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Archive for April, 2016

Falcon Watch Report - I have some catching up to do! - 4/22/16

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Hello everyone!  Sorry for the delay!

I was out last weekend (4/16 & 4/17).  There was the normal activity by our downtown falcons Beauty and Dot.ca.  During the day they take turns in the nest, incubating the eggs.  So what we watchers see on the street is their comings and goings.  lol

There was one thing of interest that happened on April 16th (Saturday).  Watchers Dana and Dan were on Aqueduct St (aka “the hole”) when a young juvie falcon flew over and a circled above the Times Square Bldg.  There was no aggression by either Beauty or Dot.ca.  It stayed in the area for a short while, but never landed.  Dana and I looked for the juvie, but never did find it. Here are a couple of pictures that Dana took of the juvie.

Juvie Peregrine Falcon Over TSB by Dana 4-16-16

Here are some pictures I took last weekend.  There’s even one of either Billie or Seth at Seneca Towers on the north end window ledge.

Saturday, April 16, 2015

Beauty on OCSR -4-16-16TV Flyover -4-16-16DC on OCSR -4-16-16

DC Off OCSR -4-16-16DC on Metal Work Between Wings on TSB -4-16-16DC on TSB -4-16-16

ST Falcon -4-16-16

Sunday, April 17, 2016

DC to Nest Box -4-17-16Beauty Flyover -4-17-16Beauty on Base of Mercury with Food -4-17-16

Beauty on Base of Mercury -4-17-16Beauty to OCSR -4-17-16The Three Amigos aka Starlings -4-17-16

Beauty into the Nest Box -4-17-16Dot.ca Out of the Nest Box -4-17-16Dot.ca on NE Wing Ledge TSB -4-17-16

Friday, April 22, 2016 (1:00 pm - 3:00 pm)

Yesterday, I went downtown for a falcon watch.  It was a beautiful spring day.  When I arrived, Dot.ca was on the top Ibeam of OCSR and Beauty was in the nest box on the eggs.  At 1:21 pm, DC flew to the nest box and in.  Beauty came out, flew around a bit, stretching her wings, and then landed on the Mercury statue’s foot.

Beauty took off.  I went to look for her and when I returned to the Broad St Bridge, she was on the top Ibeam of OCSR.  Again she took off, this time on a hunt over the river.  Pigeons scattered everywhere!  All was peaceful and quiet for our downtown pair.

Here are a couple of pictures I got before my old Kodak camera decided to bite the dust.  The good news is, I was able to “fix” it last night.  I know it’s on it’s way to the old camera graveyard, but I’m trying to keep it “alive” for as long as I can.  :)

DC on OCSR -4-22-16DC to Nest Box -4-22-16

It was such a beautiful day on Thursday (4/21), that watchers Lisa McK, Brian H, Susan C and I decided to take a trip to Braddock Bay to check out the migration.  Lots of Sharp-shinned Hawks passing over.  We also had a few Kestrels, Osprey, and a Red-shouldered Hawk (juvie).  We also had the good luck to see two male Harriers, the beautiful gray ghosts flying together over the marsh in front of us along with a female.  Lots of fellow birders were gathered to see the sight!

Braddock Bay Hawk Watch -4-21-16

I’ll end my report with this beautiful picture of Beauty and Dot.ca in the nest box that our main camera caught.  Enjoy!

4-21-16-B&DC in Nest Box -maincamera_20160421-174900

Sunday Falcon Watch - 3rd Falcon Downtown - 4/10/16

Monday, April 11th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

I arrived downtown at 8:00 am and quickly found a falcon on the south side of OCSR’s top IBeam.  It turned out to be Beauty, thanks to a heads up from on line watcher Donna that Dot.ca was inside the nest box on the eggs.  My watch started with bright sunshine and a very cold 25 degrees (F).  At 8:20 am, Beauty took off and slowly flew around to the north side of OCSR.

Beauty on OCSR -4-10-16

I waited to see if she would return.  When she didn’t, I drove over to the Andrews St Bridge (ASB).  From there I spotted her on the Ellwanger and Barry Bldg on State St.  I believe she was caching a meal there.  I drove over for a closer look, but she took off before I could take a picture.  Beauty headed back towards OCSR.

Back on the Broad St Bridge (BSB).  From there I could see that Beauty had returned to the top IBeam on OCSR (8:40 am). About 10 minutes later, she took off and flew up to the nest box.  Very quickly, Dot.ca flew out and took her place on OCSR, 2nd IBeam down.

Beauty Takes Off From OCSR -4-10-16Beauty to Nest Box -4-10-16Dot.ca on OCSR -4-10-16

Dot.ca took off and took the same route that Beauty had earlier, slowly flying around the east end of OCSR to the north side.  I again waited to see if he would return.  I headed back over to the ASB and found Dot.ca on the Ellwanger and Barry Bldg.  This time I made it over to State St in time to see that he was eating Pigeon leftovers.  Probably what Beauty cached there.

