucopsis

FAMILY: Anatidae (Ducks, Geese and Swans)

LIFE LIST DATE6/12/2017

LOCATION: Leeds Castle, Kent, England, UK

From Wikipedia:

"Over 94,000 winter in the UK (over 20% of the world population) and 9,000 in Ireland. There are over 1,000 feral breeding birds in the UK, which appear to be increasing. On their Arctic breeding grounds some colonies nest on islands but many are on steep, inaccessible cliffs near the sea or overlooking fjords with rich feeding grounds nearby. Grazes vegetation, especially leaves, stems and seeds. Also uses bill to pull up roots and crush harder matter." 

Cygnus atratus (Black Swan)

6/12/17 Leeds Castle, Kent, England:


   
Black Swans with a Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) and Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)


   





 Cygnets (aka baby swans)


LIFE LIST NOTES:

COMMON NAME: Black Swan

SPECIES: Cygnus atratus

FAMILY: Anatidae (Ducks, Geese and Swans)

LIFE LIST DATE6/12/2017

LOCATION: Leeds Castle, Kent, England, UK

From Wikipedia:

The black swan (Cygnus atratus) is a large waterbird, a species of swan which breeds mainly in the southeast and southwest regions of Australia. A New Zealand subspecies was apparently hunted to extinction by Māori, but the species was reintroduced to New Zealand in the 1860s. Within Australia they are nomadic, with erratic migration patterns dependent upon climatic conditions. Black swans are large birds with mostly black plumage and red bills. They are monogamous breeders that share incubation duties and cygnet rearing between the sexes.
Black swans were introduced to various countries as an ornamental bird in the 1800s, but have escaped and formed stable populations
The black swan is common in the wetlands of southwestern and eastern Australia and adjacent coastal islands. 
The black swan's preferred habitat extends across fresh, brackish and salt water lakes, swamps and rivers with underwater and emergent vegetation for food and nesting materials. Permanent wetlands are preferred, including ornamental lakes, but black swans can also be found in flooded pastures and tidal mudflats, and occasionally on the open sea near islands or the shore.
The black swan is also very popular as an ornamental waterbird in western Europe, especially Britain, and escapees are commonly reported. As yet, the population in Britain is not considered to be self-sustaining and so the species is not afforded admission to the official British List, but the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust have recorded a maximum of nine breeding pairs in the UK in 2001, with an estimate of 43 feral birds in 2003-2004.

Corvus monedula (Western Jackdaw)

6/12/17 Leeds Castle, Kent, England

 6/12/17 Leeds Castle, Kent, England

6/12/17 Leeds Castle, Kent, England

LIFE LIST NOTES:

COMMON NAME: Jackdaw

SPECIES: Corvus monedula

FAMILY: Corvidae (Crows, Jays & Magpies)

LIFE LIST DATE6/12/2017

LOCATION: Leeds Castle, Kent, England, UK

From Wikipedia:

The western jackdaw is found from north-west Africa through all of Europe, except for the extreme north, and eastwards through central Asia to the eastern Himalayas and Lake Baikal. To the east, it occurs throughout Turkey, the Caucusus, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and north-west India. It is the second smallest member of the genus Corvus. Most of the plumage is a shiny black, with a purple sheen on the crown, forehead and secondaries, and a green-blue sheen on the throat, primaries and tail. The cheeks, nape and neck are light grey to silver-grey, and the underparts are slate-grey.
Western jackdaws inhabit wooded steppes, pastures, cultivated land, coastal cliffs, and towns. They thrive when forested areas are cleared and converted to fields and open areas. Habitats with a mix of large trees, buildings, and open ground are preferred.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Motacilla alba (Pied Wagtail)

6/12/17 Leeds Castle, Kent, England

 6/11/17 Parking area at Stonehenge, Wiltshire, S. England

LIFE LIST NOTES:

COMMON NAME: Pied Wagtail

SPECIES: Motacilla alba

FAMILY: Motacillidae (Wagtails, Longclaws & Pipits)

LIFE LIST DATE6/11/2017

LOCATION: Stonehenge, Wiltshire, Salisbury Plain, S. England, UK

From Wikipedia:
The white wagtail (Motacilla alba) is a small passerine bird in the wagtail family Motacillidae, which also includes the pipits and longclaws. This species breeds in much of Europe and Asia and parts of north Africa. It is resident in the mildest parts of its range, but otherwise migrates to Africa. It has a toehold in Alaska as a scarce breeder. 
The white wagtail is an insectivorous bird of open country, often near habitation and water. It prefers bare areas for feeding, where it can see and pursue its prey. In urban areas it has adapted to foraging on paved areas such as car parks. It nests in crevices in stone walls and similar natural and man-made structures.

Corvus frugilegus (Rook)

 6/11/17 Stonehenge, Wiltshire, Salisbury Plain, S. England





   




LIFE LIST NOTES:

COMMON NAME: Rook

SPECIES: Corvus frugilegus

FAMILY: Corvidae (Crows, Jays & Magpies)

LIFE LIST DATE6/11/2017

LOCATION: Stonehenge, Wiltshire, Salisbury Plain, S. England, UK

From Wikipedia:
Rooks are distinguished from similar members of the crow family by the bare grey-white skin around the base of the adult's bill in front of the eyes. The feathering around the legs also looks shaggier and laxer than the congeneric carrion crow. Their colonial nesting behaviour gave rise to the term rookery. 
Rooks are resident in Great Britain, Ireland and much of north and central Europe but vagrant to Iceland and parts of Scandinavia.