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The Journal of Rfalconcam

Archive for August, 2009

Quest Moves East– A Little

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

View Quest Travels August 19-28 in a larger map with a legend. Zoom in or out on the map by clicking the small + & – signs. Move it around by clicking your mouse button and dragging the map in the desired direction. Click the falcon icons for more information about each location.

Position data for the end of the month point to Quest making a move to Port Hope. Many of her early morning and late evening plots are clustered in Port Hope, with only a couple at the Wesleyville power station and another near Highway 401. The Port Hope locations are somewhat more distributed than the last set we posted, though they’re close enough to the creek (or river) running along Mill Street to indicate that the bridge over the waterway at Barrett Street may indeed be a perching or sleeping spot.

The map for the whole of August shows a definite pattern with two well-defined clusters of activity at the power station and in Port Hope. As we move toward the beginning of fall, it will be interesting to see whether Quest will “migrate” or remain on Lake Ontario’s north shore.

Quest Up a Creek?

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

View Quest Travels August 10 – 16 in a larger map with a legend. Zoom in or out on the map by clicking the small + & – signs. Move it around by clicking your mouse button and dragging the map in the desired direction. Click the falcon icons for more information about each location.

In our last update we noted that Quest has staked out an apparent base of operations at the Wesleyville power plant. The latest week’s data reinforce the point, with five of seven locations in a 1-mile (1.6km) cluster near the plant’s smokestack.

The other two points are interesting all on their own. Besides being in a residential neighborhood near Cavan Street in Port Hope, they are both adjacent to a creek that runs south along Cavan and Mill Streets until it empties into the lake. The two data points may indicate an alternate hunting location, or possibly secondary perches.

One location early in the morning on the 11th is directly over a house on Cavan Street. The other, from the evening of the 16th (long after sunset) may have come from a bridge on Barrett Street that passes over the creek. A structure like that could provide a sheltered spot for her to spend the night, and there are likely some opportunities to hunt birds that live and forage along the shores of the creek.

More Power to Quest in Wesleyville

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

View Quest Travels August 1 – 9 in a larger map with a legend. Zoom in or out on the map by clicking the small + & – signs. Move it around by clicking your mouse button and dragging the map in the desired direction. Click the falcon icons for more information about each location.

August finds the intrepid Quest whiling away the days in pleasant Wesleyville and the surrounding ‘burbs. Four of the seven most recent location plots place her in close proximity to the power station there. The data leave little doubt that she’s made it her base of operations, most likely hunting from the facility’s tall smokestack.

It looks like she took an early morning jaunt over Port Hope on the 4th. Her location at the corner of Strachan and Bramley Street South looks to be an upscale neighborhood to judge by all of the backyard swimming pools nearby. You can’t say she doesn’t have good taste! Consistent with the summer season we’re also seeing some of the highest temperature readings yet from the sensor in Quest’s transmitter.

From everything we can see, it seems she couldn’t be doing better. Now all Quest needs to do is to settle down and attract a mate for next year.

The Verdict at Midtown: No Nest

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Midtown Plaza Gutter

If you’ve been following us all year you remember that first Mariah and Archer, then Beauty and Archer, appeared to be making a nest site on the north side of the Midtown Plaza tower.  All of the human tenants are out of the tower and a large-scale asbestos removal project is under way now.

After the territory battle that displaced Mariah it appeared to our volunteer watchers that Archer and Beauty had settled into this location to start a nest.  Then, after a few weeks they abandoned the site and moved to the prepared nest box at the Times Square building.  We never went up to the presumed nest site at the Midtown Plaza tower because we didn’t want to stress the new pair if they were nesting, and because the building had been largely shut down.

Recently, Rochester Falconcam members Carol Phillips and Susan Conway were able to secure access to the ledge site one day before the asbestos abatement work got going.  Carol took some pictures of the ledge (view her KodakGallery album) and reported on what they found.

We were able to get up to the same floor as the failed nest site.  There were no windows from inside to view the gutter, so we walked out onto the top of the lower section of the building.  The same level as the nest site gutter.  We were able to view the gutter from the NE corner of the building looking south.  The gutter is too narrow to walk out onto.

There is no drainage from this gutter.  In fact, there are pipes that are pointed down into this gutter to drain water from the tower above.  During our torrential rain storms, this gutter would have filled with water.  In my opinion, this nest would never have never [been] successful.

The gutter itself is about 12-15 inches wide and 7-8 inches deep.

Susan and I looked for evidence of broken eggs or anything else from a Peregrine nest, but couldn’t find anything.

So, it looks like Archer and Beauty may never have laid eggs at Midtown.  If they did, the nest apparently failed and any trace of it has since been washed away.  The site doesn’t look ideal for a nest in any case, since as Carol noted there’s not much drainage, and in fact the gutter might have collected rainwater from other parts of the building.

It’s not unusual for the nest of a new Peregrine pair to fail.  We’ve also seen many cases in which Peregrines have made poor choices for nest sites.  We’re glad that Archer and Beauty availed themselves of the artificial nest box at Times Square.  It will provide an excellent nest, protected from too much wind, rain and sun.  We’re hopeful that next year we’ll see them lay their first clutch of eggs in Rochester.

Introducing the Rochester Falconcam Forum!

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

A few days ago we told you we’d be rolling out a new feature at the Rochester Falconcam. We’re pleased to announce the addition of a Forum to our site! The Rochester Falconcam Forum will allow our fans from all over the world to discuss the latest news about the Rochester falcons as well as to provide the opportunity to participate in a global community like never before. To make it easy to find we’ve added a link to the Forum on the navigation bar at the top of the Falconcam page.

At the Forum you can:

  • Use a variety of CATEGORIES, BOARDS and TOPICS to find just the right place to post your thoughts. Check out the introduction to the forum for more information.
  • Include pictures with built-in thumbnails, attach files to your posts, and use tons of smilies (AKA emoticons)
  • View a summary of previous posts to make it easier to write replies
  • See your posted messages instantly
  • Easily find new discussions that have been posted since your last visit
  • Upload your own picture or Avatar to identify yourself to other posters
  • Use the built-in Chat feature to exchange messages with other Forum members in real time. See other members’ Chat status as soon as you logon.
  • Send private messages to Forum members
  • Build your posting “street cred” by progressing from Egg to Eyas, Juvie, Tiercel and finally to Falcon status!
  • Flag favorite topics so that you can be notified when new posts are added
  • Easily post Forum information on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites
  • And much more!

Join the thousands of Rochester Falconcam fans at the Forum and check it out! Registering takes only a few minutes, and we think you’re going to appreciate how much more convenient it will be to get news and discuss the many topics of interest to our diverse community.

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