Monday, June 2, 2003

Hi Mountain weekend summary 5-31-03

Arrived at the lookout in the afternoon Saturday, May 31st. The Lookout looked great thanks to the help of the volunteers from the Cal Poly Wildlife Club. Upstairs now has a desk, file cabinet, and new comfy chairs fully ready for the upcoming Summer internship to begin June 15th. Downstairs additions included a couple of tables and a bookshelf for housing our great collection of field guides and natural history books. All three House Finch nests on the lookout are active. NW nest has two nestlings that should fledge this week. SW nest is still incubating 2 eggs (1 egg abnormally narrowly oblong). SE nest with 4 eggs. Looking forward to more nestlings hopefully by next weekend. Highs this weekend at the lookout were in the lower 80s and breezy with nights in the 60s. Although the conditions seemed favorable the Condors we not out in our neck of the woods this weekend. Coast Horned Lizards are a common sight on the trail down to Hi Valley, both big and small, and I have never encountered them so reliably. They don’t seem to mind being out in the middle of the day when other creatures are taking cover from the heat. The floral displays keep coming with Clarkia spp. Golden Yarrow, and Monkey Flower, among others in full bloom on Hi Mountain road and at the lookout. The Yellow Star Thistle is just beginning to become nasty but still easy to pull out thanks to the lingering moisture in the soil.

Some birds seen/heard this weekend from the lookout:

Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, Mountain Quail, California Quail, Band-tailed Pigeon, Morning Dove, Common Poorwill, White-throated Swift, Anna’s Hummingbird, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Scrub- Jay, Common Raven, Oak Titmouse, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Wrentit, Spotted Towhee (nest with 4 young in Deerweed along Hi Mountain trail next to lookout), California Towhee, Sage Sparrow, Black-headed Grosbeak, Lesser Goldfinch.

Highlights in Trout Creek east of the lookout from Hi Mountain road to the fork to buckeye camp were abundant Warbling Vireo, Black- headed Grosbeak, and House Wren. WESTERN TANAGER and CASSIN’S VIREO were also present in much smaller numbers.