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This is a male coast range fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis bocourtii), I believe. He was defending his territory by showing off his bright blue throat patch while doing fast push-ups, after which came a display of arching his back and standing as tall as he possibly could. In between he also tried a bit of head-banging, which was quite a feat, for someone with such a short neck. We saw him on yesterday’s hike around the Audubon Canyon Ranch. We also saw herons, egrets, an osprey, big caspian terns, long-beaked curlews, and quite a few birds we couldn’t identify on the spot. The folks from the Audubon Canyon Ranch did a great job of setting up scopes through which we could see lots of birds that we would not have noticed with our standard-issue binoculars.

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