Following my visit to Umpqua National Forest, I needed to scope out my other known field site, Big Flat Campground in Smith River National Recreation Area.
A few weekends ago, I jaunted up to the campground to check out the bats. They greeted me as enthusiastically as any wild animal would…they didn’t notice me, at least not obviously. To be honest, I was a little concerned that they weren’t in the boxes yet, as it was very quiet when I walked up. After a few minutes, I could hear the chattering of little bats in their roosts. A photograph shooting up into the roost confirmed, with about fifty or so little bat faces looking down at me.
After setting up the bat detector to capture the chattering social calls, and the echolocation calls that would be heard when they started to emerge, I headed out to set up my campsite. The early season meant I had to drive to the only open campground in the area, which was a little ways away from the bats in their boxes. I even attempted to capture some photos of bats as they emerged for evening foraging. I don’t quite have the patience for wildlife photography it seems, and I kept missing the shot. Those little guys move pretty fast!
While up in the area, I spent some time hiking around. I check out Stout Grove, one of the redwood groves in the area, part of the Jedidiah Smith State Park. The walk was short, only about 1 mile round trip, with a little loop through the trees. It was a cool, but sunny afternoon and there were several families making their way through the redwood giants. I also revisited a trail I had done before, part of the Bald Hills trail. I spotted a little chipmunk dashing its way across the trail, and an unidentified orange and black bird rustling through some underbrush. I tried to grab a picture, but he was too quick for me. I’m leaning towards some kind of oriole, though I am not sure.