Dot.ca on Ellwanger and Barry Bldg from ASB -4-10-16DC on Ellwanger and Barry Bldg -4-10-16

DC on Ellwanger and Barry Bldg -4-10-16DC on Ellwanger and Barry Bldg -4-10-16

Dot.ca finished his meal and headed back towards OCSR.  From the Broad St Bridge, I found him on the top Ibeam of OCSR.

Dot.ca on OCSR -4-10-16

Dot.ca was in hunt mode, scanning the sky to the south.  At 10:00 am, he took off and went on a hunt over the river.  Pigeons scattered everywhere.  He was unsuccessful and returned to OCSR.  Still keeping an eye on the Pigeons locals below him.

The Pigeon Line-up on TR - 4-10-16

At 10:40 am, Dot.ca took off, this time heading west.  The search was on.  From the ASB, I saw a falcon on the Frontier Communication Tower’s (FCT) northeast corner box.  Based on size, I believe that it was Dot.ca.

Dot.ca I think on FCT -4-10-16

While I was driving towards FCT, Dot.ca took off, but I didn’t see which direction he took.

Fellow Falcon Watcher Dana had texted me, letting me know that she was heading over to Seneca Towers.  I decided it was time to check on Billie and Seth.  As I was approaching Kodak Office, I spotted a falcon up on the northeast corner of the launch pad.  Hmmm, that was unusual.  I hadn’t seen Beauty or Dot.ca over here in quite awhile.  It looked like Dot.ca.

Dot.ca on Kodak Tower -4-10-16

I drove further down and parked in front of the RG&E BeeBee Station.  From there I spotted another falcon on the northeast corner of Kodak Office’s Bldg 20.  A quick check to make sure Dot.ca was still above on the launch pad.  Yep!  Was this Beauty? I texted out a question, was Beauty still on the eggs?  Immediately Lisa and Pat got back to me.  Yes, Beauty was still in the nest box!  This was a 3rd falcon.  Clouds had moved in and the lighting was horrible.  My big lens friend Dana was on her way.  :)

3rd Falcon on NE Corner of KO Bldg 20 -4-10-16

Based on size, I was pretty sure this was a female.  She stretched and I saw a hint of red on her band.

3rd Falcon on KO Bldg 20 Red Band? -20-4-10-16

Dot.ca was gone.  Pat texted that he was now in the nest box on the eggs and Beauty was gone.  Dana had arrived.

At noon, a falcon flew over high above, circled and headed back to the south.  The falcon on Bldg 20 moved down the ledge and started to vocalize loudly.  When she left the corner, a Crow flew down and landed there.  There was a bit of food there and the Crow took some of it.

3rd Falcon on KO Bldg 20 -4-10-16

She continued to vocalize and then moved back out to the corner.  From there she took off heading south, low in front of the buildings.  Dana and I met up and discussed what we had seen.  We were fairly sure this was a young female.  She had a lot of adult plumage, but you could still see a juvie brown feather here and there.  It reminded me of the first time we saw Rhea Mae at the Sheraton, adult and juvie plumage mixed together.  We were also pretty sure she had red tape over her USFW silver band and the other band was black/black.

Dana checked her pictures last night and was able to verify that we were correct.  But, due to lighting, she was unable to see any numbers/letters on the black/black band.  This was the same band color combination that was on the intruding female at the Buffalo, NY, Statler nest box on April 4th.  Could this be Tessa, banded in 2014 at Mississauga, Holcim, daughter of Caspian and the late Storm?  I’m just really sorry we couldn’t have verified her band #’s.

The good news is, if this was Tessa, she survived her fight at the Statler nest box.  She did not look like she was injured.

Here is a collage of pictures of the 3rd falcon that Dana took yesterday.

Dana's Collage of 3rd Falcon Tessa???-4-10-16

Dana and I tried to find the 3rd falcon, but had no luck.  We returned to the Broad St Bridge and found Dot.ca on the south side of OCSR on the top IBeam.  Beauty was back in the nest box on the eggs.

DC on OCSR -4-10-16

All was quiet and peaceful downtown.  Hopefully the other female we saw at Kodak Office will moved on and leave our downtown pair to their egg sitting.

Dana and I continued our falcon watch at Seneca Towers.  We parked in our usual spot across the river from the high rise apartments.  At first we saw no falcons, but then we heard vocalizations.  There was now a falcon on the bridge.  I’m pretty sure that it was Billie.  Fellow watcher Pat joined us.

Billie on ST Bridge -4-10-16Billie on ST Bridge -4-10-16Billie on ST Bridge - Poop Shot! -4-10-16

All was quiet and peaceful at Seneca Towers.  It was time to end my Sunday Falcon Watch!

A special thanks to Donna, Lisa and Pat for their help!

