Lunar eclipse, peregrine, Saturn’s rings

A group of us went to the SF Embarcadero to view the lunar eclipse, hoping to see the pair of bridge peregrines.

As I got to Pier 14, I got a phone call and was told there was a peregrine on the north cables of the bridge, just west of the W2 tower, but by the time I had the scope turned that way, it was gone. We met at the SFFD FireBoat Station, directly adjacent to W2, to watch for the return of the peregrine.

The moon rose beneath the bridge, already with a chunk out of its lower left arc. And just then we spotted the peregrine on the tower, again on the cable just west of the tower. Full moon, eclipse, and a peregrine.

The peregrine dove off the tower in a stoop, headed north, then turned west and flew into the city. It was full dark by then and there were too many buildings in the way to follow her.

At near totality of the eclipse we turned the scope onto Saturn. I had never thought to use the birding scope as a telescope for other than the moon, not thinking it was powerful enough. But we could see the rings very clearly.

A magical night altogether.

Today at 2, I stopped by to see Espie on her corner. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve seen her, despite several drive-bys. She was on her favorite NW corner. I got out my scope and camera. After only a couple of minutes, she took off over the Emeryville crescent, returned, circled the buildings and again headed out over the crescent. I saw her chasing a pigeon but was not in a good place to be able to observe where she went. She looks like she has a couple of loose feathers although it’s still a bit early for her first molt. She is 10 months old. I got a couple of shots of her from a long distance away, both bands showing.

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