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Eyes to the Skies

Archive for May, 2009

Falcon Watch – Sunday – 5/24/09 (1:30 – 3:30 pm)

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

There have been so many Watchers making their way to the new location of Archer and Beauty’s nest site over the past few days, including Lisa McK, Kathy O, Shaky, Dan S, Larry O, Dawn, Joyce, Lucy, Kelly (I’m sure I’m forgetting someone.)

Today I spent two hours Watching with Suzanne and Don from Ithaca. A very beautiful day!

When I first arrived, I couldn’t find any Watchers or Falcons. Just as I was pulling out of the Frontier parking lot, a familiar car was pulling in. It was our friends Suzanne and Don from Ithaca. They followed me over to Broad St and the north side of HSBC. We parked our cars and walked up to the corner of Chestnut and Broad, where we had a good view of the east side of Midtown Plaza.

Beauty flew in from the north side of Midtown and landed first on the top, NE corner. She then flew over to the top, SE corner where she settled in for a preening session.

We settled down on the cement curbing in front of HSBC to enjoy the day and the Watch.

We watched Beauty preen and the pigeons across the street. The males were strutting after their females, looking like puffed up body builders.  The girls weren’t impressed.

Back to watching Beauty. Finally she took off and flew down to the nest ledge.  She sat there for a good 1/2 hour, again preening, before jumping down into the nest gutter. Archer popped up and flew out from the ledge.

Archer circled above us, first heading towards the fire escape on the Columbus Bldg and then heading back to Midtown Plaza where he landed on the top SE corner. It was now his turn to preen and relax.

It was 3:30 pm. and time for us to leave. I said my goodbyes to Suzanne & Don, wished them a safe trip home and then headed home myself. Another wonderful Falcon Watching Day.

Carol P.

Falcon Watch – 5/19/09 (12:30 – 2:15 pm)

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Another beautiful day for a Falcon Watch.  Temperatures in the 70’s, blue sky and sunshine.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

Today’s Watchers were Dan S, Lisa McK, Larry O and Carol P.

During today’s Watch, it was Beauty’s turn to stretch her wings.  Twice she thrilled us with daring stoops on the local pigeon population.  She was unsuccessful both times, but it was nice seeing her hunt.

Beauty flew behind the Columbus Bldg (NE of Midtown Plaza) and we didn’t see her come back around.  We could only assume that she landed on one of the lower buildings.

When I left at 2:15 pm, I was unable to find Beauty.  Archer never made an appearance, so he was probably taking a turn at incubating the eggs.

Tomorrow promises to be even warmer than today.

Carol P. 

Falcon Watch – 5/18/09 – (12:30 – 3:00pm)

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Dan S joined me for today’s Watch.  Archer was on top of Midtown on the SE corner when I first arrived.

At 12:40 pm, Archer flew down to the nest ledge and Beauty came out, Archer taking her place on the supposed eggs.  Beauty flew over to the fire escape on the Columbus Bldg.  She remained there until 1:30 pm, when she flew back to sit on the nest ledge, preening.  She is a dark beauty.  🙂

For the next 45 minutes, Beauty remained on the ledge, while Archer continued to incubate the eggs. 

At 2:15 pm, Archer and Beauty switched places and Archer flew out to the fire escape on the Columbus Bldg.  When Archer left Midtown, he actually went into a stoop on the neighborhood pigeons on the lower buildings east of Midtown.  He was not successful in catching any of them, but he sure did wake them up.  LOL

I left a little past 3:00 pm.

Carol P.

Falcon Watch Weekend – 5/16 & 5/17/09

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

Just a quick update of what went on this weekend.

Saturday – 5/16/09 – 10:30 am -12:30 pm – As far as I know, I was the only one on Watch during this time. When I first arrived, Beauty was flying around the lower buildings on the NE side of the Midtown Plaza. She landed and I found her on the NW corner of the building behind the Cadillac Hotel.

Archer came off of the nest ledge, flying off towards the east. Beauty took his place on the eggs. Within 5 minutes of her disappearing into the gutter, it started to pour. The rain was coming down in sheets and the winds were gusting.

I watched from my car as Archer returned to sit on the ledge, Beauty joined him for a moment and then went back to sit on the eggs. Archer flew up to the top of Midtown, SE Corner.

It rained hard for about 20 minutes, then cleared, the sun shined. Archer took off again, heading east.  Beauty remained.

I stayed awhile longer before leaving at 12:30 pm.

Sunday – 5/17/09 – 1:00 – 4:00 pm.

It was a cool day, in the 50’s, but the sun was shining. Lots of Watchers were at the Falcon Watch today. Lisa McK, Joyce, Dawn, Larry O, Kathy O, Dan S and Carol P.

Archer was sitting on the SE lower corner of Midtown Plaza. He took off heading west. After about an hour and 1/2, he returned, carrying something very small. Archer landed on the NE corner of Midtown and Beauty immediately flew out, landed next to him and grabbed the small offering. She took it to the south side of the building to eat. Archer took her place on the eggs.

It didn’t take her long to finish. Beauty stretched her wings and flew over the lower buildings on the north side of Midtown. Joyce and I were the last ones left, so we walked towards where we last saw her. We found her on the Temple Building, near the Liberty Pole. She had a good view of the east side of Midtown Plaza.

