Posted by: Sandy Steinman | May 30, 2015

Skyline Serpentine Prairie Flowers & Birds 5/30/15

Skyline Serpentine Prairie is located in Redwood Regional Park.  It is a restoration 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 is supportive of native wildflowers and grasses.  Most of the prairie is protected by fence but is easily viewed and photographed from the surrounding paths.

While the Prairie is a grassland it is in Redwood Park and next to a woodland with Oak, Bay and Coyote Bush. Poison Oak is also present.

The highlight today was the Yellow Mariposa Tulip Calochortus luteus, which has started bloom and was fairly abundant. Also seen was the rare and endangered Presidio Clarkia Clarkia franciscana.

The most abundant birds were Western Scrub Jay and Barn Swallows. There was also birds singing or calling in the woodland areas. Butterflies included California Buckeye, Western Swallowtail and a blue that was possibly an Acmon Blue.

For more information about the Skyline Serpentine Prairie, you can read this article by Stephen W. Edwards, Ph.D. the former director of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden: There is also an illustrated wildflower guide for the Skyline Serpentine Prairie at

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Click read more for the flower and bird lists

Serpentine Prairie Plant List 5/30/15
Blue Elderberry (Sambucus mexicana)
Bristly Ox-tongue (Picris echioides) introduced
California Lotus (Acmispon wrangelianus)
California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
Gum Plant  (Grindelia sp.)
Hayfield Tarweed (Hemizonia congesta ssp. luzulifolia)
Ithuriel’s Spear (Triteleia laxa)
Presidio Clarkia  (Clarkia franciscana) rare and endangered
Soap-plant (Chlorogalum pomeridianum var. divaricatum)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Yellow Mariposa Tulip (Calochortus luteus)

Serpentine Prairie Bird List  5/30/15

Redwood Park: Skyline Serpentine Prairie, Alameda, California, US
May 30, 2015 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
20 species

California Quail  1
Wild Turkey  1
Turkey Vulture  1
Anna’s Hummingbird  3
Acorn Woodpecker  1
Nuttall’s Woodpecker  1
Black Phoebe  1
Western Scrub-Jay  5
American Crow  3
Common Raven  2
Cliff Swallow  15
Red-breasted Nuthatch  2
Wrentit  2
Orange-crowned Warbler  1
Spotted Towhee  1
California Towhee  1
Song Sparrow  2
Dark-eyed Junco  1
House Finch  4
Lesser Goldfinch  2

View this checklist online at


  1. Love the buckeye on the mariposa lily, Sandy. I would kill for that shot. 🙂


    • Thanks. But I have to stay it was just the luck of being in the right place at the right time and having a butterfly that didn’t scare off to easily.


  2. I tried to open the article, but it wasn’t an article?

    Hanks soooo much for all your efforts with your site. We deeply appreciate all you do!!!

    Janet Cupples

    Sherman Oaks


    • The internet seemed not responsive and slow here in the east bay a little while ago but seems OK now. I checked the link and it seems to be working OK. Let me know if you are still having problems. Thanks for letting me know about the problem with the link and for your positive comments about Natural History Wanderings.


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