Thursday, January 26, 2017

January 26 - Gyrfalcon

This afternoon I was finally able to see the Gyrfalcon from the Stateline Lookout in Alpine, NJ !!

The bird has been sporadically reported since last Sunday the 22nd, however other obligations & stormy weather has kept me from seeing this beauty.  The Stateline Lookout is only 8-10 miles from where I work so once fellow birder Ray Gilbert sent out the word that the bird had just re-appeared at 1:30 pm I was instantly off to see it.
While it was just a short drive the exhilaration was in full swing as I headed north on the Palisades Parkway. Upon arriving I could see a handful of birders peering north along the western side of the Hudson River, and there perched in a tree just above the Palisades Cliffs one could see the bright white chest of the bird !
Quickly I setup my scope, which I had kept in my car all week in anticipation of this moment, and  was then able to get wonderful views of this fierce predator.
I have seen the Gyrfalcon previously in Massachusetts, and on Long Island, and Upstate New York, however these views in New Jersey may be my best thus far, particularly since it was a sunny afternoon.

Here is a fine image of this bird taken earlier this week by Greg Gard.
Please visit Greg's website for images of much better quality:

click to enlarge

 This is NJ State Bird # 383 for me !