January fun…

Female on the north side nest site               Photo by Bob Isenberg

Observation date:  27 January 2018

On the north side, breeding continues daily with air shows in between. A spectacular display of speed and acrobatics by the tiercel were today’s highlights. Not to mention a noon repast of Snowy Egret which the tiercel brought to his new “butcher bush.” This is a new spot that I have seen him eating at the last couple of weeks. It’s about the same elevation as the nest site and a hundred yards north.

North side tiercel                                   Photo by Bob Isenberg

Both birds continue to land at last year’s nest site and copulate there and also on the skyline. The few people that did stop by to see them didn’t stay long enough to see the great aerial falcon show. Only Jennifer Wilson, a California State Parks Ranger newly transferred from Oceano District, and I were able to see all of the exciting antics.

Happy trails, Bob

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Our second scholarship student…

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

On the weekend following Thanksgiving, Bob and I had the pleasure of meeting another one of our CalPoly Scholarship students, Nicole Robin Durtschi.  In 2016, she had graduated with a degree in Wildlife Biology and now was on her way from visiting her family in the San Francisco Bay area to Simi Valley, where she lives with her boyfriend. A stopover in Morro Bay at Morro Rock gave us the chance to meet her.

Nicole with a California Quail

This picture was from when she was using mist nets to catch and release birds  at CalPoly’s  Swanton Pacific Ranch, up near Santa Cruz. The course she took was “all about field techniques” and she was able to do “some small mammal trapping, practice shooting a dart gun, and getting the chance to see some bats up close!” That course was one of the things she loved most about her time at Cal Poly.  Her appreciation gave her  “the chance to learn about the incredible diversity of life” and “to know what’s around her, from the peregrines soaring above, to the plants and animals below.”

She takes pride in being able to now “identify birds, trees, mammals, even some insects. To her, those classes were more than just learning a list of species.” Being able to identify what she sees in nature has made her appreciate it so much more. She learned just how much diversity is out there showing the need for conservation. “So many species today are threatened, by human activity and by a changing climate, and we need to do what we can to prevent extinction.”

Currently, she is in a temporary job and looking for a job where there is field work similar to the point count work she did at California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco and the experience she had  at Swanton Pacific Ranch in Santa Cruz County. Her interest is in any sort of research or field work that will get her outside, and learning more about animals, always keeping conservation in mind.  If you know of any possibilities, we’ll link you up with her.

Nicole Durtschi tells Bob about her studies at CalPoly

We recognized her deep appreciation for the PCPW Scholarship that she received. Thank you for making your contributions! Remember the Amazon Smile button to the right…

Education never wears out, never becomes broken or goes out of style.

Bob and Heather

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Shopping with a generous spirit…

Shop for everyone on your gift list this holiday at http://smile.amazon.com/ch/46-1442299and Amazon donates to Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch Inc. #YouShopAmazonDonates

Remember a gift to our scholarship student is a gift of education. 
Education never wears out, never becomes broken or goes out of style.

AmazonSmile Org Central


Correction for the previous post:

“Just for clarification, I am the president of the Cal Poly student chapter of the Western Section of the Wildlife Society — a mouthful, I know. The president of the Western Section is Dr. Rocky Gutierrez!” My-Lan Le

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Our scholarship students…

Observation date:  November 2017

Rather than read part of this on your mobile phone or Facebook, please click on the link, go to our beautiful website to read and sign up to follow our activities. You’ll see the whole picture then.

Our second CalPoly student who received a Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch scholarship of $1,000 due to your donations was Nicole Robin Durtschi. She was a student in Field and Wildlife Biology last year and has since graduated. We’ll be meeting with her over the Thanksgiving Holiday to tell you what she is up to.

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in October at Morro Rock, we met our third scholarship recipient, My-Lan Le.

