Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Notes from the Hawk Bench

Sunset 7:24PM,
Temp. 64F,
Wind WNW 5MPH,
Prey Field Notes 4/05/2005

Tally-None seen,

AM report: Two nest exchanges.
3:10PM Nest Exchange, Pale Male out, Lola in.
3:43PM Pale Male circles in front of 927, then Ship
Shape, back to 927, then Woody, past Ship Shape, back
to 927, two passes, lands on nest and gives Lola a
twig, which she places.
3:47PM Pale Male off.
3:48PM Lola turns eggs, then settles, tail to bench.
3:51PM Lola shifts head to front, west.
Nina's report,(rendered in between bouts of math
4:00PM Lola is hunkered down in the nest, and her head
is only visible as a little flash of movement. Her
feathers (I believe) are being ruffled by the wind.
She is moving her head in a staccato way. She is
facing north, her head is north.
4:08PM Her tail feathers are probably the ones being
ruffled. By Nina.
4:27PM Lola stands up and stretches wings, preens
chest, preens anterior wing edges.
4:29PM Lola turns the eggs, standing in two different
positions but beak may have had three positions. Pale
Male on Stove Pipe railing.
4:31PM Lola settles half down, beak works (preen
gland?)base of tail, then full down out of sight.
4:40PM Lola very alert, looking west.
4:45PM Lola out of sight in nest.
5:00PM Lola stands, preens chest, long slides with
5:05PM Lola turns eggs, then digging motions. She
settles tail to bench, shakes wings out.
5:11PM Lola stands, rearranges twigs.
5:13PM Lola hunkers back down facing S.
5:20PM Pale Male off SS railing to tallest tree close
south of Stove Pipe, clips twig.
5:24PM Pale Male does many crosses in front of 927,
lands on nest with twig. Lola places twig.
5:25PM Lola off nest to N.
5:26PM Pale Male sits into nest, stands again, digging
motions, sits. Alert, looking N and W.
5:27PM Pale Male shifts, head to S. Lola out of our
sight. Pale Male settles out of sight.
5:50PM Pale Male alert, head up, looks, S and W.
5:53PM Pale Male submerged.
5:55PM Lola comes from N and flies directly to nest.
5:56PM Pale Male up and circles over 927 twice, then
up Fifth (north) to Green tile building (Barbara
Walters), lands second story down, third window from
SW corner. Looks into window.
6:04PM While Pale Male has his back turned, I notice
he has a several inch circumference dark spot on the
back of his head, Katherine, Katherine, Jean, Naomi,
look through scope, much discussion. Definite dark
spot. Water? Oil? Molt?
6:15PM Lola turns eggs.
6:17PM Pale Male still on Green Tile, turns front,
surveys area.
6:24PM Mallard Count=12, including Stubby. For those
of you who have asked after him, the protein sheaths
on his pin feathers, soon to be new tail feathers,
have mostly dropped. The raw spot is no longer visible
and Stubby, having gotten many pity peanuts and
sympathy treats is now quite round and just might
become alpha drake next year out of sheer bulk.
For those who don't know Stubby, he was the 33rd duck
when the other 32 Mallards in the Conservatory Water
(Boat Pond) turned into 16 mated pairs earlier this
The other Drakes wanted him gone (competition for
their mates?)or ugly (no nifty tail curls?) so
therefore chased him around the pond plucking his tail
feathers out. But that is long past and Stubby is
doing fine. In fact there's a new little hen who is
much darker than the others, who might just be giving
him the eye....
6:30PM Lola submerged watching W through twigs.
6:40PM Exit
Submitted-Donna Browne