Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sunny California

We are in sunny (windy) northern CA right now. We went to Bodega Bay on Wednesday but found out right before we got there that our boat trip was cancelled due to high winds. So we stayed in Bodega Bay that night. Found a gift shop/video rental store so we could watch a movie other than the ones we brought that night.

The next day we drove down to Monterey area. We decided to go find the California Condor. See picture above. We tried going to the the place that we were told you could see it, but missed the turn. Then we got caught in a traffic jam on Pacific Coast Highway, there was lots of construction. We turned around and a car was close behind me so I pulled into a pullout. We decided it had great views so we got out to take pictures. The car behind us pulled in behind us. Then the girl in the car pulled out a tracking device. Bill got all excited and we all strolled over to talk to her. And yes, she was tracking the Condors. But alas, none were in range. She did tell us that where we were going the Condors had not been seen this year. But right where we were standing they were being seen, but dusk was the best time for it. Bryan was determined we were to go to Pfeiffer Beach where we were told. So we drove down a winding narrow road to it. We got down there and the wind was wicked. We were blown out of there. So we then went to another park and birded there. Saw a great flock of California Quail.

By then we decided we could go back to the original place we had been. I thought we were going to the next pullout and Bill told me to turn around. Just when I did, Bryan spotted the Condor. We got the the pullout and jumped out of the car. For 30 minutes the Condor flew over us, and down to the water, back up, all around. A couple of other cars had stopped for the view and were treated to a nice show. One couple from Colorado went back to their car, then returned with there email address asking us to please email them a picture. They enjoyed seeing the Condor very much.

The Condor was almost extinct and they were all brought in from the wild for about 10 years and now they are making a comeback. This was a treat for all of us. I had seen one in Arizona last year, but it was just a zoom by. Bill and Bryan had not seen one in person.

1 comment:

Yadira said...

Ellen and Bill. This is a fantastic story. I can relate. Earlier this year I was on the lookout for the California condor in Monterey as well. On our first day we found none. On our second day we were blown away when we saw several birds flying over head. It's quite a site and I share in your enthusiasm. You can find blogs, photos and video of our search at www.cacondorconservation.org. Thanks for sharing!