My-Lan Le and Bob Isenberg

Both Bob and I were pleased to get together to hear her enthusiasm for Wildlife Biology. Her excitement covered her original request as a child to her parents for bird books, then birding in the Bay Area, now doing some small mammal trapping of ground squirrels, studying sea otters, and demonstrating study of fence lizard throat patches, etc. She is now the President of the Western Section of the The Wildlife Society. Her plans after graduation are to work for a nonprofit organization with her Biology degree. There is so much to do in that field to take care of our planet, Earth.

Biology Professor John Perrine and assisting student curator, My-Lan Le

“I have spent my undergraduate career doing fieldwork quantifying behavior across many taxa; the scientists I worked with studied community interactions, sexual selection, and life history to name a few. I look forward to applying my experiences to technician research and internships that will refine my focus for graduate studies. The collaborative environment of science is what pushes me to further understand the intersection of research, environmental education and outreach, non-profit organization, environmental management, and government policy. I will continue to be engaged in scientific communities outside of my undergraduate institution, like the Wildlife Society which I’ve been a part of for three years. My time at Cal Poly SLO and at the other institutions and organizations I’ve worked for have solidified my belief that science is something to be engaged with and discussed with all people.” My-Lan Le

There are always opportunities to contribute to a CalPoly student in the field of biology. Please take time to contribute by sending a check to us made out to “PCPW” and in the memo write “scholarship.” Mail to PCPW, 765 Center Ct., Morro Bay  CA 93442

Another method would be to go to PayPal and send your donation to pcpw@me.com.

A third method would be to use the “DONATE” button to the right.

Before you spend your money on material possessions think about contributing to the education of a CalPoly Biology student.

Education never wears out, never becomes broken or goes out of style.

With gratitude for your contributions, Bob and Heather

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Journal Plus and thank you…

Observation date:  August 2017

The August Journal Plus   was delivered all over the California Central Coast and made us so happy.  Charmaine Coimbra wrote an excellent article telling everyone about what Bob Isenberg does to educate people who visit Morro Rock to see the peregrine falcons. It can  be found on pages 16 and 17. We think you’ll enjoy reading it. It was Cleve Nash’s photo that became the cover photo. Thank you, Cleve!

August issue

August issue – pages 16, 17

Also, we want to let you know that those of you who purchase items on Amazon Smile benefitting the Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch have made a difference in our bank account. Amazon Smile made deposit for $21.93. Those of you who would like to participate please use the link off to the right.

We also had a person who used our donation button! All our thanks. Checks may be mailed us too.

We use any donations to run our 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization to raise money for scholarship money to be given to a Wildlife Biology student at CalPoly in San Luis Obispo. News coming soon…

Another bit of information is that I’ll be participating for the second time in the San Luis Obispo County 2017 Open Studios Tour this October 14-15, 21-22. A portion of my profits will be directed  to PCPW! I’m thinking about 25% will go to this  effort. Follow me at my website, “A Wandering Illustrator.”

Until the next sketch…peace, Heather

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Not much hope…

Observation date:  21 June 2017

Most everything has seemed to have ceased regarding chicks on the north side of Morro Rock. I have been ardently watching in hopes of a late clutch of young thinking the rains might have caused a later nesting. In the last month and a half, I and others have seen prey taken into the eyrie and have thought we heard chicks vocalizing up until about two weeks ago. Now nothing other than adults still landing in and guarding the nest site.

At times, no one is around the rock for long periods of time… 4 or 5 hours. Gordon Robb and I saw three kills in less than an hour.  A white throated swift, a bushtit and an unidentified shore bird. None of these were taken into the nest site, but eaten by the adults.

It’s now the first of July and I have completely given up on offspring. This is the first time in sixteen years a chick has not been hatched on Morro Rock. That includes the south side too. I’ll keep watching, but not with much hope.

peregrine falcon

Flying high over Morro Rock                   Photo by Cleve Nash

Happy trails, Bob

Item: Today, the 3rd of July, when returning to the rock, the tiercel was followed by a juvenile female. The resident female perched on the nest site, was squawking vociferously. The young turned and flew off.

