Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Update from the Lookout 7-8 to 7-13-02

Greetings all,

Just a quick update on my activities up on the mountain from 7-8 to 7-13-02….

Last week was a very hot, buggy, yet productive week on Hi Mountain. Several ofthe big chores were tackled and I’ve often felt more like a laborer than a biologist. The Lookout now has windows and a new propane line. The existing propane tank was moved by crane to a new, safer location closer to the Lookout.
The downstairs has been power washed and half a dozen deer mice were erradicated.We have started the process of gutting/framing the interior of the upper level and the steel window shudders have been drilled and are ready to be hung. We received a generous donation (thanks Dick and Pat) of a pristine generator which has already seen 15 hours of use on this project.

Friday the 12th was by far the most exciting day for me yet, as it was the first time that I had strong and consistent signals for condors almost all day long. At 0935 I began picking up B-167 at about 320deg N.W. (right toward Cone peak). At 0940 I picked up B-164 in the same general area.My heart began to race. By
1200 I had signals for B-170, Or-199, and Y-194 as well. I continued to take signals every 30 min or so throughout the day, until I lost all 5 birds at about 1635. They had moved slowly but steadily SE for about 7 hours, and went out of range in the general direction of Hopper Mtn.NWR (appx.110deg S.E. of the
Lookout). Needless to say, it was encouraging to finally be tracking, though I strained for hours and never got a visual. I have yet to pick up any Hopper birds’ signals from Hi Mountain.

In my spare time I’ve been doing plenty of birding, bugging, botanizing, and being a bio nerd. There is a large bobcat the frequents the road just below the Lookout in the early evenings. I’ve seen 6 mule deer nearly every morning and the abundance of Sulfurs, Blues, Swallow-tail and Dogface butterflies is striking throughout the day. There are three Red-tailed Hawks and an adolescent golden eagle that frequent Hi Mt., and I have been surprised by the numbers of Black-chinned Sparrows and California Thrashers in the surrounding chaparral. I have briefly spotted a Sage Thrasher twice on the north slope of the Lookout.

Until the next update, hope everyone is having a great summer. Come on up and visit some time!
Paul Andreano