Thursday, February 6, 2003

Hi notes

Catch up time! I haven’t sent a message for several weeks: I didn’t
go to the lookout three weeks ago because the telonics unit was
malfunctioning and Mike Tyner had to exchange it for another unit
from Hopper Mt. The new one works great…but the condors are staying
in their Ventana and Hopper Mountain ranges, so no signals have been
picked up in our area for five or six weeks now.
I spent Wednesday, Jan 29, at the lookout. It was foggy in
Atascadero, all the way to Pozo. The drive to the lookout was
beautiful; the shooting stars and manzanita are blooming and the
rocks are covered in lush green moss. There were flocks of robins and
cedar waxwings in the trees on the way up. My most notable bird
encounter that day was with the Harrier that seems to hang out near
the gate below the lookout. I’m walking along the road below the gate
and here comes the Harrier zooming very low along the road. Remember
in the Star Wars movie (2nd or 3rd episode) where Luke Skywalker
flies his very speedy aircraft among the canyons of the death star?
That’s what this Harrier reminds me of…a stealth ‘birdcraft’! He
just skims the ground and shrubs and is going like a Harrier out of…

OK, fast forward to this week, Wed. Feb 5: No condor signals, but an
amazing bird encounter. I took a walk along the southern trail that
leads to Hi Meadow. I noticed an Ameican crow, but didn’t pay much
attention…until he started doing some impressive aerial stunts! He
circled above me and began doing complete body rolls. He was making a
four note warbling call that I’ve never heard a crow make before and
kept circling and rolling over. My theory is that he was seeing if he
could impress me and, if that worked, he was going to try it out on a
certain lady crow he has in mind. Just a theory. There were no other
crows around at the time. I was impressed…it could work!
That’s all for now…Bye