This morning I surveyed the area north of the Putu Dunes. Rode the bike out from the cattle fence north on Trinchera and got to the beach as the wind shifted from SW to NW.
Traversing the diagonal dunes near shore, I startled a juvenile peregine perched in the swale and watched it fly off. Really hard to get near them without flushing them. I threw a pigeon and turned the bird which flew sraight in but I then lost sight of it as I drove away thinking she was locked on the pigeon.
Apparently it was either not hungry or might have been the juvenile bird I trapped here earlier (same swale) but it was not going to come in anyway, so one just accepts the loss.
Not half mile further, I came slowly over the top of another dune, heading into the wind, and spotted the black head and gray back of an adult tundra falcon perched just ahead within about 200'. Since I had come in very slowly, the falcon did not even see me as I backed away. Its attention was directed upwind.
I drove inland, circled upwind and threw about a quarter mile north, then drove off and got out of sight. The peregrine came in within about three minutes and started to stoop. I could see right away that it was an adult male with a very rapid wingbeat. I was hoping for a female but this would do. Just then, another adult peregrine flew in and joined the stoops. She was not really committed but seemed curious to see what the male was after. As she turned coming out of a stoop, I caught sight of an antenna on her back and then could clearly see the transmitter. It was Island Girl.
We knew she was here from the satellite transmitter data and maps but we had missed seeing her last month. So it made my day to see the second tagged peregrine here in Chile.
I hoped to catch her but she was not going to have it. She flew off to the east towards one of her usual areas. The male sat atop the dune for 20 minutes closely examining the pigeon before departing to the south.
As you might expect of a bird just about to start a 9,000 mile journey, I think these guys are all pretty tanked up. I saw no behavior to indicate any sort of intense hunger.
To catch one of these pre-migrant peregrines, the timing has to be impeccable. Not sure it is possible but will continue to try until Felipe heads north.
Any day now....
Incidentally, the fog and cloud cover in Island Girls area is quite heavy right now. The season is changing. I am hoping that it is just this lack of sun not charging her batteries that is impeding her signals.
Oddly enough, a few miles south at Putu, there has been quite a bit more sunshine.
By the way, Island Girl flew strongly and from what I could see, looked healthy.
Will we get a fourth season from her transmitter?