October 22, 2015

It's Thursday, and the teams were suppose to scramble team mates.  But, sure enough, the teams scrambled the schedule by keeping their team mates from Wednesday and ignoring the detailed schedule.  Next year, I think we'll put names in a hat and each morning draw names!!!!!
Anyway, all of the apprentices were out yesterday, so they have a little experience with a planning moves, and taking bearings, and maybe even plotting.

Linda and Vick took up the highpoint, Mt. Burdell. While Libby and Emma and Barb and Ron worked the valley floor and searched for other nearby good locations for a signal.  Very quickly the teams determined that Gypsy was in that same location off Manor Rd.  Yeah, roost site confirmed.

At some point during the day, Libby and Emma headed over to Cavedale, a highpoint to the east that covers the ridge to Sonoma/Napa.

The various teams pick up several circling signals.  (A circling signal can be determined by carefully listening to the volume of the signal, and if it is rhythmically loud/soft/loud/soft, then that indicates that the bird is flying in a circle.)  The teams also determined whether the signal was vertical or horizontal.  What does that mean???  The transmitter is glued onto a central tail feather and the antenna extends a couple of inches beyond the end of the tail.  If the tail is mostly horizontal (like when flying) the signal will be stronger when the arms on the antenna are held horizontal.  Similarly, if the tail is mostly vertical (like when the bird is perched), the signal will be stronger when the arms on the antenna are held vertical.  So, there is a lot you can tell about the raptor, even when you can't see him.  That's is one of the benefits of radio-telemetry.

Anyway, back to the trackers.  So, all day long the teams listened and recorded the signal which was coming from Gypsy's transmitter.  And all day long, the two land teams moved around and changed position.  Up to a highpoint, back to the valley floor.  Meanwhile, Linda and Vick remained stationed atop Mt. Burdell, recording relatively steady bearings pointing to the east side of the valley....... south of 116 and near Adobe Rd.  Right where Gypsy was hanging out.

Tonight, everyone goes home, except for Barb. She will be the day leader tomorrow, since she is very familiar with all of the area spots which are good for picking up Gypsy's signal.  But, maybe Gypsy will take off tomorrow for new territory.  Just maybe........

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