Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gyr's are just different...

...or at least mine is.  Mongo has been flying great.  Aside from a passing goose that he just couldn't convince himself to let pass unharrassed, he has been a model bird so far this year.

His first flight on ducks this year was a good one but he seems to always like to choose the ducks to the rear of the group.  He had a great pitch and I flushed but rather then taking on one of the lead ducks, he chose one of the rear ones that hadn't quite cleared the edge of the pond and knocked it back to the safety of the water.  After a single pass to make sure he couldn't juuuust maybe grab the duck off the water, Mongo leisurely flew over and landed at my feet.  Casually looking up at me, like a confused puppy with his head slightly cocked to the side, waiting for his lure.

This falcon has always been a one shot wonder since I started flying him.  One of the most frustrating parts of flying him has been that he absolutely will not remount after a miss.  After talking with several who have flown imprint Gyrs in the past, I've been told that is kinda par for the course and many do the same thing.

Duck flight 2 for him this year, started out much the same.   The falcon was mounting in a very gusty north wind and with a good amount of effort made his way up into the sky.  Once in position I flushed around 50 mixed species of ducks downwind off the water.  Mongo instantly folded into his drawn out stoop and picked out a couple of Gadwalls that turned away from the group and back towards the water.   The Gyr matched their move and fell in below and slightly behind them.  Then he put on move that I can best describe as a wobble back and forth.  This caused the ducks to feint each way matching his "wobble" and seemed to make them nervous about bailing into the water.  They made another move away from the pond, went about 50 yards out, and then turned to come back and Mongo struck down the leading bird with a monster hit at a crossing angle.  

I've never seen a move like that out of a falcon and it looked too deliberate to not have been intentional.  One of the best flights I've seen in a while if for no other reason than it was different from the standard smash and grab of the hybrids I've flown for the past 5 years or so.

Tulsa continues to catch ducks as well but he has been more of a pain than anything this year.  He just doesn't have the excitement in his flight that he has had in the past.  Ducks have just gotten to easy for him and aside from his first couple of duck flights this year, he hasn't missed since.  He's got another thing coming to him next week when he meets a Prairie Chicken for the first time.....


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