First congratulations to Tyler, Ted and Kaylee for photographing and getting ID on the Prairie Falcon!!
Ian, thank you for making my morning with those beautifully written words...indeed poetic!!
Eric, thanks for the link on 'play back'. I still say the best birding is done when it's just you, your binoculars and nature.
On Sunday October, 20 of 2013 I led an NEK Audubon filed trip to Dead Creek. We met a couple from southern Calif. who decided to join our small group as we 'birded' the area. Our first stop was along Gage Rd. as I've always been able to find Kestrels and Meadow larks there that time of year. We did find lots of the larks and 2 Kestrels then we sighted a falcon species we couldn't quite identify. It wasn't a peregrine but more Merlin like. It interacted a bit with one of the Kestrels and having to use a scope (quite distant) was not able to identify it before it flew from the immediate area. It always bothers the 'heck' out of me when I can't nail down a species (at least in Vermont). But I wrote it off as a Merlin and we continued the field trip. That was over 2 months ago so I really don't believe it was the Prairie Falcon. But it does go to show sometimes one should think 'outside the box'. I never have the 'rare bird mentality' when I bird. I'm always just so happy seeing whatever is there that it never crosses my mind I will see something that is not supposed to be there :) Maybe that is why I've never found anything rare. : )
There was one very unusual falcon on a wire. The bird was about the size of a Merlin. (It could have been a bit larger, but I couldn't tell. It was much bigger than the nearby Kestrel and considerably smaller than the fly-by Peregrine.) Its belly was snow white, the top very dark grey. The head was dramatic white and black, with a clear black moustache. I got a good, long look at the right side of the bird, in good light, and there were no colors except very white, very black and dark gray. All in all, the bird looked like a cross between a Merlin and an Eastern Kingbird.