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The Chautauqua is underway!

June 18th, 2010 by Arya, Communications Director
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I ran back to the office after an awesome morning of birding to let everyone know that the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua is underway. It’s a beautiful weekend in the Mono Basin, and I encourage everyone to join the event if you’ve got the time.

There are some free events that are still open to the general public — for kids and parents alike.

Michael Ross will be traveling over from Yosemite to lead two children’s programs during the Chautauqua weekend. Michael has led field classes and hikes for the Yosemite Association for more than 30 years. He has written and illustrated over forty children’s books inspired by his life and work in the mountains. These two events (detailed below) are free, but space is limited so please reserve a spot by calling Lisa or Morgan at the Mono Lake Committee at 760-647-6595. … more »

Summer bookstore hours: 8:00am-9:00pm

June 17th, 2010 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Rosanne Catron, 2010 Information Center & Bookstore Manager.

bookstore book photo

Starting Thursday, June 17th, we will go to our longer, summer hours: 8:00am to 9:00pm, 7 days a week! Come in to find out about good birding spots and places to visit, browse our book selection, visit the beautiful gallery, or watch the Mono Lake Story slide show.

We also have some unique new items in the Information Center & Bookstore, from organic, handmade soaps to recycled notebooks.

If you are in town for the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua this weekend, or if you are a bird lover here to do some birding on your own, come in and check out our wide selection of bird books—whether you want to identify local species or brush up on your knowledge of plumage, feeding habits, eggs and nests, or songs, we have the books to help you out!

Bald Eagle, Hooded Oriole

June 16th, 2010 by tdomf_e48ef
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Date of sighting: June 15, 2010

Hooded Oriole in our yard in Mono City!

Adult Bald Eagle circling overhead and vocalizing at Lundy Lake above the resort on the Lake Canyon trail.  Sounds like a high pitched rusty hinge!

Chestnut-sided Warbler on Lee Vining Creek

June 12th, 2010 by tdomf_e48ef
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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.

 

The Mono Lake Story told like never before–in high-definition, digital film

June 11th, 2010 by Arya, Communications Director
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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 »

Lee Vining Creek peak flow highest since 1998

June 8th, 2010 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
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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 »

more Mill Creek delights: checkerspot and Black-chinned Hummingbird nest

June 8th, 2010 by tdomf_e48ef
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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.

Yellow-throated Vireo at Mill Creek

June 6th, 2010 by tdomf_e48ef
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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!

 

 

Celebrate National Trails Day with free entrance to South Tufa and Yosemite National Park

June 3rd, 2010 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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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 »

Tioga Pass opened Saturday June 5, 2010

June 3rd, 2010 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
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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.

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