Mountain Plover Fiesta Island Dog Run

phil Pryde

The Mountain Plover was present around 9 a.m. this morning (Thurs.), just 30 feet or so east of the center (main) path from the N gate into the Fiesta Isl. dog run area, in a 90 degree line with the trash can with the  blue plastic (liner?) at the top.  I totally lucked out seeing him (her?); the bird’s back is exactly the color of the surrounding sand. Dogs and their pet humans were starting to pour in, so I’m sure he’ll feel a need to relocate from where I saw him, but he seems remarkably OK with dogs chasing tennis balls not 20 feet from him. 

Slightly related question:  while in the dog run area a dark falcon zoomed by me, it was definitely a (pointy-winged) falcon, but seemed a bit too big for a Merlin, but a little small for a Peregrine. My field guide says Peregrin’s range from 15” to 20”; he could have been a 15” male.  This is the 2nd time I’ve seen this dark falcon zoom by me at the dog run, so perhaps others have noticed it too.  Im leaning towards calling it a smallish Peregrin, but just thought I’d ask if anyone has seen a positively ID’d Merlin in that area this fall?  Thanks for sending me any opinions you have re this bird, if you’ve seen it. 

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