So, without further ado, here's my scattered observations, approximate head counts, and estimated regularity of the local Sierra Nevada beasties around the lodge, as derived from my year of trapping with 2 trail cameras, and scouting for signs and scat and beds and kills and such. Oh, with a heaping dash of research on animal behavior and territory sizes mixed in too.
24 species were caught on camera in 2009 in ~ 20 different camera sets/locations that ranged from 1-35 nights, with most being in place 20-30 nights.
Black Bears: there still seems to be just 2 bears that come around - a cinnamon female that forages through every few weeks for berries & acorns, and a bigger, darker (probably near black) male that comes infrequently, and maybe from the direction of the road (The Mariposa Bear?).
Mountain Lions: 0, nada, zilch, none. There hasn't been cougar sign all year - no scat, no kills, no pics, no nothing. Not a bad thing, but the deer could pile up.
Coyotes: 2-3 - a pair and a loner I think. They don't come often, and seem to be quite skittish.
Bobcats: at least 2, but not many more than that. They're around often, if not nightly.
Gray Foxes: at least 2, but not many more than that. They're around often, if not nightly.
Domestic Cats: 3 - an orange tabby, a gray tabby, and a black feral (I think) w/ white chest.
Striped Skunks: at least one around, but not more than 2. They patrol nightly.
Opossums: at least 2 around, but probably not many more than that. They patrol nightly.
Raccoons: a mom with 3-4 younglets. They patrol nightly.
Black-tailed Jackrabbits: lots.
Western Gray Squirrels: lots.
Chipmunks (Merriam's, I think): at least 2! A new move-in this year!
Dusky-footed / Big-eared Woodrats: lots.
Mule Deer: 15-20ish. I've seen about 5 different bucks, 4 fawns and 6-7 does this year.
Wild Turkeys: I've counted over 45 when the smaller groups cluster together in winter. They seem to merge right around Thanksgiving.
California Quail: lots.
The also caughts: an Angus bull, mice, scrub & steller's jays, a northern flicker, some vultures, and a few wood & mallard ducks.
Of course, this isn't all the animals around. There's also hawks and owls and the occasional great blue heron. And a ground squirrel. But I didn't catch them on digifilm this year.
The Cast of Characters - Larger Carnies & Omnivores:
Big black bear coming through the fence gap
Same bear a few nights earlier
Cinnamon black bear on the trail
Cinnamon black bear butt
Cinnamon black bear on rock - note light color in infrared
Coyote on flat rock
Coyote on the run through fence gap
Bobcat strolling on hot day
Bobcat on an early morning prowl
Gray fox sneaking up on the camera
Gray fox sniffing
Cute fawn going by
Mom and young fawn in garden
Angus bull butt
Mule deer mixer
Buck with dangling horn
The Smaller Critters:
Pepe on patrol
Jack trotting on by
Two jacks on a rock
Jackrabbit sniffing lilies
Possum poking about
Big opossum in the garden
Curious squirrel in the snow
Many wild turkeys
- The Nature of a Man (this blog) - Homes, Homes On Their Range (territory sizes)