1/28/2016: Hiking Pinnacles National Park

I hate driving to work for a meeting.  Four hours in the car for a 2 hour meeting.  And, no matter how long the list of things to do that I made, no matter how motivated I was in the car, I am exhausted when I finally get home.  Years ago, I decided to make the trip productive.  Get everything done in the area since that I needed to do.  Shopping, errands, research, whatever.  Except, nothing needed to be done and I just drove home instead.

The Pinnacles

This time, I threw the camera in the car in anticipation of a hike in Pinnacles National Park to find Condors.  After last weeks disappointing journey to see Bald Eagles, Hiking Santa Margarita Lake, I did not go with high hopes.  In fact, I’ve been to Pinnacles over a dozen times without seeing Condors.  Why would I see them this time?

Not that I have a special affinity for Condors.  But, I remember in grade school when the last of the Condors was taken out of the wild.  Then, living in San Diego, I remember the success of the captive breeding program at the Wild Animal Park.  And finally, I remember their reintroduction into the wild and the efforts that went into making that a success.

As I got out of the car near the Chaparral Picnic Area, I could see a flock of large black birds circling to the south side of the peaks.  I still did not want to get my hopes up and told myself that they were Turkey Vultures.  However, as I approached the peak, I knew that I was seeing Condors for the first time.  While not the prettiest, their size is massive. And they were right there!  Focused on getting a photograph of one sitting on a rock, 3 flew 10′ over my head from the rear.  The sound of the wind over their wings was incredible!  I wished I had more hands, more cameras, and could see all directions at once.

14 Comments on “1/28/2016: Hiking Pinnacles National Park

  1. Great post peter. The park looks really pretty. Love the rock formations. Reminds me of those in Joshua tree park for some reason.

    Love the condors. I don’t recall ever seeing any in the wild. They are not the prettiest of birds but they are interesting looking and have a beautiful wingspan. Did you here them “tweet?” I can’t say I know what sound they make.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Patty. It’s been years since I have written anything but reports. I hope that it is not too technical.


  2. Amazing shots and incredible to see these awesome birds flying and standing and posing for you to take photos of them. Fantastic post and had to finish reading till the end and look back at the photos. Incredible large wing span and it look like a plane. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week.


    • Thank you. Not only was their size amazing while soaring, but to hear the rush of air across their wings was incredible. It was a great experience to see them.

      Liked by 1 person

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