Friday, October 1, 2010
Holiday Beach Raptors
The most dramatic movement tonight was Turkey Vultures. Its been said that they are ugly to look at but beautiful on the wing. Kettles of them flew by... sometimes 10-30 of them at a time, gliding effortlessly at various heights (Due south). Blue Jays were migrating in numbers as well.
I really saw a great variety of raptors tonight... some included:
Peregrine Falcon (in pursuit of a Blue Jay)
Red tailed Hawk
Sharp shinned Hawk
Dark Eyed Junco (first for the fall)
White Crowned Sparrow
White Throated Sparrow
Black capped Chickadee
Great Blue Heron
As I was about to leave Jim & Sarah noted the Peregrine Falcon which circled the tower then started to chase a Blue Jay. Eventually, the Peregrine knocked it down into the water, and finally killed it for dinner. I have several photos of this chase, but they were blurry. The Falcon had a major chunk of feathers missing from one of its wings. It also had a blue-ish beak... which hints that it could be a young, first year falcon. A local photographer has an incredible photo of a Peregrine hunting a Blue Jay... I can't help but link to it here.