Syracuse Falcon Watch - Pigott and George! - 4/6/16

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been to Syracuse to visit with our girl Pigott and her mate George.  Since it’s been quiet here in Rochester, fellow falcon watcher Lisa McK and I decided to check on them!

We left Rochester just before 8:00 am.  It was an overcast day and it was cold.  A perfect day for a road trip.  :)

Usually we visit Syracuse on a weekend, so it was a little more busy than we were used to.  At first, we could not find any falcons.  Finally after driving around the area, we spotted a falcon on the corner of the railing on the Verizon Bldg.  Based on size we believed that this was a male.

George on Verizon -4-6-16George on Verizon -4-6-16

Before I go on, we are assuming that we were watching Pigott and George.  We were never close enough to see bands to get a positive ID.

We found a spot to park where we could see both the nest box on the State Bldg and George on the Verizon Bldg.

Syracuse Nest Box -4-6-16

We could not see into the nest box to see if Pigott was there.  It wasn’t long before George took off and flew over us, landing on the Bank of America Bldg.

George on Bank of America -4-6-16

George was looking every which-way.  He was definitely in hunt mode.  He took off heading towards Rte 690 behind us and stooped!  Pigeons scattered in all directions.  George did not come back into view and we thought his hunt had been successful.

About 10 minutes later, we heard a Peregrine loudly calling above us.  It was George and he was carrying food.  Would Pigott appear? Yes!  She came flying out of the nest box and joined George.  She quickly caught up to him and went talons up.  A classic food transfer!

Just Before Pigott & George Food Exchange -4-6-16

George flew up to the nest box and Pigott took her meal to a corner of Syracuse’s City Hall.

George Flew Up to the Nest Box -4-6-16Pigott with Food on City Hall -4-6-16

Now we knew.  Pigott and George were incubating eggs in their nest box on the State Bldg.  Since their cameras are off, there is no way to know how many eggs they may have.

After finishing her meal, she cached the remainder on the Verizon sign.  She then flew up to the same railing we had first seen George.

Pigott Caching Food on Verizon Sign -4-6-16Pigott on Verizon -4-6-16

Pigott then took off and flew back to the State Bldg, landing near the nest box.

Pigott Near Nest Box -4-6-16Pigott Near Nest Box -4-6-16

Pigott remained there for awhile, preening and keeping watch.  She then flew down to the nest box.  There was a changing of the guard as George flew out.

Pigott to the Nest Box -4-6-16George Out of the Nest Box -4-6-16

George settled on the State Bldg, close to where Pigott had been.

George Near Nest Box -4-6-16George on State Bldg -4-6-16

We left them for awhile and returned to find George back on the Bank of America.

This was our view of the State Bldg.

Our View of the State Bldg -4-6-16

Lisa and I were very happy to have seen both Pigott and George.  To verify that, based on behavior, they were incubating eggs in their nest box.  There had been reports of a territorial battle recently.  All was quiet and peaceful.

On our way home, we took the long way to Montezuma and saw many different birds and critters.  Including a beautiful male Harrier aka Gray Ghost, hunting over a farmer’s field.  Also an Osprey on a nest and a couple of Bald Eagles.  Oh, and this Groundhog, aka swear word.  lol

Swear Word -4-6-16

Saturday Falcon Watch - All Quiet and Peaceful - 4/2/16

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

I went out for a short falcon watch this morning and met up with fellow falcon watchers Lisa McK, Kathy O and Dana.  When I first arrived, Beauty was on the base of Mercury finishing a meal.  She took off and flew in front of OCSR heading west.  We moved down to Aqueduct St (aka “the hole”) to see if we could find her.

Beauty on Base of Mercury -4-2-16

From the hole, Dana was the first one to spot a Turkey Vulture under attack over the river.  It was Beauty and she was escorting the big, graceful bird out of her territory.  A large flock of pigeons was up and flying, hoping she wasn’t on the hunt.  Beauty flew over us and landed on the top Ibeam of OCSR.

Beauty Fly Over -4-2-16Beauty on OCSR -4-2-16

It was very cold, but the sun was shining brightly.  Beauty was enjoying the sun, stretching and preening.  She took off and flew over us, heading towards the Times Square Bldg.  She landed on the corner of the nest box platform.

Beauty Flyover Heading Towards TSB -4-2-16Beauty at the Nest Box -4-2-16

Dot.ca was inside the nest box on the eggs and she was in no hurry to take over.  For quite awhile she remained on the platform looking in at Dot.ca.  Then she moved to the nest box perch.  Dot.ca was in no hurry to leave.  When the time was right, he flew out and over to the top Ibeam of OCSR.

DC on OCSR -4-2-16DC on OCSR -4-2-16

We hung out for awhile. All was quiet and peaceful, so we ended our watch with Beauty in the nest box on the eggs and Dot.ca sunning and preening on OCSR.

Love a quiet falcon watch!  :)


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