A Break in the Weather

By: osdianna , 6:06 AM GMT on November 18, 2012

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I decided to take the dog to the beach during a break in the rain, hoping the falcons would also take advantage of the break. Peregrines don't usually hunt if the wind gets much over 15mph, and because the forecast for the next few days is going to be one system after another, these birds have to hunt every chance they get.

So I walked out onto the beach just before high tide, knowing there is also a storm surge, and that will keep most vehicles off the beach. That also allows the shorebirds to get a break from the dogs running loose. Sure enough, tons of shorebirds, mostly Dunlin and Sanderling. I watched a peregrine come in over the dunes and head south, then saw the telltale globing up as they tried to elude it. The bird caught one and headed to a large driftwood log to eat, but kept getting bumped by the incoming waves, so it finally took its meal inland.

A few minutes later I saw a falcon chasing a flock north of my position, coming my way. Just before they got to the path onto the beach a second falcon came in from the NE, over the dunes and dropped into the chase. It was a smaller bird, so now I was watching a male and female peregrine hunting in tandem.

They chased the flock south then came back north a few minutes later...switching leads and altitude, all against a growing patch of blue sky out over the water, and a real sharp line of clouds. Great visuals!

At one point they stopped chasing the birds and just hung above me, using their tail like a rudder and their wings to ride the increasing wind. Another band of rain was on the way...time to go. I hope they got to eat. They used up a lot of energy in that hour I watched them.

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About osdianna

Musings on daily events in my unremarkable life as a retired person who has found way too many things to do.

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