Thursday, October 15, 2009

2 out of 3 ain't bad

I have spent the last week (plus) mostly in a blind on the dunes of the North Carolina coast. The weather fluctuated mostly from bad to worse. Not because it was miserable, but more because the winds were not conducive to birds moving on their migratory routes. The main goal, of course, were peregrines. Secondary, we were after merlins.

As you already know, Andrew got his bird early in the week, and then he was in and out of the trap site for a few days, but soon he had to go out of town on business. That left Elizabeth from Pennsylvania, and Jim.

Jim had to leave early, and never got his falcon. We are hoping that he is not done. But then all that was left was Elizabeth, up on the dunes, watching the clouds scuttle across the sky, and the larks winging their way south.

But she caught nothing, all week long. She sat in the blind, working the pigeon bait, and waited.


We had more trappers come in this last weekend to help. Arnaud came back, and my sponsor Chris. And we joined her on the dunes. We did see lots of birds. We trapped a sharp shin, and had falcons and merlins buzzing our nets, but nothing got caught.

I had to leave and do my education thing. Saturday was winding down, Elizabeth had to return to PA on Sunday. Time was running out.

Then a peregrine came into the pigeon, popped over top of the net, and slammed it from above. It worked its talons in the pigeons back, staring around balefully. What to do, what to do.

Arnaud snuck out from the blind, covering his movements behind a bush. Then he charged, crashing through the foliage, scaring the bejeepers out of the peregrine. It jumped off the pigeon and burst into the air, into the net.

And was caught.

and there were two.

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