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Exploring Coyote Creek with a BioBlitz

Heading out to the October BioBlitz at the Coyote Creek trail entrance in Milpitas, I was introduced to a new world of flora and fauna. After an introduction from the naturalists about the event, we split off into groups to explore the local ecosystem. BioBlitz is designed for kids and adults of all ages to document species in the environment through the iNaturalist app, so there was a large and enthusiastic crowd ready to explore Coyote Creek!


It was off to a good start when we immediately spotted a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) flying in the sky. After checking in, we started walking the trail in small groups led by knowledgeable scientists who shared insights on what we saw. We first practiced identifying plants with common weeds all along the trail side. As we wandered deeper along Coyote Creek, my group saw a variety of plants and animals, most popularly the orbweaver (Araneidae) and Cabbage White butterfly (Pieris rapae).


Orbweaver Spider

(Araneidae spotted on web woven between two plants) Photo by Meghaa Ravichandran


We saw many interesting plants including Italian lords-and-ladies (Arum italicum) and the native trailing blackberry (Rubus ursinus). In the late morning, we were also able to hear a frog croaking near the creek, which was protected by dense foliage. We scouted more of the surrounding area when we gathered back together with the larger group.


Native trailing blackberry

(R. ursinus spotted in Coyote Creek) Photo by Meghaa Ravichandran


All in all, it was a wonderful experience to document observations with iNaturalist and get our hands dirty while exploring the local environment with a group we got to know! As a whole community of more than 60 that showed up, we found 148 different species, including 22 species of bird and 6 species of mammals. Here is the link to our iNaturalist project if you want to explore.

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