Friday, June 27, 2003

June 24-26 at the lookout

The birds were quiet on Tuesday but with the hot weather and favorable flying conditions the condors were quite active on Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday afternoon b167, r260, r251, and w231 were all being picked up on the telonix in north county at their usual bearing of 315 degrees nw somewhere on the east slope of the Santa Lucias. Also picked up or204 to the south around cuyama valley. By 5pm w231 had made the flight down to the branch mountain area and I had signals for this bird until 7:18pm meaning this bird did not go all the way down to Hopper Mtn. and instead may have spent the night in the Lion Canyon area of the Sierra Madre’s. Sure enough Thursday morning at 9:45 I picked the bird up again and by 10:30 the signal had faded out completely as the bird continued its flight south to Hopper NWR. Two other Ventana birds decided to make the flight Thursday and now over half the Ventana flock is down south. Thursday was the hottest day at the lookout so far this year with a high of 93 with the night before’s temperature only dipping down to 72. John, one of the local ranchers who lives down in Pozo came up and he shared some great stories of bear and mountain lion encounters in the area. Aparently his dog can hunt and has treed plenty of big cats in the past but lately he has not see any. I informed him of the lion scratches down by hi valley rock.