Monday, May 17, 2004

May field trips

Last weekend I drove a van with 10 passengers up to Hi Mtn. Lookout for a field trip with my Cuesta College Community Programs class entitled “Condor Country”. The next day 6 participants with the group ‘Friends of Lopez Lake’ also arrived on a field trip to the lookout . Both days staffer Noll Roberts demonstrated radio telemetry and picked up signals from condors at Pinnacles National Monument. I was fortunate to find a peregrine falcon soaring near Hi Valley Rock while viewing through a spotting scope from the lookout catwalk. The flowering coffeeberry shrub (near the cistern) and the yerba santa shrubs flowering alongside the lookout road were full of hundreds of honeybees, a mix of butterflies, and the occasional assassin bugs lying in wait to ambush the other insects visiting the flowers. Found one large whiptail lizard up along the ridgeline.
Steve Schubert


Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Exciting weekend at Hi Mountain!

I arrived at the Lookout around noon on Saturday, May 8. I met up with my friend, Danielle Castle, at the gate, and found Jeremy White, his brother and a friend, and Charlie Blair already at the Lookout. I began to open up the Lookout, and Jeremy, his brother and his friend went for a hike down to Hi Valley. Around 12:40, Danielle called over to me, “Umm, Jamie, there’s a really big bird out here. You might want to come see this.” Sure enough, there was B168 soaring around the Lookout!!! We all rushed to our cars to get our cameras and binos. At times he soared so low that we didn’t even need binos to see his tags! Jeremy told me that they could even see him from way down the trail. B168 stuck around for about 30 minutes. He soared with the Turkey Vultures, dwarfing them. He was also mobbed by a Red-Tailed Hawk! I pulled out the Telonics, but couldn’t get a signal from him on either of his frequencies. Eventually, he went on his way south towards Hopper and we lost sight of him.
Sunday morning, May 9, I got up early and started taking signals. Around noon I looked out the window and B168 was back! He stayed only for a few minutes this time, then soared out over Pozo and disappeared. Still no signals from him. I am so fortunate to be a part of this!
Have a great week everyone! 
~Jamie Miller

Monday, May 10, 2004

Condor B168 at Hi Mountain

This past weekend CondorB168 was back again, soaring above Hi Mountain Lookout for about 30 minutes, according to lookout staffer Jamie Miller. B168 had been observed at a cave entrance on the Huff’s Hole cliffs below the lookout on April 6th, and since then has travelled north and south between Ventana Wilderness Area near Big Sur and Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in Ventura County. Jamie had no radio signals from the condor while in view, and since the radio transmitter is not working we should continue to keep a ‘lookout’ for visual sightings of B168. The Hi Mtn. Lookout staff would appreciate communications from any of you with the Ventana and Hopper Mtn. condor staff- by e-mail and/or phone contact- whenever B168 is known to have left your area or is ‘missing”, so that we can be more on the alert for his possible movements again in the Hi Mtn. vicinity.
Steve Schubert