Had a rather unexpected visitor at the Awesome Yew Diner this afternoon:
Apologies for the poor image quality. The kitchen window works well for Kitty TV, but it's an awful place for photography. Shot this through a dirty window and screen. This time of day, whatever I want to photograph is generally pretty badly backlit. Buddy didn't want to wait around for me to open the screen and position my camera better, either.
Springtime, there's normally a peregrine nest in the Norway Maple a couple yards over. We've picked up the remains of pigeons all over the place here and have even seen blue jays mob these guys out of our yard. This is the closest, though, that I've been to one in a while. He looked like an immature male.
Update: Scared him/her away when I opened the screen, but noted that s/he was still keeping watch from a safe distance.
Keeping an eye out from the Norway Maple in our backyard.
S/he swooped down about a half an hour later, clearing the sparrows out of the yew and allowing us a better look. The topside was so gray as to be almost blue, the beak was hooked and we noted bold stripes on the tail. The lack of "mutton chops" on the face and the smaller size than what one normally sees in Peregrines around here led us to change our minds on what exactly the bird was. Perhaps our visitor was a wayward Sharp-shinned hawk.
Hopefully they'll come back again today so that we can get another look. (I'm thinking that they might be around, actually, as the seed and suet I put out yesterday haven't been touched. Normally the sparrows, finches and chickadees would have gone through at least half of it by now.)