Our Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus are just about ready to fledge. In fact had it not been raining pretty much all day today I am pretty sure they would have launched into their first flight this morning. As it was, the air was heavy and moisture-laden with no late morning convection currents to give them the lift they need for their maiden voyage.
The pictures gathered over the last few days are hardly paragons of photographic excellence but they serve to show the progress these four healthy youngsters have made.
Ironically, on the one opportunity I had to get all four young birds in the same shot, I had no memory card in my camera!
Here are a couple of shots of the adults
Since the pictures above were taken the chicks have left the nest box and are now wandering around the deck on the communications tower, all the while flapping their wings and flexing their flight muscles in anticipation of that first launch into the freedom of the skies.
Everything is not Peregrine Falcons, however, and on an early morning walk around Columbia Lake I was surprised to come upon a couple of White-tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus.
At this time of year there is food aplenty for these browsers and they have a sleek, handsome appearance.
A couple of Song Sparrows Melospiza melodia were foraging on grit on the path, and I saw several of them also carrying food, so breeding is evidently well underway.
The woodlands are filled with spring flowers and blooms of every shape, colour and fragrance. I was especially struck by the Wood Anemones Anemone quinquefolia shown below,
I'll be checking on the peregrines again tomorrow. Who knows what might have taken place by the time I get there?