Saturday, September 20, 2003

field trip 9/20/03

Today I taught a class at Cuesta College for Community Programs entitled
“Condor Country”, a short course offered for the first time (in the more
than 10 years that I have been teaching a yearly series of natural
history lectures and leading field trips through the college). After a
classroom slide lecture about condor biology and the California Condor
Recovery Program/Hi Mtn. Project, I drove the van for our field trip up
to Hi Mountain Lookout in the afternoon.
The eight of us ate lunch in the shade (temp. in the 80’s) at the new
picnic table constructed by Jeff Osborn (worth a visit to the lookout
just to see his woodwork and the unique custom-built design made from
large slabs of pine… it is really that impressive). Intern Lisa
Andreano presented a condor radio tracking demonstration. I installed
the new bird bath and thistle feeder in the vicinity of the hummingbird
feeder (maybe all the local rambling bears will also benefit and want to
take a drink). A kettle of about 15 turkey vultures twisted and turned
in the air above, soaring with ravens for a long period of time around
the lookout in a steady northerly wind, and two juvenile red-tailed
hawks -siblings likely- played tag high above us, 500 ft. directly above
the lookout, their translucent white “windows” visible in each wing.
A good day to be so “Hi” up…
Steve Schubert