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Wonderful Warblers

May 1st, 2009 by tdomf_e48ef

Date of sighting: May 1, 2009

At County Park this morning, there seemed to be at least two warblers in every willow I scanned with my binoculars. I counted upwards of ten Wilson’s Warblers, the majority of which were males, although I did see a few females. I heard and found two Orange-crowned Warblers (my personal favorites). The park teemed with Yellow-rumped warblers, the males in their dark black and bright yellow breeding plumage, the females a more modest brownish gray. I sat and watched one Yellow Warbler hop daintily from willow to willow down by the boardwalk for a few minutes. Oh, warblers, you make my heart sing.

Other interesting sightings in the Park:

Gray Flycatcher, Black-headed Grosbeak, four or five Bullock’s Orioles, Blue-winged Teal, Least Sandpiper, and I saw and heard for the first time the display of the Wilson’s Snipe. I saw one standing high atop a tufa tower, calling a loud, repeated TIKa-TIKa-TIKa and then two or more dove from the air and I heard the “winnowing” sound that is produced by their outer tail feathers vibrating during the dive. It was quite a sight and sound combination to behold.

South Africa: Winterskloof to St. Lucia

April 29th, 2009 by Arya, Communications Director

Morning started with tea and the South African specialty, rusks—biscotti-like biscuits—before a full morning meeting at the Wildlands Conservation Trust office. As fellow founding members of the Living Lakes Network, the Mono Lake Committee and Wildlands have been in touch for the past 11 years, but have never had a chance to sit down and make use of the connection in quite the way we did on this morning.

Meeting with Simone Dale, Communications Manager at the Wildlands Conservation Trust.

Meeting with Simone Dale, Communications Manager at the Wildlands Conservation Trust.

We talked about how our organizations operate, our goals, guiding principles, programs, fundraising, daily operations, and the challenges we face. It was a thoroughly invigorating meeting—a rare and valuable chance to learn from another non-profit and to share some of our Mono Lake experience.

Full of new ideas and ways of thinking about things, we started on our journey to see St. Lucia, the surrounding area, and some specific project sites in the vicinity. With absolutely no help from our Portuguese-speaking GPS unit, but lots of good information from our guide Charmaine, we traveled up the coast to where St. Lucia meets the Indian Ocean.

One observation that would become critical … more »

Evening Grosbeak

April 29th, 2009 by Mono Lake Committee Staff

Date of sighting: 4/29/2009

Evening Grosbeak at the sunflower feed station this am. Sorry, no picture this time. Been 3 years since the last time he was here. Also at the Lower Twin Lake, black billed magpie, Black throated gray warbler. First time for magpie at the lake. Normally only in town. Northern oriole at the orange half. 23 total species since 4/23/2009

Home Bird feeders

April 27th, 2009 by tdomf_e48ef

Date of sighting: 4/26/09

A good variety of birds visiting my home bird feeders: American Goldfinch, Lesser Gold Finch, Pine Siskin, Cassin Finch, and Steller’s Jay.

It is good to see them all again! Although I heard from Don Banta, a local bird watcher, that he is getting tens of American Goldfinch at his feeders!!!!!!

Chautauqua spotlight: The nature of your garden

April 27th, 2009 by Arya, Communications Director

If you really want to attend the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua, but are finding it hard to tear yourself away from your garden for a June weekend, we’ve got a program just for you! Join expert Alan Pollack, M.D. for his talk “The nature of your garden” to learn a whole new dimension in gardening: wildlife habitat! Alan’s background … more »

Want birds? Just add water.

April 27th, 2009 by Bartshé, Eastern Sierra Policy Director

It’s not that simple of course, but at Owens (dry) Lake, with some water returning via dust mitigation efforts, so are the birds. Here is a recent article from the LA Times about the Owens Lake Big Day, and here are the results, compliments of Mike Prather, Owens Lake Big Day coordinator.  With over 60,000 birds comprising 75 species, there’s more going on than what you can see from Highway 395.

County Park birding

April 23rd, 2009 by tdomf_e48ef

Date of sighting: 4-23-09

This morning from 0745 to 0850 down at County Park, I saw (among other things):

an American Kestrel eating a lizard

Spotted Sandpiper

Hairy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Black-billed Magpie

Flycatcher sp. (only had a quick look at it–they’re tough to ID!)

Violet-green Swallow

House Wrens galore!

Cedar Waxwings

Yellow-rumped Warblers

Spotted Towhee

Song Sparrow

Bullock’s Oriole

Western Meadowlark



Fishing Season opens Saturday April 25th

April 23rd, 2009 by Mono Lake Committee Staff

This post was written by Erika Obedzinski, 2009 Office Director.

At the Lee Vining Chamber of Commerce meeting last Thursday, local resident Martin Strelneck gave an update on conditions for Eastern Sierra Trout Fishing Season Opener, which is this Saturday, April 25th. Mr. Strelneck is also a staff writer for Western Outdoor News; check out his overview on local conditions. Keep an eye on the road and weather conditions, as winter-like conditions may be back this weekend. And if you’re planning to visit Crowley Lake, be aware of the invasive Quagga mussel and remember that boat inspections are required. Be safe and have a great weekend!

Lee Vining students give tributary streams new trees for Earth Day

April 22nd, 2009 by Arya, Communications Director

This morning at 10:00 am students from Lee Vining Elementary school walked from their classroom down to Lee Vining Creek to plant trees for Earth Day. A tradition since 2005, this local Earth Day celebration is a great way to get outside and help out Mono Lake too.

In preparation, students from third, fourth, and fifth grade classes learned how to plant trees yesterday during a hands-on demonstration at school.

Today they carefully … more »

Winter Wren

April 21st, 2009 by tdomf_e48ef

Date of sighting: April 20, 2009

A little Winter Wren sang its fast-paced little song outside the Ice House office of the Committee before skittering into the vegetation to hide behind the garden canoe.

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