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Eyes to the Skies

An Afternoon Falcon Watch 5/29/12 Plus Finding a Tiercel at KP 5/25/12

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Date : 5/29/12 (Tuesday)
Time: 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Weather: The day started out really hot, high 80’s, but after a cold front went through, it was way more tolerable, in the 70’s. Still sunny and warm.
Watcher: Kathy O & 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

After getting out of work, I first drove over to the BS location to find Pigott in the shade on the east side of the building. Sitting on a windowsill preening. She looked great. If she laid eggs at the scrape, we will never know. Although we saw them mating and visiting the scrape, that has pretty much stopped now. Over the weekend, Dana and I did see Pigott at the scrape for awhile, sitting on the windowsill there. I think it’s been awhile since D.C. has been seen there, although there are recent reports that he has headed in that direction from downtown.

After spending some time with Pigott, I headed downtown. On my way there, Kris G informed me that D.C. was on the eggs. So, I started my search for Beauty. Where could she be. Not on the TSB. or the Wilder Bldg. or OCSR. or the Widows Walk. I expanded my search grid to the Andrew St Bridge where I could see the Kodak Tower, the Cross Rds Bldg and the north side of OCSR and ….. there she was! Beauty was on Frontier Communication Tower below the platform on a square box shaped structure she always favored. It had been a long time since I’d seen her there.

At 5:00 pm, Beauty spread her wings and took off heading south, towards the Times Square Bldg. I followed, but heavy traffic kept me from keeping her in sight. By the time I got to the Broad St Bridge, she was nowhere to be seen. Donna and Joyce verified that D.C. was still on the eggs. First I found some shade down on Aqueduct St, the temps were creeping back up into the 80’s and it was still really humid. Certainly not as bad as it had been over the Memorial Day weekend.

Nothing was happening, so I drove up to the Broad St Bridge and parked my facing into the sun. At 6:00 pm, Beauty came flying in from the east (Xerox/Midtown area). She flew over me and up to the nest box. D.C. was out and Beauty was in. Shift change!

I had not seen where Dot.ca went, so I went in search. Once I didn’t have the sun in my face, I was able to see him up on the base of the SE wing of the TSB, preening and cooling down from his hours on the eggs.

So far, I had all three Rochester Falcons, so it was a good Watch. But, there was one more place I needed to check. On the way home I stopped to check Kodak Park (KP), hoping for a glimpse of the small Peregrine I saw there last Friday. Kathy O was already there and reported that she had not seen him. I never did post a Watch Report about this did I? Here it is!

Tiercel spotted at Kodak Park on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.

Some of you may have heard that I spotted a sub-adult Tiercel (male) at KP on Friday, May 25th around 7:30 pm. Kodak Park is on my way home, so I try to stop there every night. I was hopeful that maybe Archer would go there to recuperate from his injuries. It was a familiar spot for him. So, imagine my surprise, when I saw a small falcon on the catwalk of the west smoke stack. It was windy and warm and the falcon was facing away from me. At first I thought, was this a Peregrine or a Kestrel? After a better look through my binoculars, I could see that it was definitely a Peregrine, dark hood, white chest. Could it be?

Once I put the scope up and got an even better view as the falcon turned towards me, I could see the heavy streaking on the belly and juvie brown feathers mixed in with adult dark gray. Another sub-adult, with almost the same coloring as Pigott. and before you ask, no this was not her. This was a very small male.

I quickly tweeted out that I had a Peregrine at KP and I was first joined by fellow Watcher Dana and then Joyce and Lisa. But, before they got there, the tiercel took off heading east. Strong, fast, steady wing beats. He was on a mission or a hunt. Hunt it was! Within a minute, he returned with prey almost half his size. I really couldn’t tell what it was. He carried it up to the black strip on the blue bldg that contained the old scrape used by Unity and Archer. He was very close to it. That’s when Dana joined me. He started to pluck and eat.

Through the scope, I could see that he had black/black bands. So yet another Canadian Peregrine had made his way down to Rochester. At 8:30 pm, he had eaten his fill and cached the remainder somewhere on the north side of the bldgs where we could not see. The tiercel returned and flew in front of the blue bldg and back to the east end where we lost him. We assumed he landed somewhere down there, but we were never able to find him. Joyce and Lisa joined us to help try to find him, but no luck.

I still check there daily, along with others, but no one has spotted him again. Was he a young male just migrating through? Or will we see more of him? I hope so!

It’s just another reason to keep your eyes to the sky!

5 Responses to “An Afternoon Falcon Watch 5/29/12 Plus Finding a Tiercel at KP 5/25/12”

  1. Kathleen Says:

    For those of us who can only watch in quick peeks on the webcams, is there an easy way to distinguish Beauty from DC so we know who we’re seeing? Thanks!

  2. Tiffany Says:

    DC has a whiter cere than beauty does. The area just above the beak. He has white feathers there where she doesnt. I believe this may be harder to distinguish on the streaming videos, you may have to click to the stills quick. I hope this helps a little bit.

    Beauty is also missing a feather or two on the right side of her face/head where she was damaged in the battle with Unity.

  3. MAK Says:

    Kathleen if you can see the chest feathers DC has a white chest and Beauty a salmon colored chest. DC has more white above his cere(beak) than Beauty and his beak is less pointy than hers. She has a little white on the top of her head if you can see that when you’re looking. And the most obvious way to tell them apart is if you can see their leg bands. Beauty has a blue and red stripe on her right leg band and the left leg band is black81 over greenY. DC is black13 over blackY on his left leg band with a silver band on the right leg. Hope this helps! 🙂

  4. Carol P. Says:

    Yep! What they said. 🙂

  5. Kathleen Says:

    Thanks ladies! I’ll look for these differences and maybe I can tell who’s on the eggs when I’m able to peek in. Thanks for the wonderful narratives you all post – it’s the next best thing to being there.

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