Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Condor Quest


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 kozmik111

kozmik111

    kozmik111

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1281 posts

Posted 02 January 2011 - 12:20 PM

Recently I had been noticing on various nature programs that sightings of California Condors have been increasing along the California coast on Highway One. Having driven this section of the coast many times and not ever seeing a Condor I was intrigued. There has been a series of storms this fall and winter in Central California, and last Thursday Dec. 30th was a day between storms. So I decided that I would drive down the coast and investigate this possibility of seeing Condors. So I called a friend who I bird with on occasion and we drove down the coast. It was a sunny but very windy day. One of the areas where the Condors had been spotted was Julia Pfeifer Burns State Park.  We went there and did not see any Condors so we walked out on the cliffs that overlook the ocean. Here is a shot of the coast looking south.

Attached Files



#2 kozmik111

kozmik111

    kozmik111

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1281 posts

Posted 02 January 2011 - 12:21 PM

to the north... as you can see a rugged and beautiful coast.

Attached Files



#3 kozmik111

kozmik111

    kozmik111

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1281 posts

Posted 02 January 2011 - 12:24 PM

As we are sitting there wondering where the Condors are, I saw what looked liked a puff of smoke over the ocean. It was a migrating Grey Whale.

Attached Files



#4 kozmik111

kozmik111

    kozmik111

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1281 posts

Posted 02 January 2011 - 12:25 PM

A little closer(but of course a little more out of focus).

Attached Files



#5 kozmik111

kozmik111

    kozmik111

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1281 posts

Posted 02 January 2011 - 12:31 PM

So after the excitement of seeing the whales, we went to the picnic area of the park to have lunch. Walking into the main part of the park I saw a large bird flying at the ridgline very high up. I said to my friend I thought it might be one but it was hard to see and we both said it was inconclusive. After we ate we walked back out to where the truck was parked. On the way there we ran into a woman with a spotting scope and a large antenna. Of course I had to ask if she was looking for Condors and she was. She said she had seen one about twenty minutes earlier up by the ridge. So we started heading north, and about five miles up the road we saw two large dark birds on the coast side of the highway. We instantly pulled over, got out, and sure enough there they were. Large majestic birds, it was an awesome experience.

Attached Files



#6 kozmik111

kozmik111

    kozmik111

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1281 posts

Posted 02 January 2011 - 12:33 PM

A third one showed up and they playfully floated in the 30 mi plus gust that were buffeting the coast. Another look.

Attached Files



#7 kozmik111

kozmik111

    kozmik111

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1281 posts

Posted 02 January 2011 - 12:37 PM

They got fairly close and then they started to rise in the sky and they just disappeared behind the first ridgeline and that was it. But it was a great day in a great part of the planet...think I will go back soon.

Attached Files



#8 cairnstone

cairnstone

    cairnstone

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1050 posts

Posted 02 January 2011 - 12:54 PM

 

Amazing kozmik111



#9 Curlybird

Curlybird

    Curlybird

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4763 posts
  • LocationSouthern California

Posted 02 January 2011 - 01:08 PM

Wow!!!  Congrats on finding this great bird!!

I have a favor to ask you - could you please send these guys on down the coast to Orange County?  I would be much obliged. Wink



#10 Bird Whisperer

Bird Whisperer

    Bird Whisperer

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1863 posts

Posted 02 January 2011 - 01:16 PM

Oh, that sounds like such an awesome experience! Congratulations! I'm in awe at the beauty of these birds, and I especially love that you can see the tags on their wings. I'm so happy that the Condor population is rising.


#11 Liam

Liam

    Osprey Fanatic

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 20764 posts
  • LocationHephzibah, GA

Posted 02 January 2011 - 03:44 PM

Awesome! Congrats on the great experience and photos. What a beautiful bird too! Smile


#12 zoutedrop

zoutedrop

    zoutedrop

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5853 posts
  • LocationChandler, AZ

Posted 02 January 2011 - 05:07 PM

Fantastic.  I have never targeted a bird so this is very interesting.  Looks like you had a great trip on top of an excellent lifebird.


#13 lyceel

lyceel

    Order of the Green Heron

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5320 posts
  • LocationLos Gatos, CA

Posted 02 January 2011 - 05:44 PM

Sounds like a good day of birding!  Congratulations on the find, and great photos, too!

I had the privilege of spotting a Condor while I was at the Grand Canyon in 2005.  Just one.  I saw him down in the canyon and watched him as he rode the thermals way up into the sky.  I wasn't birding yet, but even then I knew they were endangered and I was seeing something special.  One interesting thing I learned on that trip is that Condors almost never flap their wings.  They take off, spread their wings, and just soar and ride the air currents.

I'm also very encouraged that you were able to go out and find one.  It seems to say that the the Condor's recovery program is having some measure of success.  With any luck, we'll be able to see them for years to come.

 

Here's a photo I got of my Condor down in the Canyon...



#14 kozmik111

kozmik111

    kozmik111

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1281 posts

Posted 03 January 2011 - 06:27 PM

Lyceel, I love your shot of a Condor. The fact that it is such a large bird but so dwarfed by the canyon, amazing.  I went to the Grand Canyon a few years ago and all I saw was Ravens and Mountain Chickadees.

#15 Seattle

Seattle

    Seattle

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2086 posts
  • LocationNorth Bend. WA

Posted 03 January 2011 - 07:23 PM

This is one of the release sites in Utah.  There were several in the area but this is as close as we could get to them.  I wish I could have gotten as close as you did nice pictures.



#16 treehstn

treehstn

    treehstn

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 99 posts
  • LocationLakewood, Washington

Posted 03 January 2011 - 09:06 PM

What an amazing story!  I think I'm going to have to put the Condor on my list of goals for the next year or two.  Fantastic photos!!  Thank you so much for sharing.


#17 guy_incognito

guy_incognito

    guy_incognito

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4567 posts
  • LocationSo Cal

Posted 28 May 2011 - 06:32 AM

I too saw 2 or 3 at the Grand Canyon about 3 years ago.  Thinking back, that experience kind of started my interest in identifying birds, but which didn't start in earnest until a year ago when I finally got a decent camera.

 

PS - you should add your CA Condor pics to the birds of NA thread.  I got a few, but yours are way better.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users