Once again I remind myself that when I do a blog, to finish that blog... grrrr... still have an update for May sitting, waiting completion.
Now, mid June nears, and it's just about time to start the Peregrine Falcon fledge watch at Etobicoke Sunlife (Islington and Bloor). The kids are up there doing a lot of wing flapping the last couple days, and very soon will take their first big leaps off that ledge so high up. It's exciting and scary as anything for them, and for us who watch over them.... err, under them, from the sidewalk below.
It's a real struggle with some of the nest sites about the GTA. I'm not talking about all the dangers these young birds face, but with the lack of interested people in keeping an eye on them. There is a lot of time where it's like watching paint dry. Ho hum! Boring! And some people cannot stand that. That is the time when watchers get to know each other, share stories from the previous years, other birding/nature things, or just shoot the shit in general. Frank and I had a lot of good guy through some watches, unfortunately he is not with us anymore.
Some people don't want to come down and pay to park, not even for an hour or two.
Others, the ledge is too high, making it tough to see the birds and bad for photos. I've had a few people come down with cameras, scoff at the shitty site and leave. Meh, good riddance in my eyes.
Sure we all have lives, we work, we have families, we have other interests. But the Falcon watch really isn't that long, and even an hour or two the odd day sure can make a difference. It may be just giving someone a bathroom break or a laugh through some dull times. Or, it may be at a moment where all hell breaks loose, Falcon kids are struggling and falling, and people step in at that last moment, catching a grounded bird before he ends up on Bloor Street in traffic.
One of our young birds this year at the banding ceremony. Meet Mel.
One never knows what can happen during the watch. The birds can be unpredictable. And so can the general public. We've had women remove their tops in a moment, where they found themselves with a young grounded bird, and it was just them and the bird alone. Nothing to cover and carry the bird off with, and off goes a top. How's that for a story?!?! I tell people the world is full of weirdos and standing still in one spot, in Toronto, you are bound to run into a few. One of the Falcon blogs I make mention of a strange guy unsure what I am doing, he could not see the young Falcon from his view point, so he mimicked me and my motions, looking at me, looking at the wall, etc. and suddenly breaks out into song, singing "rain drops keep falling on my head". I can't make this stuff up.
I am going to attach a few Falcon blogs here from the past. The good, the bad, the exciting. I still enjoy re-visiting a couple of these and maybe you will too. I don't think this is a cheat by doing so. It's like a re-fresher, and perhaps someone new to my blog has not seen these. Maybe they will want to know where and when they could come down to our nest site and help, or want to know of another site closer to them.
First off, despite this being a few years ago now, I still hold out hope this crazy lady Falcon will show herself somewhere in the continent one day. Meet Layton.
Almost a year later, this blog here, of my morning alone with 4 fledged Falcons at the Rexdale site is still one a few people talk about. It excites but also scares some. I've probably read this one 5 or 6 times in the last 10 months.
And one more, sharing a dark moment with one of the birds. It's not all rainbows and sunshine, shits and giggles, at a Peregrine Falcon fledge watch. Grab the Kleenex if you care to read this one.
Some of us are watching our Etobicoke kids closely now via the web cam, as in the coming days, they will take flight. I save images and share them on social media for others to see. Here are a couple.
Mom, O'Connor, feeding one of her not so little boys the other evening.
Dad, Lucky, checking in on his first family 9 days earlier than the shot above. Amazing how quickly these birds change at this stage of their life.
Anyways, I am going to be quite occupied the next 10 days or so. I hate not blogging. I enjoy blogging. I have things to share. Lately, I'm just not feeling it. I struggle with words. I know I am still dealing with the loss of Meadow. I think I am okay and then something happens, stuff I am not ready to talk about or share with anyone other than my wife Angie. I know not everyone will get it, what I could tell. Sure I share stories, thoughts and feelings through these blogs and at times it raises an eyebrow. In the end though, I think my honesty wins over people before passing judgement.
Thanks for checking in, not giving up on my blog. I know there will be a story or two coming from the watch, and maybe I will finish the May update as we had a lot happen.
The watch in Etobicoke should be in full swing by this Friday, June 19th, and run for a week to 10 days.
If you can't join us, please wish the birds well, and us to keep our sanity.
A young PEFA from last summer. I don't always like to share the images because it leads some to come to a watch and expect to see a bird in close view, right then and there, like it's waiting for them, and poses for the people. Why is it that some people don't understand wildlife?