After about a 1/2 hour, Beauty flew back towards Midtown, landing on the east side ledge. She remained there for awhile before replacing Archer on the eggs.

When I left at 4:00 pm, Archer (at least I think it was him) was on the south side of Midtown and Beauty was on the eggs.

I just want to remind everyone that we believe there are eggs on the east side ledge of Midtown Plaza due to the behavior of the two Falcons.  Incubation seems to be taking place.  A best guess on when the eggs would hatch would probably be end of May if all goes well.  But, this is only a guess, since we have no idea when Beauty laid her last egg or when hard incubation actually started.

Carol P.

Falcon Watch – May 12, 2009 (Noon – 2 pm)

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

It was an absolutely gorgeous day for a Watch!

I first arrived at the Frontier parking lot a little before noon. No Watchers and no Falcons in view. I quickly ate my lunch and then drove around to see if I could spot Archer or Beauty.

On the east side of Midtown, I could hear a Peregrine whine coming from the ledge, but still couldn’t spot one. I drove back to the Frontier parking lot and spotted Lisa McK and Dan S.  I joined them on the lawn and was told that I just missed a changing of the guard. Archer was now sitting on top of the Columbus Bldg fire escape.

The only activity for me was at 12:40 pm when Archer flew off of the fire escape, flying off to the west. When I left around 2:00 pm, he had not returned.

It was wonderful seeing so many Watchers today, including Lisa McK, Dan S, Suzanne & Don from Ithaca, Barb M, Larry O and Shaky.

Yesterday during the Watch, we saw Archer chase off a couple of Turkey Vultures and a Kestrel.

Carol P.

Falcon Watch – 5/9/09 (1-3 pm)

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

Dawn and Bullet joined me for a Falcon Watch today. When I arrived a little after 1:00 pm, dark clouds were moving in. We were sitting in our cars on Broad St, next to HSBC. From 1:30 till about 2:10, it was pouring rain and the winds were gusting. During that time, Archer flew around Midtown a couple of times, finally settling on top of Xerox.

Approximately 2:10 pm, it finally stopped raining, so we were able to get out for a bit. We walked over to the other side of Broad St, where we had a nice view of Archer on Xerox and a view of the east side ledge of Midtown Plaza.

At 2:20 pm, Archer flew down to the Midtown ledge and Beauty finally popped up. 

Archer took Beauty’s place, incubating the eggs which must surely be up behind that ledge. Beauty flew over us, swooped down the east side of HSBC, back over us and finally settled on the NE corner of the Columbus Bldg. It started to rain again, so we ducked inside one of the bus shelters.

This was the first changing of the guard that I’ve witnessed. I do believe that other Watchers have witnessed this also.

So, will we have hatches at the end of May or later? It’s going to be an interesting year.

Beauty was still on the NE corner of the Columbus Bldg when I left around 3 pm.

Carol P.

Falcon Watch – 5/6/09 (12:30 – 1:45 pm)

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

I arrived downtown around 12:30 pm. My fellow Watchers Lisa McK, Dan S and Larry O were already there, enjoying the beautiful Spring Day.

There was no Falcon activity or sightings until 1:30 pm. After everyone left, I parked on the east side of Midtown where I had a good view of the ledge in front of the gutter we suspect that Archer and Beauty are using as their nest site. At 1:30 pm, a Falcon flew in from the north, circled Midtown a couple of times and then landed on the east side ledge. I hoped to see a changing of the guard, but a 2nd Falcon did not pop up into view.

I drove up closer to Midtown Plaza and waited 15 minutes. I heard a bit of high pitched whining, but couldn’t tell if it came from one or two Peregrines.

At 1:45 pm, I had to leave. Since the Falcon on the ledge had his/her back to me, I couldn’t tell if it was Archer or Beauty and I can only assume that the other Falcon was incubating eggs, just out of sight in the gutter. But, I can’t be sure.  During my watch, I only saw the one Falcon.

Carol P.

Falcon Watch 4/30/09 (12:15-12:57pm)

Friday, May 1st, 2009

I was able to catch a lunchtime watch in Rochester, before I shuffled off to Buffalo.  There were no falcons in sight, so I sat on a large rock in the grassy area across from Midtown.  After 10 minutes, a head popped up on the ledge in the middle of the eastside of the building.  It was Archer.  You can’t miss that white chest compared to Beauty.  He moved over to the northeast corner and proceeded to preen. 15 minutes later, another head popped up to the ledge in the exact same spot.  The scrape must be right in the middle.  Beauty just looked around as Archer remained on the corner.   

I introduced two Border Patrol officers to the new pair.  I gave them an update since they heard bits and pieces of what happened to Mariah.  They watched with my binoculars as I explained where this young couple came from.  Of course, I was asked if Archer crossed the border with his papers intact. 🙂

Archer flew off Midtown and out of sight.  As I headed to my car, I spotted Archer catching some air currents near Xerox. 

Here are some photos of Archer & Beauty staying close to home.  On the 490 almost to Leroy, I stopped to get a couple shots of a nest in the woods along the expressway.  This was my first time seeing a red-tailed hawks nest…plus it had a resident.



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