Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015
It was a Great Day in the Headlands today. The Hawkwatch counted more than 1,000 raptors, and the banders provided 2 Broad-winged Hawks..... well, they caught two Broadwings for us, but we could only accept one. And so, the journey with Journey (our "J" bird) began. Chris Briggs and Kris and Laura efficiently handled the retrieval of Journey from Hawk Blind (thanks banders) and application of the transmitter, while David and Lynn fought morning traffic.
Of the four Broad-winged Hawks we've already followed, Journey is the only one which was determined to continue its long distance migration after release. Libby and Maxine on Twin Peaks were kept busy all afternoon as Journey moved past their location..... somewhat slowly. Maybe there was an early afternoon stop or a lunch or pit stop, but it looked like Journey was going to remain in SF for the first nights' Roost. However, in the mid-afternoon their bearings started to swing to the east and then southward.
Bill, solo, was driver, and tracker, and communicator and recorder. In otherwords, Bill wore all of the hats available. Unfortunately, we are short on staff, so today Bill did it all. Tomorrow, Maxine will join Bill.
David and Lynn began at the release site, just below Hawk Hill in the parking area. Then they set up a position near Kirby Cove, where Journey took his first break from the flight path within the trees of the cove. Within a half hour he was again up and flying. While keeping track of Journey, David spotted Ferrug, and multiple Broadwings, Red-shouldered Hawks, plus bunches of little Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks. When Journey flew over the Golden Gate, the team headed southward through San Francisco to try to get ahead of him. But, that wasn't Journey's plan. He zipped eastward and to the Bay side of Maxine and Libby. Oh, gee,..... we're headed to the west side. We pulled over and took a bearing and then followed that bearing towards downtown SF. We lost the signal, but looked up to see another Broadwing flying right overhead.... of course, it was not our Journey. While trying to regain the signal, we pulled off into a side street and looked for a parking place, only to find Bill had beat us to the spot. We headed on to the East Bay, with no further signals from Yerba Buena Island, or any East Bay highpoints.
Tomottow, Libby will be back to work, and Mike will be coming on. Mike will have to wear all of the hats.... Driver, Tracker, Commnicator and Recorded because he will be working solo.
If an experienced GGRO Tracker would like to join the effort..... Just let me know. But be quick, because by Sunday, we anticipate that Journey will be approaching the Mexican Border. Will Journey's adventure be delayed due to weather. Stayed tuned to hear more about this Journey.