Quest Rings In 2009 at the Beach


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Quest spent the final days of 2008 in Tom Nevers, where she was a hit with a number of area birders. We received detailed descriptions of her movements from several people including noted Nantucket Birding experts Edith Andrews and Ken Blackshaw. Others have posted their sightings in the comments of the Quest update we posted on the 28th.

Here’s Edith’s account of seeing Quest on the 27th of December. She’s keeping up with Quest in her newspaper column that appears in the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror:

In spite of rain and fog Nantucket had a good Christmas Bird Count on December 27. It was warm – temperature in the 50s and the wind was moderate SW. A relief from the gale we had during the week. One hundred and thirty-four species were seen by thirty-nine participants. Last year we had 130 species with over 50 participants. The grand total of individuals is three hundred and thirty-nine thousand and seven hundred and seventy.

One of the highlights was Quest, the Peregrine Falcon from Rochester, N.Y. She was seen and photographed at Tom Nevers in the morning and in the afternoon she was seen on the west side of Miacomet Pond, perched on the house with the name of “Full House” and then flew off, came back and perched on the ridgepole of the house next door named “Sandcastle”. She sat there quite a while, shifting her feet, turned around and looked at us. The antenna protruding from her back was very obvious, her feathers looked wet and bedraggled. It is exciting to think she is staying here on Nantucket. She was raised in a box on the Kodak Tower in Rochester, N.Y. When she fledged she flew down to the ground in the midst of traffic but she flew up and back to the Tower and was fed by her wild parents before taking off in an easterly direction.

We were fortunate to receive several pictures of Quest from the 27th as well, including this one from Rob Culbert:
Quest on Nantucket 27 December 2008 by Rob Culbert
Her appearance in this photograph fits very well with the accounts we’ve read. She looks like she’s in good shape considering the winter weather on Nantucket. We’re grateful to Falconcam team member Carol Phillps for connecting with Edith and Ken. We also extend our sincere thanks to everyone who has reported seeing Quest. Keep those sightings coming!

Quest took the opportunity of the new year to head up the coast, where it appears that she spent the day at the beach. A strong signal from the afternoon on New Year’s Day placed her on Atlantic Street/Baxter Road, a couple hundred meters from the Sankaty Head Lighthouse, and just east of the Sankaty Head Golf Club. The following day brought her back to the north end of the Tom Nevers neighborhood. It appears that she spent the night in the woodland near 27 Norwood Street.

She definitely seems to have found a home in Tom Nevers. Presumably there is sufficient shelter and food nearby to provide some level of comfort for her. We’re looking forward to seeing how she passes the rest of the winter, and hopeful that 2009 will be an exciting year for Quest!

-Jess

10 Responses to “Quest Rings In 2009 at the Beach”

  1. caye says:

    how far is she from Rochester,ny?

  2. dale says:

    Thanks so much Carol and Jess.

  3. Birdlover says:

    493 miles – or a 9.5 hour drive by car taking the speedy route :)

  4. Carol P. says:

    I contacted noted birders Ken and Edith as soon as I saw that Quest was on Nantucket. They were ecstatic to have such a noted visitor on their island and couldn’t wait to find her. They did during their Christmas Bird Count. It was raining and very windy when they spotted her. A little bedraggled looking, but looking pretty good considering. Thanks to Edith and Ken for keeping their eyes to the sky and reporting this wonderful news. – Carol P.

  5. Kathy V says:

    Thank you so much to all who have reported seeing Quest. I am glad to hear she is doing well, I only wish she had company on her travels. Hate seeing her alone. I also hope she can keep well in the coming days. Take care Quest…keep warm.

  6. Barbara says:

    Thanks to all for the on-going reports of Quest remaining in that area of the country. Fascinating testimonials that she is from such good stock and so well-trained for survival by her parents.
    Happy New Year to All,
    Barbara
    (Los Angeles)

  7. Melissa in MA says:

    Good to get a recent picture of her! Poor thing, she looks
    a bit rough around the edges, but also big and healthy!
    Thanks to all those who are keeping us posted on her whereabouts!

  8. Maureen in MA says:

    Great news to start 2009, and a picture to go along with the news. What more could one ask! :D Thank you to everyone for your continued reports and tireless efforts in following Quest!

  9. Vernon Laux says:

    I watched Quest hunt at Low Beach this afternoon, Jan. 6, 2009 @ 1500 hrs. Please send me an email and I will forward the story and pictures of Quest catching and eating a Dovekie just before the storm.
    Best-Vern

  10. Kathy V says:

    I love seeing photos of Quest and knowing how she is doing and her where abouts, but I think alot of her siblings too, and wonder how they are.