Observation date: 23 August 2016
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Without having chicks this year or last, the south side Morro Rock peregrines have not been themselves, active and entertaining. To me they seem to be more like fixtures on a mantel when I am watching them. Somedays you see them, others you may sit for five hours and catch a glimpse just as you pack up to call it a day. In the past twenty years, I have been skunked about three times. In July and August of this year, I have failed to have seen them four different times even by trying to stay more than five hours each time.
The north side falcon frequents the rock every now and again. The three young from this year’s hatch have not been seen for at least five weeks, until today. Around noon while watching for the south side pair, which were not there at the time, when over the bay came a dark familiar wingbeat of a juvenile female falcon, passing between the red and green buoy markers, one hundred feet off the deck.
Young female at the rock Photo by Cleve Nash
Traveling down the bay, she made a sweeping left turn to approach the rock high over the old Indian trail. While traveling the face of Morro Rock, east to west, at speed, she strafed and tumbled an adult Western Gull.*
Strafing a gull Photo by Cleve Nash
My sidekick, Gordon and I said nothing until she rounded the windward side of the rock and went out of sight. After that we couldn’t shut up. It brought back times when we had excitement around the rock about two months ago.
Happy trails, Bob
Item: We are still here at the rock for the public to view these magnificent birds every day. Afternoons are best.
* Strafing and tumbling – Something young birds do to hone their hunting and flying skills.