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Eyes to the Skies

Falcon Watch Before a Cold Front Moves In – 5/21/12

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Date : 5/21/12 (Monday)
Time: 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Weather: Sunny and warm. Temps in the 80’s. Cold front went through late afternoon with rain, wind and cooler temps in the 70’s.
Watcher: Dan, Kathy O, Brian H, & Carol P.
Places: Downtown Rochester (Times Square Nestsite) (TS)
Peregrines Seen: Beauty (at TSB), Dot.ca (at TSB) & Pigott (at BS)
Beauty = B
Dot.ca = DC
Pigott = P (the female falcon formerly known as SA or Sub Adult at BS Location)
Times Square Bldg = TSB
Brighton Site = BS
Broad St Bridge = BSB
Baush & Lomb Bldg = B&L Bldg
Old Changing Scenes Restaurant = OCSR

Boy, do I wish there was more time in the day! So many pictures to go through, so many things to report. Remind me to tell you the story of Dot.ca and the Crows! Oh, well. Here’s what happened this afternoon.

I arrived at the BS location at 4:00 pm. Traffic is much more manageable now that the Lilac Festival is over. They had incredibly nice weather for the festival this year, but due to earlier warmth and then freezing, most of the lilac bushes were lilac-less. But, even without the main attraction, the flowers and their incredible fragrance, a fun time was had by all that attended.

OK, back to the report. I circled the building, checking all the windows and roof lines and finally found Pigott sitting on a window sill on the east side in the shade. Couldn’t blame her, it was another very warm day in the 80’s and the sun was intense. I found a spot to park my car and settled in to watch her. The bright sun on her back showed me a mixture of juvie and adult feathers. She has a very dark head and her back has a combination of dark chestnut brown and dark gray feathers. Soon she will have the steel gray and white feathers of an adult. It always amazes me to see this transition to adulthood.

After awhile, I decided to head downtown to check on Beauty and Dot.ca. Brian H was there and reported seeing both Beauty and Dot.ca flying together above the Times Square Bldg. I love to watch them fly. Someone reported that Beauty was back in the nest box and that she was “chatting” with someone above her. I tweeted that it was not Pigott since she was quietly preening here at BS. OK, time to go.

When I arrived downtown around 4:40 pm. Beauty was inside the nest box and I couldn’t find Dot.ca, so I drove around looking for him. No luck, so I parked on the Broad St Bridge and was soon joined by Brian H. We moved to the south side of the bridge and watched the cold front move in. Very dark black clouds were moving our way and the winds were picking up. Rain was coming and slightly cooler temps.

The river below was teeming with life. Gulls, ducks, a Great Blue Heron and a turtle, sunning itself on a rock. We saw a gull flying over the shallow water, chasing a fish that thrashed below him. I looked for momma duck and ducklings but could not find them. They had been out last night along the east bank of the river on the north side of the bridge.

We saw Beauty take off from the TSB, at first I thought it was DC, but he was in the nest box, so it was definitely Beauty. She flew south, over the Blue Cross Arena and just past the jail communication tower. We watched as she circled back, now heading north. That’s when a small Kestral zipped in and started letting Beauty know she was not welcome. He dove on her a few times, which did not faze her at all. She continued towards the TSB with her little shadow following. That is until a Crow decided to get mixed up in it. The Crow flew past Beauty and went after the Kestrel! Well, the Kestrel wasn’t going to have any of that. He flew after the Crow! Chasing it north, past the TSB. By that time Beauty had landed on the platform in front of the nest box, with Dot.ca inside, over the eggs.

Soon after she landed, the Kestrel returned and started diving on her. Again, she wasn’t much bothered, more annoyed. After a few passes, the Kestrel gave up and flew off. Not sure where he came from or where he went. Could there be a Kestrel nest somewhere nearby?

The cold front finally arrived and it started to rain. Brian and I got into my car and I took him home. He had been out in the heat for quite awhile today. I returned to the Broad St Bridge and sat in my car in the rain. Kathy O arrived and joined me in my car. We watched for about an hour, but neither falcon moved. At this time, Beauty was in the nest box on the eggs and Dot.ca was on the left side of the platform keeping guard. At 7:00 pm, we decided to call it a day. Just as we were about to leave, Dan S arrived. We let him know what had happened and said our goodbyes.

On my way out, I stopped down on Aqueduct St. and watched Dot.ca on the platform. The rain had almost stopped and he was moving around a bit. At 7:15 pm, he took off, heading south east. I waited to see if he would return with food, but he never did. It was time for me to go.

It was a good day today, with all three Rochester Falcons seen! Remember to keep your eyes to the sky. This way you’ll be prepared when the rain moves in! 🙂

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