I went to Panoche Valley (in San Joaquin Valley, California) last night to look for kangaroo rats. I expected them to be rare because of the current drought, but it was just the opposite: in two hours I saw dozens of giant k-rats, a few Heermann’s k-rats, and one possible Fresno k-rat. Most of them were along the gravel road signposted “Panoche Hills BLM lands” that branches to the south off Little Panoche Rd. near Mercey Hot Springs. Kit Fox numbers apparently haven’t responded yet, because I saw only one, near Little Panoche Rd. junction with Panoche Rd. Interestingly, local birders who went there on a full moon night a few weeks ago saw no mammals at all.
If you go there in the next few days, look also for long-eared owls roosting in one of pine trees near the office of Mercey Hot Springs. The numbers are down to 5 from 20+ in February, but they might hang around for another week or two.