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juro 11-16-2000 08:14 AM

No coffee, but a rainbow at Whites
Actually, I had coffee. Knowing GregO, he did too. Jared didn't... but he landed a nice rainbow off the shoal at the opening to the back cove this morning.

It was quite mild, and the water seemed warmer than the air. There were fish rising fairly regularly and the float tube would've been great.

An Osprey has taken residence on the pond, and was focused on working a clear sandy shoal cleared out by summertime swimmers on the sunny back corner. We watched it make two dives, one productive. This corner is warm, sheltered and gets the first hatches because of it. I walked over and it was obvious why it worked that spot in the morning. I'm sure he's eyeing the shoal as we speak.

Winter is coming though - we flushed a chub out of the shoreline scrub and it was so lethargic I was able to touch it with the tip of my rod before it took off.

We fished it for less than two hours, I'd say there's plenty of fishing left at White's if the weather holds up. Got to work on time too!

So Powers - how do we get this guy into Lycos?

jared 11-16-2000 08:41 AM

RE:No coffee, but a rainbow at Whites
Was a fun morning. A chill in the air, but not unduly so. Mostly wind-free. Plying waters with a fly is always a great way to start ones day. The trout was an unexpected bonus. Definitely bringing the tube next time! For the most part, the active feeders were well out of range from us shore-bound folks. Nice to finally meet Juro after corresponding all these years.


Powers 11-16-2000 09:02 AM

RE:No coffee, but a rainbow at Whites
"Us shorebound folks"?

Did you not, after extensive consultation with me, purchase a Pungo? Do you not still own a great big SUV which can easily accommodate a Pungo on the roof? Have you not seen or read of rabbit-out-of-the-hat experiences that having a Pungo on the roof of your SUV makes possible?

Why the heck were you shorebound?

[Juro, I've been encouraging the guy to come to Lycos, but now I'm having second thoughts...]

jared 11-16-2000 09:13 AM

RE:No coffee, but a rainbow at Whites
Aforementioned Pungo never made the change off daylight savings, and the float tube decided to take a flex day....besides, having never been there I decided it might be best to reconnoiter from shore....i'll endeavor to do better next time and hopefully restore your faith in me....

(how many transgressions are permissible before my pungo is recalled to the mother ship?)

besides, this looks more like tube water anyway...shall save the pungo until you take me in the rollers off nauset.


grego 11-16-2000 09:34 AM

RE:No coffee, but a rainbow at Whites
On the "Commuter FlyFishing" thread I said Falcon Not Osprey, what's the difference? Same Family? Any bird experts? I can only tell a tit-mouse from a wood-cock!

TinMan 11-16-2000 01:56 PM

RE:No coffee, but a rainbow at Whites
That's a great area to fish - I've caught some very large bass in that "lagoon" as well, on a sunfish pattern - when I wasn't catching sunfish on it (carnivorous little devils).

Greg - if it was catching fish, it was likely an Osprey (aka "fish hawk"). Falcon's usually feed on mice, birds and reptiles and hunt over land.

grego 11-16-2000 04:07 PM

RE:No coffee, but a rainbow at Whites
Yes, But can't two birds have very different diets & still come from the same family of birds? I guess, alls I'm sayin is, Ospreys look a lot like Falcons, no?

juro 11-16-2000 05:25 PM

RE:No coffee, but a rainbow at Whites
I can't tell a mole from a wart either, but the Falcon is a smaller raptor with red eyes, makes it's way by eating other birds if I am not mistaken. Coloration white undersides with brown back, mottled transition between the two colors and large red eyes.

The humble Osprey makes it's way thru life by contorting it's body into a feet first dive and a see-food diet... sees food, etc. Much larger than a falcon, pale white underside with gray black back, more wing than body in overall proportions.

They all have similar characteristics but the eagle has the most impressive shape and is not just a bird, it's an inspiration - whether seen in the Thompson River Valley, the Olympic Peninsula, Alaska - or wherever. I have enjoyed seeing every eagle I've set my eyes on over the years.

Number one pickup line at a bird-watcher's convention...

<a href="">Gotta email me for this one I'm afraid</a><!--email-->

isoh 11-16-2000 06:13 PM

RE:No coffee, but a rainbow at Whites
Greg -- That was an Osprey we saw nesting just down the river a bit at the cottage this year. They are buzzard-like in size, whereas a falcon (remember the Perrigrine that was roosting in downtown Boston a while back?) is more chicken sized.

Juro's right, the dead give away is the two tone underside. Belly white, outer wings black. Falcons are more mottled in color on top and have a solid white underside. My former boss could spot birds based on their wing silouhette (sp?), but I'm not even close to good enough for that.

Guys, this sounds like primo fishy ground. Jared, how nice is nice?

artb 11-16-2000 08:04 PM

RE:No coffee, but a rainbow at Whites
I thought by this time all ospreys had headed south for the winter. I do know a few birds, my heart got broken Tuesday. I had a House finch that would eat out of my hand, I was looking out the window watching the finch on the bird feeder, when in swooped a falcon and good bye finch, it didn't have a chance.

bigcat988 11-16-2000 08:54 PM

RE:No coffee, but a rainbow at Whites
I haven't seen any Osprey on there nest on the Back River in the last few weeks.
But this past summer, when working in Boston on a concrete plant a falcon flew into the plant and roosted on the window sill for about an hour. I wish I had my camera with me.

ssully 11-16-2000 09:04 PM

RE:No coffee, but a rainbow at Whites
Osprey [Pandion Haliaetus]

Identification: The Osprey is a fairly large hawk, 21-24 inches in length, with long, pointed wings spanning 54 to 72 inches. The head, throat and undersides are white; the back, nape, tail and back of the head are dark brown. A black eye stripe is located behind the eye. Look for the conspicuous crook in the wing and the black "wrist" mark in flight to differentiate this bird from the Bald Eagle.

