Morro Bay is slowly coming back to normal after being inundated by “twitchers” and birders of every description. Everywhere you looked there were groups walking around loaded with all the paraphernalia that usually adorns the type. The Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival has been a great success, but I’m afraid it’s outgrowing its venue and its capacity to give participants what they want. Many of the events are sold out in minutes.
We at the Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch located this year on sight at Morro Rock. We were set up with three spotting scopes for the public and bird groups to get a close up look at the falcons. Each of the four days, we were visited by the many different groups, nearly 500 people in all.
The falcons performed in the morning right on cue with copulations at 8:19 AM and 10:35 AM on Friday and 8:40AM and 9:50AM on Saturday. Late afternoon groups saw nothing, but empty skies. Hearing of the morning’s activities, they returned the following morning and were not disappointed.
Following the day after the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival, visitors were treated to a thrilling display by the tiercel in his courtship flights for the female. Coursing down the face of Morro Rock turning into a high speed, low level exhibition through the parking lot three feet off the deck, over the rocks, down to the sand, clipping the wave tops to splash every gull in his way. It lasted less than a minute, but was truly spectacular. I was shouting every move like a boxing commentator.
Some one in the crowd said, “I’ve never seen you so excited, Bob.”
I replied “ Now you know why this is my favorite time of year!”
Happy trials, Bob
You will never get this close to a falcon where you can hear and feel the rush of wind, close at hand, as you can at this time of year.