Sunday, February 27, 2011

Birding Olympics or I Almost Had A Grabber

While talking to my neighbor & refilling the bird feeder, I caught a glimpse of a bird swooping by. Just thinking it was the neighborhood Cooper's Hawk, which by the way really enjoys the bird feeder buffet that local yards offer up. The neighbor said "What was that?", I looked to check that it was the Cooper's, but suddenly realized that it looked different & did not have its usual flight. It lands on top of a telephone pole across the way.

Grabbing the bins and walking down to the corner, I spotted it sitting two poles down, after some focusing the black mask of a Peregrine Falcon appears. At this point my heart starts to pump a little faster, never seen one around here, the next thing that comes to my head is "Where's the camera?"

I must of look like a maniac running back a half block in full sprint, into the house, up a full flight of stairs, then back down and out the door. My neighbor is still at the corner talking with some people, I then dash across the street, right in front of a Police Car, which didn't stop mind you. Approaching the pole, I fire off a burst from the camera like I'm working the trigger of a M-60. The Falcon seems a little distracted, so I shorten my distance, then notice a freshly dead Ring-billed Gull laying in the street. Was this its dinner? Anyway Mr. Falco decides that he wants no more attention and takes to the wing.

All this happens in under 15 minutes, my neighbor then looks at me and says, "You look out of breathe!", I then notice that I'm sucking wind & my pulse is racing. I thought I was a goner.


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