6/18, Out in the Rain

Hawkwatching at the cathedral on Wednesday started close to 6:30 with Stella pointing out an adult red-tail perched on the roof of the old orphanage in the cathedral close. Although getting from Morningside Drive into the close takes a five-minute walk, I opted to check if the adult was watching over a fledgling. Apparently so. I barely got back there and realized the adult was gone when a fledgling fluttered onto a finial atop St. Jame's Chapel.

Red-Tail Fledgling

It perched for a couple minutes, possibly watching a parent in the trees to the west.

Red-Tail Fledgling

Checked out the local scenery, with St. Bartholomew looking on.

Red-Tail Fledgling

And then decided to switch finials. Perhaps it was curious about the peacock perched on the scaffolding about 50 feet away.

Switching Finials

Switching Finials

Perfect landing.

Switching Finials

It didn't stay on the new spot long. There had been some fluttering up atop the statue of St. Thomas or of St. James the Great, presumably an adult headed the other way, and the fledgling first flew over to the scaffolding above St. Ambrose Chapel.

Red-Tail Fledgling

And then hopped around from pipe to pipe. Eventually it worked out a system for ascending the scaffolding.

Red-Tail Fledgling

And after 10 minutes had gotten even with the pedestal on which the statue of St. Thomas stands.

Red-Tail Fledgling

But then it tried to hop over onto the slim ledge atop the pedestal. Ooops. Unable to find a grip, it fluttered and hovered in the air for a few seconds. Then it parachuted downward, out of sight.

I headed back around to Morningside Drive, passing through the cathedral on the way in order to get out of the rain which had started to fall. I found Bruce watching the chapel roofs, but with all the tree cover, he'd apparently missed the action a few minutes earlier. Another minute later, I spotted a fledgling on the walkway above St. Columba Chapel.

Red-Tail Fledgling

It only stayed in that spot another minute or two. Then despite the rain, it flew out on the roof of Columba Chapel and perched on the little angel statue. And as the rain began to fall harder it stayed there, and stayed a little longer.

Just past 7:30, the rain began to let up and the cloud cover began to break up. The fledge was still on the little angel.

Red-Tail Fledgling

And now, with the rain almost stopped, it finally decided to move. A hop, skip, and a jump and it was into the treetops over Morningside Drive. It took until 8:00 before Bruce spotted the fledgling still perched at the very top of a tree near Columba Chapel. In the interim, Lincoln had pointed out an adult red-tail perched on the hospital roof, and we had watched a kestrel taking dives at it. There was also intermittent fledgling begging which led us to believe that the other fledge was close by, perhaps on a chapel roof.

Posted 6/19/2008 03:32:00 PM by Robert

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