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Eyes to the Skies

New Year’s Bird of Prey Watch – Jan 1, 2013

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Joyce (wnyfalconfan)

What a great way to ring in 2013…with members of my “3F Club” – Family, Friends, & Falcons. And, I was lucky to have a special bird-of-prey sighting on the first day of the New Year.

Click on each thumbnail for full view, or see photos in my Picasa album.

I was so glad that I could make it downtown for the Watcher’s Annual New Year Toast. Nothing (except a blizzard) was going to keep me away, even with a broken ankle. It took me 2 hours to get ready, and when I arrived I was happy to see so many participants joining in the tradition (as mentioned in Carol and MAK’s reports). I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh cold air, even though others were freezing by the time Steve and I arrived.

Beauty was on OCSR during our gathering. Thanks B for being on the I-beam facing us!


Many headed out to check the Brighton Site (BS). Found Pigott on the south side. No sign of the BS Tiercel (BST).

Pigott was eating.


She had a full crop and took off chasing a bird to the south.


She flew back right overhead and landed on the SW extension corner.

5881a-pigott-in-flight1 5883a-pigott-in-flight2 5886a-pigott-in-flight3 5887a-pigott-in-flight4

As Pigott settled back in on a SE extension windowsill, Lisa offered to show us where she found an Eastern Screech-Owl. This was the first time I have seen one in the wild. It is a gray morph and was sleeping in a tree cavity. Such a cutie!

5915a-eastern-screech-owl-megascops-asio-gray-morph 5915b-eastern-screech-owl-sleeping-in-tree-cavity 5946a-what-a-pint-sized-cutie

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12 Responses to “New Year’s Bird of Prey Watch – Jan 1, 2013”

  1. Kris G. Says:

    Loved your report and beautiful pics, Joyce! So glad you got out with Falcons and friends for the New Year-even with a broken ankle!

  2. kathy from toronto Says:

    Great report and photos Joyce! Very happy to see you are getting out and about in spite of the ankle, you’re one tough lady..just like Beauty!

  3. Carol P. Says:

    It’s about darn time you left a falcon watch report Joyce! lol 🙂 Glad to see all my poking finally worked! Awesome flight shots of Pigott and the owl!

  4. Barb W. in L.A. Says:

    Happy New Year, Joyce! It was great seeing you with all the other Watchers yesterday for the toast. FlaDonna and I were “participating” from our respective coasts. Boy, you don’t let anything keep you down, do you? Out of curiosity, do you have the same type camera MAK uses, or one with a lot of lenses and attachments? That’s some fine camera work. Impressive shots of Pigott in flight, and beautiful composition of the Screech Owl. Thanks so much for your report!

  5. Sheila Says:

    Happy New Year, Joyce. Glad your ankle is healing. I second Barb W’s message above. Your pictures are terrific and the shots of Pigott flying are sensational. Thanks for your wonderful report. What kind of camera do you use?

  6. MAK Says:

    Nice job pal of mine! 🙂

  7. ~Sage~ Says:

    Excellent photos and report, Joyce! Sounds like a great day, especially with the bonus Screech Owl!

  8. margaret Says:

    Glad that you had a three F day, Joyce! Good for you for getting out and about.

    You take the best pics! Love the pics of Pigott flying about, but the prize goes to the little owl. She blends right in with the trunk of the tree. Wonderful find, and wonderful pic.

  9. Joyce Says:

    Barb W & Sheila – I often wish I had one of those versatile cameras that also takes video. I am using a SLR Canon EOS 40D with a 400 mm lens. I don’t have a lot of lenses, but since my goal is to take raptors at a distance, that’s basically all I use. I take many pics to get a few good ones. Hand holding this camera and lens is difficult without a stabilizer. I just happened to be lucky to get those shots of Pigott from inside the car.

    Appreciate the comments. Glad I could share them with everyone.

  10. Ginny Says:

    Hi Joyce,
    I’m glad you are feeling better and it was good to read your great report! The pics are awesome….love Pigott in flight (she is gorgeous)…and the little screech owl blends in so well the tree!
    Happy New Year!

  11. Barb W. in L.A. Says:

    Joyce, I know it’s more than luck. You’ve got a good eye for composition, and the coordination to track the Pefas in flight.

  12. carla Says:

    Thanks Joyce for the great pictures.I love the Schreech-Owl.I’m happy that you could be there for the New Years toast.I hope you ‘ll be back on your feet when Dot.ca arrives.

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