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‘Top Ten’ Category

The Mono Basin’s top ten August birds

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Sandra Noll, Birding Intern in 2014, 2015, & 2016.

The season of weekly bird walks is drawing to a close, so this is the final top ten list for the year.  As in previous lists, all birds were seen within a half-hour radius of the Mono Lake Committee headquarters in Lee Vining.

Juvenile Sage Thrasher perched on caterpillar greasewood..... Photo by Sandra Noll.

A juvenile Sage Thrasher perched on caterpillar greasewood, a salt-tolerant plant that thrives near Mono Lake. Photo by Sandra Noll.

Some find birding less attractive once chicks have fledged and many species that breed here begin migrating to follow food resources to southern wintering grounds. I find, however, that August birding presents interesting challenges in the identification of juvenile birds and of (more…)

The Mono Basin’s top ten July birds

Monday, August 10th, 2015 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Sandra Noll, Birding Intern in 2014, 2015, & 2016.

Another month has flown by and it’s time to unveil July’s top ten bird encounters; birds seen within a half-hour radius of the Mono Lake Committee headquarters. July’s birding continued to be enriched by the maturation and fledging of chicks and by initial sightings of migratory grebes and phalaropes along the shore of Mono Lake.

Violet-green Swallow atop tufa tower at South Tufa. Photo by Sandra Noll.

Violet-green Swallow atop tufa tower at South Tufa. Photo by Sandra Noll.

1.  California Gull fledglings—According to Kristie Nelson, Mono Lake California Gull Project Leader, this has been a “highly successful year for the gulls, better than we have seen in over ten years for both population size and chick production.”
2.  Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch—often seen in the high country (more…)

The Mono Basin’s top ten June birds

Saturday, July 4th, 2015 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Sandra Noll, Birding Intern in 2014, 2015, & 2016.

The month of June has flown and it’s time to unveil the top ten bird encounters; birds seen within a half-hour driving radius of the Mono Lake Committee headquarters. It was a great month enhanced by the seasonal hatching and fledging young and by sightings at the 14th annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua held June 19–21.

A Mountain Bluebird with food for its hungry nestlings. Photo by Erv Nichols.

A Mountain Bluebird with food for its hungry nestlings. Photo by Erv Nichols.

1. Northern Saw-whet Owl—a cavity nest with several owlets was discovered in the Obsidian Dome area during the Bird Chautauqua
2. Mountain Bluebirds—nesting behind the gas station at south entrance to June Lake Loop (more…)

#1 on the top 10 of 2012: The new Mono Lake Committee storefront

Monday, December 31st, 2012 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Number 1 on our Top Ten highlights list is the remodeled Committee storefront—a multi-year process culminating in the construction and grand re-opening this past summer!

The crowd gathered for the storefront grand re-opening in August! Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

Among the many highlights and wonderful moments (more…)

#3: Mono Lake’s open state park

Saturday, December 29th, 2012 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Number 3 on our Top Ten highlights list is the solution that is keeping Mono Lake’s state park open and operating.

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve Interpretive Specialist Dave Marquart at Old Marina explaining how the new parking fee keeps the park open. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

A little more than a year ago, we found out that the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve had been removed from the state’s closure list. The next day we began working on a plan for keeping the park open—the solution is a modest parking fee at Old Marina of only $3.00 per vehicle. An “iron ranger” for collecting fees was installed in May, and visitors to Old Marina have been dropping their fee envelopes in ever since!

#4: The wild world around us

Friday, December 28th, 2012 by Arya, Communications Director
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Number 4 on our Top Ten highlights list is a compendium of things that have made this year particularly memorable. One of the great things about living in the Mono Basin is that life is infused with the happenings of the natural world.

Since pictures are worth a thousand words….

Ice skating on Lundy Lake

Dry years can mean cold temperatures without precipitation, which makes good conditions for ice skating. We rang in the year with some seriously memorable ice skating on very-frozen lakes such as Lundy Lake Reservoir shown here. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

(more…)

#5: Trail Chic rocks the runway for outdoor education

Thursday, December 27th, 2012 by Arya, Communications Director
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Number 5 on our Top Ten highlights list is the the Trail Chic fashion show fundraiser for the Committee’s Outdoor Experiences program.

Mono Lake Intern Max Henkels walked the runway as the invasive weed, sweet clover. Photo by Lynette Villagomez.

This is really one of those events that you’ve got to see to believe. The Mono Lake Committee pairs up with Barefoot Wine & (more…)

#6: Local kids outdoors at Mono Lake

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Number 6 on our Top Ten highlights list are all the local kids who explored their Mono Basin backyard with the Committee’s Outdoor Experiences program.

OE Instructor Jessica Francois (in hat) teaches Lee Vining Elementary students about Lee Vining Creek. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

Between creek walks, watershed studies, watering trees, sketching wildlife, planting saplings at school, and birding, Lee Vining’s students really got out there! Take a look: (more…)

#7: Los Angeles Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Number 7 on our Top Ten highlights list is the first ever Los Angeles Wild & Scenic Film Festival.

Members mingle with Committee Board and staff at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

Last March, the Mono Lake Committee brought the Wild & Scenic Film Festival to LA—featuring our film, The Mono Lake Story, in its Southern California premiere. The evening brought together local members, the filmmakers and composer, many of our partners in the area, and Committee Board and staff, all celebrating Mono Lake at (more…)

#8: Greening the Mono Lake Committee

Monday, December 24th, 2012 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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The Committee aspen tree will draw its water from the new greywater system. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Number 8 on our Top Ten highlight list are the great strides we made toward efficiency and reducing our ecological footprint.

In February, Sierra Watershed Progressive installed a greywater system that connects the public restroom sink and our swamp cooler with the landscaping out front. It’s only the fourth commercial project in California, and this summer visitors and staff watered the trees by washing their hands!

After the busy remodel summer, we squeezed in one more project before the snow arrived: adding 33 photovoltaic solar panels to the south-facing roof of the bookstore. Sierra Solar came back to help us max out our solar panel capacity after installing 9 panels on the ice house roof back in 2010. Making use of our high-altitude, consistent sun, our 42 solar panels will help us cut our grid electricity consumption by more than 50%.

Sierra Solar staff installed 33 panels on the Committee's bookstore roof in October. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

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