Thursday, February 4, 2010

Craptacular Weather: Thank God for Kestrels


Yesterday afternoon I had a great flight with my hybrid.  He was waaaay up.  I with the naked eye I could only see him off and on and it was still hard with the binos.  This is good cuz he's flown pretty poorly the past couple weeks.  Looks like I had him way to high in weight.  Anyway that's another conversation.  I flushed when he was directly over the pond and he hammered a hen mallard.  By the time he hit her they were a good fifty yards from the pond.  He did what he has been doing, hit her like a prairie, cut right through her, with no pitch up and wingover, into the ground.  As I'm making my way over there the mallard gets up about 20 feet from where I saw my bird go down and flys back to the pond.  I find him sitting on the ground and I jump him to the fist.  I noticed the end of one of his toes was a little purple.  I fed him and went home.  Today the whole toe is purple.  I havent had this happen before.  Dislocated toe yes, but not bruised like this.  



Woke up this morning hoping to beat the rain and get flights with the big birds but it was not meant to be.  Slushy rain and drizzle, but that won't stop my new super falcon.  So I headed downtown to look for Gremlins and was not disappointed.  I see the first single at the end of the block near the stop sign.  Giz seems to see it too as she starts rowing her wings on my fist.  As we make the approach the starling has got its beak in the ground searching for food not a care in the world, the perfect setup.  I drive along side and slip the Kestrel.  Only she doesn't launch of my fist like normal....  She actually loses balance and sorta falls out the window.  I thinking what the hell just happened?  She was excited, showing all the body language of ready to kill and then that?  Except she didn't fall she started pumping hard right away, never even looked at the Starling I intended for her to catch, and shot on down the street where she slammed into a starling feeding in a group.  This must have been 70 or 80 yards in front of me!  So she did see Starlings just not the one I saw.  She probably was wondering what the hell I was thinking putting her out the window so early but she made it count.  This all happened pretty quick so, channeling Jonathan,  I thought, "maybe we'll do another."  Once she had had a couple of bites I traded her off and we went searching for #2.  I made one right hand turn and up ahead there was another group of 6 or so.  We made our approach, out she went, and nabbed #2 about 2 feet of the ground.  Of course I'm thinking its time for #3, but when she came down with #2 they landed in a puddle.  Since Giz was soaking wet and I had to get to work before she would be dry, I decided to call it a day with Starlings 9 & 10 in the bag.