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Eyes to the Skies

Archive for January, 2012

A Weekend of Beauty Watching and Short-Earred Owls Outstanding in Their Field! :-) 1/28 & 1/29/12

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

I do love the weekends.  There is so much to do and see.  This weekend was no exception.  After a long week of work, it was time to play!  🙂

Both Saturday and Sunday, I found Beauty downtown, hunting over the river north of the Times Square bldg. and chasing the pigeons around the Xerox  tower and the shell of the old Midtown Plaza.  She was quite busy and fun to watch.

I did check on Unity a few times, but never spotted her.  I’m sure she’s fine.  We’ve been seeing her on and off near the blue bldg she claimed as her nest site last year.

Today (Sunday, 1/29/12), Kathy O, Lisa McK, Dana and I decided to visit the Short-Earred Owls of Monroe County.  They had been seen Saturday night by Joyce and Susan C, so we knew they were still there.  We arrived around 3:20 pm and were witness to an unbelieveable evening of SEO antics.  We weren’t alone.  Many other owl enthusiasts were parked along the country road with us, including a family with two young girls who were also enjoying watching the owls hunt and play.

You just need to click on this link to my KGallery album of pics from this weekend.  No sign on needed.



Carol P.

Weekend Falcon watch 1-21/1-22-12

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

I got skunked yesterday (Saturday) having no success finding Beauty or Unity but I did see a good looking Red-tailed Hawk on St. Paul Blvd.


I stopped by the east end of the pedestrian bridge at high falls. The waterfalls were flowing rapidly down into the gorge.


Later in the day I picked up KathyO to go out to Hamlin to have an owl watch. It was very dark and overcast so I elected to put my camera away after taking a pic of a Northern Harrier in a tree.


We saw 2 possibly a third Northern Harrier and 2 or 3 Short-eared Owls. It was hard to tell at times just exactly what we were seeing. A crowd of watchers gathered including-Dana,Lou,Joyce,Brian,CarolP,June Summers and her husband Drew,KathyO and yours truly MAK.

The day dawned with a pretty downtown sky on my way down 490  for a morning watch today(Sunday).


For all the searching I did yesterday and today I saw one falcon and she IS the Beautyful one! She waited until just before sundown to show herself to the MAKster and tho her back was to Joyce and I it was  sweet just to see her up on the northeast corner of the Crossroads building.

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We watched her for a short while and then in a blur she shot off and straight down disappearing so fast that it would make your head spin!


Silly to post this pic but that’s just the kind of girl I am! lol When we first stopped to view Beauty I told her that she was a good mom to Callidora and that her baby girl was gone but not forgotten. And that she passed with a full crop and a healthy strong body so she knew how to take care of herself. I’d like to end my report with a couple pics of Callidora (Helga Jean for Janet) as a tribute to the first fledge family I witnessed in person. Fly free with the angels!

Callidora: The name comes from two Greek words, “Kallos” (’beauty’) and Doron (’gift’). Thus, the name means “Gift of Beauty”.

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Morning/owl watch 1-20-12

Friday, January 20th, 2012

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

This morning I decided to just sit tight on the Broad St. Bridge and wait for Beauty to show up on Mercury as is her routine lately. Around 7:30am she flew in from the northeast landed on the money bag hand and before I could even get my hand on my camera poof! she was gone! I never found her so I trekked over to KP and couldn’t find Unity either. From there I went to Irondequoit and checked out the Medley Center,bay bridge and Seabreeze with no pefa sightings whatsoever. I took some pics of a lone ice fisherman and some swans in the bay.

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From there I made my way to first Summerville checking the pier,Coast guard Station and surrounding area for the Snowy Owl I call Summer. She wasn’t anywhere that I could see her so I left and checked Shumway Marina on my way to Charlotte with no luck in either of those places of finding Summer or a falcon. Sheesh, what’s a girl to do? Take in the other sights on the waterfront that’s what!

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I stopped by KP and DT before going home for a lunchbreak and unfortunately couldn’t locate either Unity or Beauty. I had planned to go out to Hamlin to look for the Short-earred Owls CarolP had seen there earlier this week so  Istopped by KP one more time on my way and still no Unity. That girl sure is wandering lately! On the way to my owl prowl I saw 5 Red-tailed Hawks on interstate 390 northbound and 2 more on the Lake Ontario State Parkway westbound. Things were picking up finally! When I arrived at the location on Church Road that Carol had reported seeing the owls I immediately spotted a Northern Harrier on a pile of brush and debris.


After taking that pic I looked over the field and saw white wings flying at the far end so I drove down to where some cars were pulled over to watch the show. First one Short-earred Owl then 2 and the old MAKster got her camera and started video taping the interaction between these two owls. Some hunting took place also, not only by the owls but the Northern Harrier got in on the act! It wasn’t until I looked at my pics and video on my laptop that I found out I had the harrier in there as well!

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CarolP joined me at this point and I stopped taking pics and video and just enjoyed the free entertainment! Joyce also showed up to watch these wonderful creatures. For a day that started out kinda slow it sure ended on a high note! I think I may be falling in love with owls as well! And so another watch ends with smiles on all of our faces!!! 🙂

Check out the links below for more from my evening owl prowl and the days sightings. Enjoy!!!


