Had an early start today to the park and there were about 150 Mew Gulls on the north ball fields. When I was returning shortly after 9 AM, baseball was already in progress.
Tracy Farrington, Beth Branthaver and I had some good ducks pond other birds on the big pond, including the female Wood Duck right in front of the wooden railing. We had a C. Gallinule, a Geen Heron, plenty of Ring-necked Ducks and some Buffleheads.
I had earlier seen two Lincoln's and two Fox Sparrows on the west side of the big pond. Heard the Nuthatch, Downy and Nuttall's Woodpeckers and the first snippets of Ruby-crowned Kinglet song.
Before 5:30 PM yesterday, I watched a skunk in the grass near the gate to the private Seven Hills School. It was busy nosing through the grass and leaf litter, though I could not tell what it was finding. It would stop and scratch once in a while, then shook its whole body. When this happened, the loose fur was beautiful to watch.
I remember petting a skunk in a park in Topeka, Kansas, in the summer of 1960. Some people had it on a leash as a pet--no scent glands. It was one of the softest furs I ever remember petting.
Happy Valentine's Day to all.
Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek, CA