Thursday 16 January 2014

The Prairie Falcon Twitch

Jan 14/15 River Rd West/34st Ladner B.C.
For the first time in decade a Prairie Falcon (PF) has set up a winter home in the coastal Lower Mainland. For those interested there is apparently another PF and a Gryfalcon in the Chilliwack area. The PF normally winters south of B.C. In the summer time it breeds on craggy cliff faces in the Caribou and Chilcotins area of Interior British Columbia.
The juvenile PF in drawing numerous birders to the Ladner, just look for all the cars parked by the roadside on the way to Brunswick Point. The first day the bird was so far away it was pointless trying to photograph it. Thanks to a number of birders with powerful scopes I was able to see the bird as it perched on the piece of farm machinery. Today the bird finally came closer but I was ill-prepared.
The Prairie Falcon I finally got in focus is seen below is clutching a vole that it has just stolen from a Northern Harrier. I totally screwed up a sequence of shots here by forgetting to check my shutter speed.
I will be back tomorrow for another go!
Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus)

I went back Thursday Jan 16 and the result is a closer shot.
While waiting for the Prairie Falcon to make an appearance a pair of Bald Eagles squabbled over a vole which one of them had just stolen from a Northern Harrier.
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

On 34St a Northern Goshawk turned out to be a Cooper's…
Cooper's Hawk (Accipter cooperii)

Anyway, it has been a quite an interesting few days for more reasons than one.
One of my winter projects has been to organize my bird files (of which there are now thousands) into family groups.
During the process I found a series of Gryfalcon photos from Brunswick Point May 2012. A lifer, but its gets better. While ploughing through my last road trip I came across a Cassin's Vireo taken on the bench lands above Osoyos June 2012. So two species that I was unaware of so three Lifers this week if I include the Prairie Falcon. Too cool! Maybe there are other hidden gems. Flycatchers anyone!

Good Birding


1 comment:

  1. John, good luck with the PF! The eagle shot is spectacular!