Morning watch 1-19-12

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

I left  this morning so excited to be free of the house thanks to my friend Tesa who dropped her minivan off to me last night. She told me I won the publishers clearinghouse sweepstakes and I could keep her vehicle for the next few days. Now I don’t need to find a ride to the hospital Monday for my knee replacement surgery for she will come pick it up there! Hot diggity dog 4 straight days of falcon watching and I don’t know, whatever I want to do.WOOHOO!

So I got downtown just at daybreak and the search was on! After driving around the city for an hour I decided to park it on the Andrews St. Bridge where I could see KO,FCT,Mercury,TS and everything in between. After a bit I texted Donna to have her let me know if Beauty showed up on Mercury while I went to check down river by the Kodak Hawkeye plant. After checking the camera she informed that the Beautyful one had been there at 7:24 for about 3 minutes. As luck would have it I was over by HSBC at that time so I missed her. Suddenly I spotted some pigeons scattering over the river and sure enough there was a Peregrine on their tails. Beauty chased them up river and behind the Radisson Hotel out of view. I then left for the Broad St. bridge and after sitting there for maybe 5 minutes I spotted Beauty on the northeast corner of the Crossroads building. She was looking big as life in the sunshine and she had breakfast.

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It looked pretty red and meaty so I presume she caught one of those pigeons for a fresh meal! I watched her for about 10 minutes when she picked up what was left of her prey and flew off. I then spotted her on the platform railing of the FCT but as I got ready to take off from the bridge to go over there she flew off to the north and I never saw her again. I left downtown about 9:15 for I had a doctors appointment at 10:30 to get to. Since KP is just around the corner from my docs’ office I stopped to check on Unity but she was nowhere to be found. I also checked after my appointment and again this afternoon on my way home with no luck. I do hope she’s ok for she hasn’t been seen since our big windstorm the other night with a top wind gust at the airport of 72 mph. I will definitely check again tomorrow. While I was at KP in lot 77 I noticed a flock of Snow Buntings flitting through with their gorgeous white underparts.

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That’s it for this watch, so until next time keep a smile on that face cuz I love smiling faces! 🙂

Unity on the Road, Well Above the Road on a Telephone Pole – 1/16/12

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

On my way home, I always try to stop at Kodak Park to check on Unity. It’s on my way home. Today I got off at Lexington and turned left onto Lee Rd, which would take me to Ridgeway and Kodak Park.

As I drove down Lee Rd towards Ridge Way (at the lights in the distance), I spotted a large bird on the 2nd telephone pole from the left. Hmmm, was it a Red-tail Hawk? As I got closer, I realized it was NOT a RTH or a Coop or a Merlin. It was………..Unity!

If you’d like t see a few pictures I took, you can check them out by clicking on this link to my KGallery Album. No sign on necessary.  I luckily had my little camera wth me.  Hey!  It was better than nothing!  🙂



Carol P.

Morning watch 1-16-12

Monday, January 16th, 2012

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

It was a cool 5 degrees when I left for my watch this morning. When I arrived downtown I checked FCT first then KO without any sign of Beauty. I then drove down Broad St. and parked beside the Democrat and Chronicle across from the Times Square building. I wasn’t there long when I spotted the Beautyful one flying in from the north and landing on the money bag hand of Mercury. I tweeted it out and then drove over to Aqueduct St. to get a closer view and take some pics.

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She didn’t stay long and tho it’s of poor quality I got the takeoff shot.


I searched the city in all the usual spots checking KO often without finding her until I parked on the Andrews St. bridge and looked through my binocs to see a tail hanging off the northeast corner of the launchpad. I quickly drove down State St. to confirm that it was Beauty and tweeted it out. Next I went down to Mill St. in the high falls district where I took some pics and a video of her while she ate whatever she had for breakfast way up there.

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It was time to leave at this point so that I could Joyces’ car to her for work. Thanks so much Joycie for giving me this opportunity to spend a morning with the Beautyful one! This surely put a smile on this watchers face! 🙂

Check out the link below to watch Beauty eating her breakfast.


A Snowy Falcon Watch Weekend – 1/14 & 1/15/12

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Not many falcons this weekend, since I didn’t get out as much as I had wanted to. Still fighting a cold or something. I did get out with MAK Saturday morning and saw both Unity at Kodak Park and Beauty on the Kodak Tower.

If you’d you like to check out my pics from yesterday and today, just click on this link. No sign on needed.


Oh, and there’s a little brown jobbie that I found on my travels today. Could use some help on an ID. Might be a new bird for the Rochester Falcon Watchers Big Year. 🙂

Carol P.

Morning watch 1-15-12

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

Joyce picked me up around 10:15am and we went downtown straight away. It didn’t take long to find  Beauty. She was on the cupola of the Kodak Office Tower south side. With bright sunshine and blue skies she was looking especially… well, Beautyful!

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The bad news is I only took a few pics today. The good news is they are all of Beauty!

