Today I attended Raptor Fest! Yep, I did.
Yeah, wasn’t a Naturing outing, but I had to go out into Nature to attend, so. And all of the raptors I saw are at a Wildlife Center or owned by a Falconer, who did a presentation. But it’s amazing to get to see any raptor so close. Definitely the closest I’ll ever get and definitely the best photos I’ll ever get.
And in doing so, I ended up looking at this area in detail to get a sense of what was nearby. So bizarre, but this is at the edge of Almaden. This is super close to my parents’ house, and where I lived for three years before going to college. It’s amazing how much green space there is over there. I’ve got a number of places in the area bookmarked now!
At the Rancho, I saw a handful of Western Bluebirds and A TON of California Ground Squirrels and even a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. One of the Santa Clara County Parks’ employees told me an American Kestrel was often nearby. Other than that, it’s pretty wide open and not with a lot of trees. Would be interesting to come back in the Spring and see what it’s like then.
The event was put on by POST, and there were some booths from local orgs that had various connections to raptors. The Wildlife Center had a Barn Owl, Turkey Vulture, American Kestrel, and Western Screech Owl (!!).
The big presentation was put on by Full Circle Falconry. And it reminded me very much of the Falcon Show they used to have at Dickens Fair that I loved so much. The Falconer showed us a release of pigeons that he said would end up back at his house, a Kookaburra, a Harris’s Hawk, a hawk whose name I can’t remember because it wasn’t clear to me how it was spelled, a Peregrine Falcon, and a Barn Owl.
He was delightfully entertaining and answered all the questions. Is it possible he was involved in those shows at Dickens Fair??
On the way home, as I was driving on 280N, I drove past this tall tower that has its top right alongside the highway bridge (just past the Bunker Hill exit). Back when I used to commute to the Tech Job on 280, I’d occasionally see a Peregrine Falcon up there. Sometimes even TWO OF THEM. It was always a treat. And, I don’t believe I’ve seen one there in the few times I’ve driven past since the Tech Job. But, TODAY. Today I saw one there! Was it building a nest or eating something up there? But, yeah. That was a highlight. Seeing an old friend. Bookending my day with raptors.
A close-up view of so many raptors and an introduction to a new area of green spaces for me to explore and all FOR FREE. Thanks so much, POST!