Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Falco returnus

Time flies! Hard to believe it's February already. The days are getting longer and spring will soon be here. For now I will continue to enjoy the snow and the four weeks left of winter listing.

Early Sunday morning I took the dogs outside and was greeted by above freezing temperature and sun. Towards noon I would observe the reappearance of an exciting visitor from early last week. No it was not the Austrian pop musician from the 80's. The Falco peregrinus, Peregrine Falcon, was back!! This time I was able to view the falcon through a scope, from our back porch. Too bad we don't have a digital camera, some great digiscoping images could have been obtained. For an hour I observed the falcon perched in the large Walnut tree directly across the parking lot from our yard.

With its black eyes the bird would survey the area, adjusting itself when ever a gust of wind occurred. The falcon would preen itself occasionally and seemed disinterested in the starlings that flew by, though it did look up at the few starlings brave enough to perch above it for a short time. I had to leave so I was unable to see the falcon take flight. Hopefully the Peregrine Falcon is here to stay.

Late in the afternoon we went to Short Hills Provincial Park for a short hike. Along the way a Rough-legged Hawk soaring above was spotted as well as Jen Brown training on her road bike. Having not been on a bike since the "Squeezer", yes that long, I am looking forward to cycling again. I am so out of shape.

We parked at the Roland Road entrance to the park and hiked the trails leading to Swayze Falls. Not much avian action, the most exciting a Hairy Woodpecker seen in the woods above the frozen falls. Spring should bring better sightings and with the above mentioned longer days, evening visits to the park during the week.

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