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The clouds rolled in and it became overcast and the Beautyful one seemed like she would be settled in for a while so we left to pick up Brian. We then went to Kodak Park where we found KathyO just arriving ahead of us. Unfortunately Unity was not around so after a brief stay we headed out for Charlotte. On the way we stopped and drove through Holy Sepulchre Cemetary looking for birds. We didn’t spend much time there either for Brian needed to be dropped off at his buddys’ house for football playoffs. After we said our goodbyes, Joyce and I whipped down to Charlotte where I spotted the female Snowy Owl. Falcon watcher Lynda named her Summer yesterday and so I will refer to her as such in the future. Anyway, Summer was on a rooftop of an apartment complex across the Genesee River over in Summerville. I took a few pics but it was such a long distance they came out very blurry so sorry I have none to post in this report.

Lisa McKeown had invited me to go to Mendon Ponds Park for Winterfest and so we had to leave so I could get home in time for her to pick me up.When Lisa arrived Joyce was still at my house and thus she was asked to join us. She was more than happy to do so since she is always the one doing the driving.  I didn’t know Lisa had to help June Summers(GVAS) who had a display at  the event and so Joyce and I went to visit the birds and folks over at Wild Wings. We saw Dana and Lou who came for a visit. It’s always an enjoyable time to go there! After  the event finished up at 4:00pm Lisa,Joyce and I took a ride out to Lima to look for Short-earred owls. We were in luck for we had 5 sightings of them and one Harris Hawk. As darkness came upon us we ended our day. Joyce asked since she had left her vehicle at my house would I like to use it for a morning watch tomorrow and then I could bring it out to her when I’m done so she could get to work. Of course I said yes! So Lisa dropped Joyce off at her place and then brought me home. I had a great time this weekend with my falcon watcher friends and I want all of you to know how appreciative I am of all of you for taking me out to do what I so love to do. I can’t help but smile!  🙂

Falcon watch 1-14-12

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

Boy what a full day of fun with my fellow falcon flakes after a long housebound week!  The day started with CarolP picking me up for a morning watch. We found the Beautyful one on the Kodak Office tower perched atop the right side arch above where the nest box used to be. The streets were not plowed too well and while we were turning around to get a good look at her she left. We had no idea what direction she went in so we searched for a while to no avail. Carol decided we’d go to Charlotte to see what we could see and as we were near Irondequoit Mall she thought we might as well check there first. Bad decision for there were no falcons there and we ran into a median that was completely covered with snow as the parking lot had not been plowed. We ended up with the front tires off the ground and the underside of the car resting on the concrete curb. unfortunately the car was front-wheel drive so I knew we weren’t going to go antwhere without a tow. I asked if Carol had AAA and so she called them. They said it would be an hour so I did my best to keep her laughing and not be too upset over it for I didn’t see any damage. In the meantime watcher Lynda texted me and asked if I wanted to go on a watch with her. I told her the situation and she came over to sit with us and wait for help. 2 hours later the tow truck showed up and freed Carols’ car.


I hopped in Lyndas’ car and we followed Carol to her dealer to get it checked out. She went home while Lynda and I went downtown to join Brian and Joyce who were watching Beauty on the money bag hand of Mercury.

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Lynda and I went to KP after this and told Brian and Joyce who had a couple errands to do that we would meet them in Charlotte to look for the Snowy Owl. After only a few minutes I spotted Unity flying in from the east and we watched her fly to the blue building and land on a ledge just below the roof top. She flew off and landed on the same ledge a bit further down to the right.

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I called security to let them know we were there and the guy said can I ask you a question about the birds all serious like and I said yes, what do you want to know? He said when it gets real cold out like this do they put on clothes or booties  for you to see! LOL I laughingly said no but they do foof up their feathers to keep warm and we both had a good laugh. Lynda and I didn’t stay long for we were losing light quickly and so we went to Charlotte. We arrived before Joyce and Brian and found the female Snowy Owl across the river on the Summerville pier about half way out just beyond the rocks. It was a long distance and not much light so my pics are of poor quality.

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I n took a couple pics of the ice that had formed on the Charlotte pier railing.  Lynda was way behind me cuz it was brutally cold out on the pier.

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I could see Brian,Joyce and her dogs had arrived and were walking out to join me. My fingers were getting painfully cold so I snapped a couple more pics of the owl and headed back to join Lynda in her warm car. She was too cold to come out with us on the pier. Lynda brought my attention to a pair of long-tailed ducks in the river as I walking up to meet her.

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A few more pics of our resident female Snowy Owl which Lynda thinks we should name Summer cuz she hangs out in Summerville so much.

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When Brian and Joyce came back to the car I asked if everyone wanted to come to my house for coffee. So as the sun was setting on this watchers day we left with a smile on our faces. 🙂


Rochester Falcon Watch – 1/8/12

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

Joyce and Brian picked me up at the airport and we went downtown to find Beauty and then we went to KP and found Unity. We then took a ride to Irondequoit where we found a pefa on a light pole on the bay bridge. Next stop was Summerville where we spotted the female Snowy Owl on the coast guard antenna. Not a bad watch for my first one of the year if I do say so myself! Click the link below for a small album of the days pics and keep on smiling every one of you!




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