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Falcon Fledge Watch - No, Not Yet! (4:00 to 8:30 pm) - 7/27/12

To Fledge or Not to Fledge, That is the Question - NOT! - 7/27/12

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Watchers Tonight Between 4:00 & 8:30 pm: Marcia, Dan S, Dana, Aaron, Joyce, Jeanne and Carol P.

On my way out of work today, I spotted what appeared to be a Falcon on the water tower in front of my building. Could it be a Peregrine. Seemed big enough, but very dark. Hmmm, maybe a juvie? I parked on the side of the road and took some pictures. Not a Peregrine, but a very beautiful Merlin. Nice! OK, onward.

I arrived downtown at approximately 4:00 pm, just as MAK and Lynda were leaving. Marcia was down at the bottom of the stairway at Falcon Central sitting in a very narrow strip of shade. At that time of day, if there are no clouds, it can be really hot. You are looking directly into the sun.

As I was saying goodbye to MAK and Lynda, a falcon flew past the Times Square Bldg (TSB), heading south. Had to be Beauty since Dot.ca was up at the base of the NE wing of the TSB and Orion was at the nest box.

After they left, I joined Marcia, sharing her narrow strip of shade. Nothing happened for the first hour. But we did get a lot of visitors when the visiting Jehovah Witnesses finished their day at the Blue Cross Arena.

At 5:00 pm, Dot.ca started to hunt. He took off heading towards the river and returned to the TSB. Then he took off again and ended up on the top IBeam of the OCSR. During all of this, Orion could be heard yelling encouragement from above.

While Dot.ca rested on the top IBeam, Marcia and I walked around a bit. We finally found Beauty. She was up high on the jail’s communication tower, facing the TSB. Not far at all, but continuing to stay at a distance, I think due to her molt. She remained there for a couple hours before taking off. We did not see where she ended up.

At 6:18 pm, I received a text from Ei and Kathy O at almost the same exact time. Orion was on top of the nest box! Marcia and I walked further back and saw him up there, flapping away. We stayed where we could see him, just in case he decided to fledge. At that time we were joined by Dana and Dan S. We all watched as he flutter, flew down to the platform in front of the nest box. He ran around a bit and finally settled down.

At 6:40 pm, Dot.ca took off heading south, fast! He returned empty taloned and again landed at the base of the SE wing on the TSB. He stayed there until about 7:30 pm and STOOPED down the face of the TSB! Whoa! Second night in a row! So cool! This time he was not as lucky as he had been last night. He came up, again empty taloned, and landed on Mercury’s head. The whole time he was there, his head was in constant motion, swing left then right then up and down and PREEN! Oh, now an itch! Stretch a wing, now a foot. Stare down at the pesky Watcher taking pictures from way below. Loud noise! Jump! What was that! and that screaming from my boy! :-)

At approximately 7:30 pm, he took off and headed back to the TSB, landing at the base of the SE wing. Orion greeted him, loudly. In the meantime, we were joined by Joyce, Jeanne and Aaron.

Dan decided to watch from the middle of the Broad St Bridge, while the rest of us remained up closer to the building. Dan loves to watch them hunt and fly over the river and when Dot.ca took off, again heading south, Dan was the only one that could tell us where he went.

According to Dan, Dot.ca made a slow stoop over the Cornhill area, but did not catch anything. D.C. continued to fly higher and higher, heading further south. We did not see him return and wondered if he might have gone over to the Brighton Site to visit with Pigott. There was no way to know for sure.

At 8:00 pm, all of us decided to call it a night, except for Dan and Jeanne, who continued the Fledge Watch out on the BSB. I said my goodbyes with a promise to be early downtown tomorrow morning.

So, no fledge by Orion today, but it is definitely going to happen soon. Will it be tomorrow? Or maybe Sunday. I really do think it will be sometime this weekend. That little guy is ready to join his parents. To explore the world outside his small little nest box. I do love seeing these beautiful creatures learn to fly! That’s why I always keep my eyes to the sky! ;-)

On the way home, I drove around downtown to try to find Beauty, but had no luck. I did find KPT at KP sitting on the catwalk on the west smokestack.

Until tomorrow!

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