Site #1 Monitoring 04-08-08

Again a trip out to the site by myself.  Again wailing as I got there around 9 am.  This time it took me a minute to find the first peregrine, the female.  It was to the left of the ‘refrigerator’, eating.

It didn’t stay long.  A last few pulls on the tendons of the bird it was eating and it flew.  The male left the nest and the female took its place.   I heard the male as it flew to the west.

I climbed the trail and set up in the same place as before.  After about an hour, I climbed higher.  I got as far as I could go carrying tripod, scope, backpack with camera gear, and came back down to a wide area of the trail.  It gave me a good view of the food storage crevice and I could see the top left side of the rock atop the nest cave.

Turkey vultures were out.  I heard that deep deep buzz of a hummingbird and saw a rufous feeding on the sage, just 6 feet away.  It continued to come and go for a half hour and then was replaced by an Anna’s.  I stayed until 11:30, then started down.

Getting up and down was easier this time.  My legs are getting stronger from all the climbing and I’ve learned the tricky places in the trail.  It’s still not at all easy.

I set up again in the meadow but neither saw nor heard the peregrines so I headed out, thinking of lunch and a cold iced tea.  Thinking especially of the iced tea because I’d forgotten a water bottle—#1 rule, don’t forget the water.

On the way out, I looked down into the creek and saw a coyote hunting near the creek bank.  It saw me and started back into the brush so I took half a dozen steps back and set down my backpack to put the lens on my camera.  It had come back to the creek and moved down about 25 yards.  I followed, hiding behind any bush I could find.  I got a few photos of it before it moved on ahead out of sight.  It was appropriately skittish, unlike the coyotes in the Marin Headlands.  I did not want to scare it but even more I didn’t want to approach it at all and give it any ideas that humans are safe.

A little farther on I heard a bird singing in the brush.  I think it was a thrush.  I’ll have to look at the photos and compare them to the field guides.  Long skinny beak, yellow.  Long striped tail.  I didn’t see a spotted chest.  Beautiful song.

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