Goin’ south…

Observation date: 29 October 2015

Access to the south side of Morro Rock has been closed today due to extreme high tides nearly seven feet and high surf. Yet, still visitors walk out to see the falcons and see the surf crash against the breakwater making a spectacular show of the ocean’s power, foam and spray.

Ocean breaking on the jetty

Waves crashing on the north jetty                          Photo by Heather O’Connor

For the last few weeks, the migration of many species of birds are being observed around the rock. Yesterday, we had three ospreys circling and diving in the bay that I watched along with other small birds, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Say’s Phoebe, Black Phoebes, Western Grebes, Eared Grebes and a lot of Monarch butterflies.

Yellow-rumped Warbler Photo by Bob Isenberg

Yellow-rumped Warbler                               Photo by Bob Isenberg

Both pairs of falcons on the rock continue to show signs of bonding, perching together and visiting previous nesting sites.

A lot of the morning hours, I spend photographing surfers on the north side of Morro Rock. Once or twice a day, I am interrupted by the shrill call of the peregrines and my attention turns to them. Yesterday, it was the female approaching the rock over the surfers. I was not alerted by the call, but by the unusual shape flying towards me. The wing beat said falcon, but the shape I could not describe until it got closer. She was carrying a Common Murre, but had not gathered it up completely and one wing and leg were dangling down. After she landed, I photographed her pluming and eating the Murre for the next 45 minutes.

Peregrine with Common Murre Photo by Bob Isenberg

Peregrine with Common Murre                             Photo by Bob Isenberg

I turned to watch the surfers and when I turned back she was gone as was the Murre.

Happy trails, Bob

Item: I neglected to mention the two migrating juvenile peregrine falcons that had been chased off in the last two days by the south side resident pair. They escaped with what was left of their pride and fewer feathers.


About Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch

The Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch is here to inform birders, students and all people who are eager to know about these handsome peregrines. We want you to enjoy and be able to use our on-site powerful spotting scopes. We are available to answer your questions about the pair of falcons that have been observed for many years.

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2 Responses to Goin’ south…

  1. SallyK says:

    Outstanding update. Thanks.

    • Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch says:

      Thanks, Sally. We’re on the job even though Bob is at the north side of the rock photographing surfers in the morning. Afternoons, he heads to the south side when the gate is open. Please see our upcoming post. ~Heather

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