June 12th, 2010 by tdomf_e48ef
Date of sighting: 12 June 2010
A dapper male Chestnut-sided Warbler sang his way along the southeastern side of the Lee Vining Creek this morning. He was in the vicinity of about 500 – 1000m upstream from where the county road crosses the creek. I saw him at around 8:00 and followed him until around 8:30. Justin Hite saw him again at around 3:30. He put on a show: in plane view he munched on anything he could find from vibrant cottonwood leaves, sang up a storm, and displayed his brilliant plumage for all to see. His song is strikingly similar to that of the Yellow Warbler, and I found their songs quite difficult to distinguish.
Also, likely recovering from the 512 cfs peak of last week, I found a Spotted Sandpiper sneaking away from a new nest with one egg, it was placed among Castilleja and grass stems and debris from the flows, on what little dry(ish) ground is available.
June 11th, 2010 by Arya, Communications Director
Mono Lake Committee founder David Gaines toured tirelessly around California with carousel of slides and a call to help a dying lake–talking to anyone who would listen. The Mono Lake Committee has continued this tradition by showing The Mono Lake Story slideshow at our headquarters in Lee Vining every year to thousands of visitors and Mono Lake enthusiasts. This old tradition will now continue in a new media format.
We are excited to announce that we are creating a 20-minute film … more »
June 8th, 2010 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
For the last four days, Lee Vining residents and visitors strolling down the Lee Vining Creek Trail could hear boulders knocking against each other over the roar of the whitewater in Lee Vining Creek. The “clunking” sound is coming from the creek—it is the sound of large “bedload” moving—rocks moving along the bottom.
Yesterday Lee Vining Creek peaked at 512 cfs. This is the highest flow in the creek since 1998. Maximizing the peak flow below the DWP diversion dam is the primary tool used to restore the creek from damage done by … more »
June 8th, 2010 by tdomf_e48ef
Date of sighting: June 8 2010
Checkerspot Butterfly below the Big Bend and Black-chinned Hummingbird nest below Mono City about 4m high in Black Cottonwood, Mill Creek.
June 6th, 2010 by tdomf_e48ef
Date of sighting: June 6, 2010
This bird was singing and moving and foraging from cottonwood to cottonwood along Mill Creek from just below the last Mono City house on the dowstream end of the creek to about 750 meters upstream. It was singing incessantly and at first I thought it was a Solitary Vireo (unable to differentiate between Plumbeous and Cassin’s song). So I went in for a better look. I had a recording device with me and this is what I recorded as I watched the bird (I also got a good recording of the song): “This bird has a very yellow breast, an incredibly bold eyering, a white vent and around the legs, really bright yellow [breast], a huge bill…, the white and yellow seperation [on the breast and belly] is pretty much half way down the [length of the bird], white wingbars.” And then later, when I had a better view (~5 meters), ” the Vireo has actually a yellow spectacle.”
I’ve attached some o.k. pics. The first is bizarre in that the bill appears warbler-like. It was nothing of the sort. The bill was thick even for vireo standards. Nonetheless, the photo shows the yellow/white brest/belly dividing line very well. The second pic shows the yellow spectacles o.k..
Very cool bird! Enjoy!
June 3rd, 2010 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
This post was written by Morgan, 2010 Canoe Coordinator.
In addition to celebrating the opening of Tioga Pass this Saturday June 5, at 8am, be sure to celebrate National Trails Day! In honor of National Trails Day, entrance to South Tufa and Yosemite National Park is free this weekend, on Saturday June 5 and Sunday June 6. Catch a free one hour tour of South Tufa at 1pm both Saturday and Sunday or explore the tufa groves on your own self-guided walk.
The first Saturday in June, National Trails Day is … more »
June 3rd, 2010 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
The official word is that Tioga Pass (Hwy 120 to Yosemite National Park) will open at 8 am Saturday June 5th, 2010. All facilities along Tioga Road will remain closed indefinitely. The snowpack is quite deep for this late in the season along the road.
Access to Yosemite is also free this weekend in honor of National Trails Day. Other free days this year will include August 14-15, September 25, and November 11.
June 2nd, 2010 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
This post was written by Morgan, 2010 Canoe Coordinator.
The fleeting mid-May hope that California’s state parks would finally experience a reprieve from years of crippling budget cuts is disappearing faster than the snow still visible on the flanks of the Sierra above Lee Vining. … more »
June 2nd, 2010 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
May 2010 was almost as cold as May 1998. The average temperature this May was 46.6 degrees F, making it the second-coldest May in Lee Vining since weather records started in 1988. It also set a new record low, 20 degrees, 1 degree colder than the previous May record in 2000. The average minimum temperature of 33.9 also set a new record, beating 1998’s 34.16.
Eight daily records were set last month, with seven of them broken the week of the 23rd through the 29th. Four days set new records for the lowest maximum temperature and four set new records for the lowest minimum temperature ever recorded in … more »
May 31st, 2010 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
With warmer weather and the road open as far as Tioga Pass from Highway 395, there was quite a bit of human-powered recreation going on at Tioga Pass this weekend. Cars—many with bike racks and ski racks—were at times taking almost all the available parking spots that had been cleared of snow between Ellery Lake and Tioga Pass.
Cyclists enjoy the car-free Tioga Pass Road in Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park.
… more »