Sunday, September 7, 2003

Sept. 5-7, 2003 - A bear of a time

Hey everyone,
For a change this week, to cover for Lisa who was going on vacation,
I staffed the lookout for the first weekend in September. I had a
great time on Friday with Paul who had been at the lookout since
Thursday morning. With no Condors for the last few days we spent
most of the day trying to identify many of the different named
mountains in the area using various maps. We finally picked up a
bird, 209, midday towards Big Sur. We monitored this bird closely
waiting to see if it would make the run to the south. Sure enough it
did and from the sounds of the radio receiver we were using to track
it with it seemed like it made a close pass by the lookout although
over an hour of scanning the skies with our binoculars did not
produce the bird. Better luck next time. We briefly had two Hopper
Mtn. birds to the southeast and that was it for the weekend as far as
Condors. The weather has been pleasant lately on the mountain in the
60s and 70s with a nice onshore wind which also made for some of the
best visibility I’ve seen since winter. Was able to see the Sierra’s
on Sunday, this time without the snow. Saturday at about 1:30 in the
afternoon while taking some photos of some of the late flowering
plants I heard a rustle in the bushes just in front of me. I backed
off instinctively and was able to make out the brown blunt ears of a
young black bear just 15 or so feet in front of me. I retreated to
the top of the cistern for a better safer view and tried to coax the
bear out with a few funny sounds for a photo but instead the
youngster decided to take off into the oaks. On the drive home not
even a mile from the lookout I turned a corner to find another bear,
same size and color, standing in the middle of the road. Other
highlights of the weekend were my first look at our new mucho grande
picnic table, one of the most impressive tables I’ve ever seen, an
American Kestrel hunting dragonflies, a flyby by a Golden Eagle, an
emergence of flying ants, and the continued presence of tons of
hummingbirds including Anna’s and a couple Black-chinned.