Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Update from the Lookout 20-Aug to 27-Aug-2002

Greetings all,

The last week on the Lookout was mild (mid 80’s), windy, and somewhat
clearer than the past few weeks. Last Saturday and Sunday were by far
the two most exciting days, punctuated by signals from both Hopper and
Ventana birds. A few of Hopper’s R series birds have been popping up
mid-day around 120°SE of the Lookout, which I am assuming is over Cuyama
and Lion Canyon. On Sunday, a group of 6 Ventana birds made the passage
down to Hopper, using the Santa Lucias as their flight corridor. This
was the first time this summer that the birds have passed the Lookout
using this more south western route and the recent change in nearby wind
speed and direction my have something to do with this. They likely
cruised down the back of the Cuesta Ridge, hopped over Lopez Lake,
continued out over Huasna toward Cuyama, and eventually arrived at
Hopper NWR. At 1610, I spotted the group soaring high above Huasna
Valley, working the thermals and dwarfing the many TV’s soaring below
them. At 1830, I was joined at the Lookout by Nick Todd who picked up my
binos and promptly picked a soaring condor out of the haze somewhere
above the Machesna Wilderness or American Canyon. We checked for signals
and ID’d the bird as W-231. I just updated the news page on our website
and you can find a more detailed listing my recent tracking endeavors at

As construction continues, and as the heat subsides, the Lookout is fast
becoming a comfortable place to live. I’m looking forward to next month
and the first real signs of fall on the mountain. Visitors continue to
trickle in, though mostlly on weekends, and hunting season has been
entirely uneventful. Most everybody I talk to seems truly surprised by
the notion that condors still pass through San Luis Obispo county
regularly. Well they sure do. And as we go an about our daily lives, so
does the California Condor….surveying the situation from high above on
ancient flyways, quietly sorting out their place in this crazy, mixed up

Thanks for all of your input and support over the last month and a
half. As always, I look forward to seeing all of you up at the Lookout
sometime. Enjoy what’s left of your summer!

Paul Andreano