Day 41 – Wildlife Intern Daniel Solorzano-Jones

Welcome back!

Today is the 41st day of my wildlife internship here at the Golden Gate National Area. After a month and a half of living here, I feel very lucky to say that I am loving the work and the people that I have surrounded myself with. Below are some of the fun experiences I’ve had recently both in and out of the workplace! I also realize I forgot to mention my iNaturalist and Ebird accounts in my introduction post, so here they are: mistajouns (eBird) and solordan001 (iNat). I regularly post field observations to each of these profiles so make sure to add me and check them out!

Work Life

This month has been all about getting familiar with various work sites, surveys and methods that I will be using for the next year as part of the Wildlife Team. We’ve learned to conduct snowy plover surveys, California red-legged frog egg mass surveys, wildlife camera trap checks & cataloguing, and have even ferried out to Alcatraz a few times! Additionally, I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to opportunistically join other teams when I might’ve otherwise had a slow day planned.

A recent highlight I had on the job was when I tagged along at the last minute with Matt Millado (last year’s aquatic ecology intern) and the NR aquatics team in a Coho salmon release. At this inter-agency event our teams released 4,000 juvenile salmon into Redwood Creek to supplement a generation that had been lost (more info here). Below is a video I put together of my team in action! The goal of this release is for the juveniles to mature in the creek, migrate to the ocean, and migrate back to Redwood creek when they are ready to reproduce.

Action shots of the juvenile coho in Redwood creek!

After Hours

Life outside of work has been memorable in the best of ways! I have birded quite often in the last 41 days and the adventures with friends at Fort Cronkhite (The Cronk house) have been a lot of fun. Joe and I have started to catch up on the overwhelming amount of field observations we want to upload to iNaturalist. Being fully caught up with our life lists will help ease the observation -> photo -> iNat workflow instead of having hundreds of unorganized pictures stuck on my SD cards.

Also, I recently bought a sit-on-top Kayak which I have used twice now in Rodeo Cove (as seen below). My primary inspiration for buying this kayak is to go kayak-birding  in the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I am hoping to go as soon as the weather and my schedule align so don’t be surprised when it comes up on my next blog post!

Kayaking on a calm day to Bird Island.

Naturalist Notes

Lifers

I decided that for every blog post from now on I’m going to start a list of lifers (bird species I observe for the first time in my life) that I’ve seen in GOGA since the last post! Below are lifers I have recorded in the last 41 days:

Marbled Godwit
Snowy Plover
Black Turnstone
Willet
California Towhee

Unfortunately, after multiple tries I haven’t been able to get a very good picture of a the following birds. For now, I will link their respective allaboutbirds.com page if you’re interested in seeing what they look like!

Fungi

While conducting wildlife camera trap checks in Muir Woods and Samuel P. Taylor state park I came across many different species of fungi. The following are some of my favorites including banana slug eating a mushroom, which I had never seen before. I am in no way in expert in fungi and I always use iNaturalist to identify mushrooms but I do love finding these delicate hidden treasures. Something that stands out to me while I put this gallery together is the diversity of microhabitat types that fungi can grow in. For example, bark bonnets grow on very moist and mossy nurse logs, while waxcaps can be found to grow under the plant debris on the forest floor to the point where they may seem completely buried.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next post!

-Daniel Solorzano-Jones

2 Comments
  • Katherine Good
    Posted at 22:35h, 02 January

    So cool that you’re getting to take part in so many different research and conservation projects as an intern!! That’s great experience, and looks like a lot of fun too 🙂

  • Nina Solorzano Fdez
    Posted at 00:15h, 15 January

    Great experience! Poniendo tu granito de arena para mejorar nuestro medio ambiente.
    Gracias por compartir y permitirnos conocer otro mundo de vida salvaje.