Peregrine Falcon

Bad Pictures of a Brilliant Moment by Walter Kitundu

This evening birds rose in a cloud from the surface of Bolinas Lagoon and a Peregrine powered across the water with great purpose. I soon spotted the reason for its determined flight in the shape of a fleeing Marbled Godwit.

The falcon would turn in tighter circles that the Godwit and angle in to cut it off. It often seemed to be flying ahead of its prey.

No escape. Climbing offered no refuge from the relentless pursuit as the falcon easily rose with its target as they banked and swirled for nearly two minutes.

The Peregrine seemed to be closing in I thought the Godwit was doomed but on the next pass over deep water the Godwit landed quickly and floated on the water's surface. The Peregrine immediately lost interest and flew on toward the distant shore.

14 Hours at the Point (Part 4) by Walter Kitundu

While shopping at the Cape May Bird Observatory store a thud at the window got our attention and the stunned bird was none other than a Black-throated Blue Warbler, a dismal way to get a life bird.

This one had a lot of green mixed in. Thankfully, held in hand in the warm sun, it quickly recovered and flew off. Most of the hundreds of birds flitting in the bushes were Yellow-rumped Warblers and I never did take the time to get a good photo of them.

Palm Warbler was also a new bird for me. This one was most cooperative as it bobbed its tail and looked for insects. It moved on when a hawk buzzed us both.

This Flicker was running from, guess what, a Cooper's Hawk. It can be rough neighborhood depending on your position in the food chain.

A surprise bird was a juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker flushed from the dunes near the beach. For your viewing pleasure... a poor quality but definitive documentation shot. I wouldn't have been able to ID it without the photo since it was yet another lifer.

Easier to identify but still hard to photograph, a Merlin above the platform eats a dragonfly on the wing.

The Merlin's big brother, a young Peregrine arrives and everyone takes notice... It had its eye on us too.

Urban Birds Part Three by Walter Kitundu

A Great Blue Heron on alert at Crissy Field with the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.

This isn't a paid advertisement... just a striking convergence of flying objects.

A young Redtail finds a convenient perch for gopher hunting.

Another Redtail sees something tasty in the grass and fully commits.

Bumper to bumper traffic. Watching a Redtail cruising along the road at an altitude of three feet always makes me nervous... but they don't seem to mind.

As we leave the city and close the Urban Birds series... we see a Peregrine perched on the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge.