Off to a late start this morning (7:30 ish). As our custom, Molly calls the location for photography on Saturdays. Her target for the day was the peregrine nest on the River Road.
However, Molly and I first made a leisurely detour through Riverlands and the Confluence to just see what, if anything was going on. Unusual road work on Jones Road…. the new culverts make an odd kind of ‘speed bumps’. Drive it and you will see what I mean. Riverlands had distant pelicans, some blue herons and even one egret. It appears they are drawing down Heron Pond. I suppose it is a seasonal thing and there should be shorebirds coming shortly. Problem for photographers is if they drop it too fast all the shorebird mud will dry up except for the distant center of the pond. May work for bird nerds with 20-60 power spotting scopes but not so good for even long lens and photographers.
After satisfying our curiosity, off to the peregrine nest. We pulled off the road and got the tripods set up. No evidence that “anyone was home”. Just as we thought that it might be a long wait, the male came screaming in and landed on what most of us call the “butcher block”. This is the rock that the peregrines seem to prefer to dismember their prey and feed themselves or their babies. A bluejay was the morning meal and the feathers began to fly. After eating, the male took a short flight over the River Road and went to the old snag with the cactus at the base. He stayed there eyeing the turkey vultures, pelicans and other passersby.
Highlight of the morning was when George Goecken pulled in and enlivened the conversation. He had been up to Swan Lake, Pere Marquette and all the River Road back to Alton. He reported that not much was going on. He declined to photograph citing that he had more than enough peregrine on the tree pictures and his recliner was calling his name. We followed his lead shortly when the male took off and did not return.
Gallery– Photos by Molly