Today I went to Skyline Serpentine Prairie in Redwood Park. It was six weeks early than my usual first visit of the year. It was early for the flowers. There are some blooms but none in abundance. In bloom were Goldfields, California Poppy, Cream Cups, Yellow Lomatium, California Buttercups, Red Maids, and Winter Vetch. If you just want to see some flowers or photograph flower portraits you could go now, if you are look for abundant bloom wait a month.
There was a fair amount of bird activity including Turkey Vulture, Mourning Dove, Anna’s Hummingbird, American Kestrel, Steller’s Jay, Western Bluebird, California Towhee, White-crowned Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco and House Finch. Best birding moments were watching the Kestrel hover and Western Bluebirds at the bird boxes. There were a number of birds I didn’t I.D. that were moving quickly and I didn’t get good looks as well as bird songs I couldn’t identify.
Skyline Serpentine Prairie is a restored and protected area. The management of the area includes prescribed burns and the weeding out of invasive species. Serpentine is the official California state rock. Serpentine areas are not supportive of many alien species creating an area that are supportive of native wildflowers and grasses. The prairie is protected by fence but can be easily viewed and photographed from the surrounding paths. Some of the flowers are outside the fenced in area. For more information about the Skyline Serpentine Prairie see Skyline Serpentine Restoration Project
To see a brochure of flowers with photos go to Skyline Serpentine Prairie Plant Photo Guide