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Observation date:  10 May 2017

On April 31st, I wrote a post about the north side falcons in the “cathedral hole,” a previous nest site used in 2001. After seeing the male in this hole for several weeks, I thought they were nesting there until they were evicted by Western gulls. So I didn’t post the story and thought I’d wait a few days to see if I could find where they went.

Surfboard hole with eyrie tucked in behind the flat rock            Photo by Bob Isenberg

A couple of days of hard observation around the rock had paid off. The pair had taken a new eyrie, one never used before. There have been four other nest sites that the north side falcons have used over the past 17 years. Prior to that there were no falcons inhabiting the north side of Morro Rock.

Female peregrine at the surfboard hole                         Photo by Bob Isenberg

I have been watching for the last ten days and have seen prey delivered into this eyrie. This means “chicks.” I expect to see young soon.

Happy trails, Bob

Item: This is the story that I withheld…

Observation date: 1 May 2017
In my last post both male and female north side falcons had been observed daily in the “cathedral hole.” In the last couple of weeks, things have changed drastically. Now it is occupied by Western gulls. Since then, I have only seen the male perched in other various places. I can only speculate what happened. They could have moved around the rock where I cannot observe or we could have lost the female. Time will tell, especially if we see young flying around the rock by June.

The south side pair have not produced a chick in three years mostly due to the age of the female who turned eighteen this spring. In the wild, normal lifespan is 17 to 20 years. All I can do is observe. When I know, you’ll know.

Happy trails, Bob

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The Peregrine Watch goes to college…

Observation date:  8 April 2017

In past years, Professor Maureen Smith has brought her students from Saddleback College in Orange County, California to Morro Bay to explore all the wonders. They camp in the Morro Bay State Park and venture out to see every thing of interest. For some it is a non-stop adventure. Everyone has a job and each does it well. I wish our government could run this smoothly.

For Maureen, the falcons are a must.

After I’ve given a presentation and slide show on Friday night, the following morning they came to Morro Rock to see the falcons live! They were not disappointed. Flying exhibitions of high speed cliff racing, gull spanking and the lot. We were able to only watch the north side pair. The south side are not nesting again this year. The north pair are nesting in the Cathedral hole named for its arch shape visible from different angles.

Cathedral eyrie                     Photo by Bob Isenberg

This was the first eyrie used by the north side falcons in 2001 and has not been reused until this year.

Female in nest site                        Photo by Bob Isenberg

Happy trails, Bob

Item: The photo we show here is for location purpose and were taken with an iPhone. The other shows the bird in the Cathedral hole and was taken with my Canon 500mm with a 1.4 extender.

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Excitement at Sweet Springs…

During the month of February 2017, drama took over. The winter residents included a Bald Eagle flying over Sweet Springs Nature Preserve, Los Osos, CA. It comes in with the migrating birds and leaves in the springtime. The peregrine is our visiting falcon, “Doris” who we’ve followed for years.  She visits each winter too. Cleve had seen her in the old snag by the coffee shop where she usually perches. Suddenly, she took off, flew across the bay and was on a mission!

Attack !                            Photo by Cleve Nash

Since the gate has been locked by the CA State Parks due to winter weather, swells, (which have calmed down now), the dredging operation which has set up huge pipes in the large parking lot and who knows what else, Bob has been unable to go out to view the south side peregrines. He has been watching the north side pair and will hopefully write up a story for you.

Until my next exploration, Heather


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Do you have a Valentine?

Just to let you know, we received a $17.36 donation from AmazonSmile because you chose to make your online purchases by using AmazonSmile and contributing to Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch. We are grateful for every little bit.

Support us when you shop for Valentine’s Day gifts. #StartWithaSmile at http://smile.amazon.com/ch/46-1442299 and Amazon donates.

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