Well, I was going to impress everyone with the first shot of (one of?) the chick(s?) at Heron Rd. I saw it quite clearly, not in the nest but a couple of feet away. It was preening up a storm and looking adorable, or at least its little beady-eyed face was. That’s all I could see. But I took the opportunity to digiscope a few photos so I could show everyone.
Yeah, awesome, isn’t it? Whether because the camera angle was a little lower than my line of vision through the scope, or because this chick has impeccable timing, none of the eight photos shows its face. Instead, I have five photos of the ledge, and three photos of a white crown against a white backdrop (circled). Yes, the one above is the best I can do, even with Photoshop (okay, Aperture, but still).
Guess we have to wait a little longer for that first baby portrait. Or you can look at these little guys and pretend one of them is the chick I saw.
Incidentally, this is my fifth year on the Falcon Watch, and my fourth doing nest monitoring. Yet I had never seen an actual downy Peregrine chick until today. I joined the 2009 Falcon Watch when Tailer and Nihei were of fledging age and had all their feathers (I wasn’t even an official volunteer yet when I helped rescue the male juvenile, Tailer, after he almost landed on my head). I spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons becoming closely acquainted with unhatched Peregrine eggs. Last year, there was more waiting in vain downtown until I found out about the falcons on Heron Rd. — about a day and a half before the first one started flying.
My photos may be useless, but this evening’s first look at a chick was a special moment for me.