Range & Habitat: The Osprey is found throughout the world except for the polar regions. In Florida, it is commonly sighted along the coast and near large lakes and rivers.

Reproduction: Osprey occasionally nest in large colonies. A bulky nest of sticks and trash is placed on the ground, on ledges, in trees or on telephone poles and other manmade structures. More building material is added to the nest each year it is in use. The nest resembles a Bald Eagle's nest, but is not usually as large. Incubation of the clutch, usually 3 white, buff or pink eggs, by both parents takes about 35 days. Young fly between 8 and 10 weeks of age.

Diet: The Osprey's diet consists almost exclusively of fish, but has been reported to include birds, turtles, snakes and small mammals.

Remarks: Osprey capture prey by striking the water after hovering 50-150 feet above the surface. This hawk has a reversible outer toe which can be rotated so that it extends to the rear of the foot. This facilitates fishing, as it permits the bird to use 2 strong hooked claws on either side of its prey. Unfortunately, Osprey have been persecuted by many fishermen who feared competition with these majestic birds. Hostile commercial fishermen have nailed fish to wooden boards and floated them in common Osprey areas, hoping to wipe out the bird's population. Such harassment is unwarranted because the Osprey eats mainly mullet and non-game fish of no commercial value. Eagles have also been known to harass Ospreys in flight, causing them to discard a recently captured fish. The eagle then pirates the fish and flies off.

Peregrine Falcon [Falco peregrinus]
Identification: The Peregrine Falcon is a crow-sized raptor, 15-21 inches long with a wingspread of about 40 inches. Sexes are similar, although the female is larger than the male. Adult birds are slate gray to blue gray on the back, with a dark cap over the head and a dark side burn extending through the eye. Young birds are dark brown above and heavily streaked below, with a facial pattern similar to adults. Peregrine Falcons have long, pointed wings, and in flight, give the impression of effortless power and speed.

Range & Habitat: This species is cosmopolitan, breeding on every continent except Antarctica. Florida has been an important wintering area for Peregrines. Florida's coastal areas provide optimum wintering habitat in regions where ducks, coots, gulls and herons are found in sloughs and scattered open ponds.

Reproduction: Peregrines usually prefer a cliff site for nesting, where a small depression is made for a nest. It will also nest in broken tops of tall trees and on window ledges of tall buildings. The female typically lays 2-4 cream or buff eggs in April, and does most of the incubation, typically a period of 33-35 days.

Diet: Peregrines are essentially bird hawks and will take most other smaller birds including waterfowl and songbirds. The hunting technique relies on spectacular "stoops," in which the birds fold their wings and go into a dive that ends with a midair strike. Depending on the size of the prey, they either grab hold with their talons, or knock the kill out of the air and descend to pluck and eat.

Remarks: The Peregrine Falcon was nearly exterminated from the use of DDT, a pesticide that causes eggshell thinning in many birds of prey. The species was listed as endangered in 1970 by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. It was subsequently given protection under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which was the first law in the U.S. to recognize the importance of preserving wildlife and habitats.

Individual Peregrines have been known to live 15 years and have experienced a comeback throughout U.S. cities, where they build nests on numerous building ledges. In Latin, Peregrinus means "wandering." Appropriately, this bird travels great distances during migration and can be found in almost all parts of the world.

Peregrine Falcons have been used for the sport of falconry at least since the Middle Ages. In those days the type of falcon an Englishman carried on his wrist marked his rank-the Peregrine was carried by an earl. Falconry, also known as hawking, is the art of training falcons to capture wild game or fowl for the hunter.

artb 11-17-2000 05:01 AM

RE:No coffee, but a rainbow at Whites
Excellent article Sully about Falcons & OspreysI use to fish for trout in a private pond where the owners were concerned about the number of Ospreys raiding the pond. I have video tape I have taken of Ospreys diving and catching trout around 16 inches long. I have even seen Ospreys have trouble getting off the water with trout so large that they couldn't get off the water. The pond is now a RI hatchery for trout

grego 11-17-2000 08:52 AM

RE:No coffee, but a rainbow at Whites

I got basically the exact same information from my "Audubon Field Guide to New Engalnd", but this hunt&pecker was too lazy to type it in! Some notes. Diving on fish was an absolute give-away that it was an Osprey. This bird did not have a 5'6" windspan, so it was most likely Juvie, which means that its markings were not as distinct as an adult (Al's point). It was really cool watching this bird operate. As the sun roze over the eastern treeline, the shallow water on the west side of the pond was illuminated with sunlight. This sunlight, I believe, allowed the Osprey to see down into the water & dive on fish. IronMike says there are a lot of sunfish in there. We didn't see the bird take anything Large, so I assume he had a sunfish breakfast.

Peregrine Falcons are rare around here, but we do have one on base (Hanscom); it sometimes perches on top of the tall lights around our parking area & I've gotten a pretty close look.

It's cool to observe nature & this time of year we can even take a moment or two & discuss it some. Thanks.

jared 11-22-2000 03:43 PM

RE:No coffee, but a rainbow at Whites
Al --

Just read your post more carefully...was a female, around 15"...pretty
sluggish til the first time she saw the net...but it was great to feel
that magic throb of life at the end of the line...may have to carry me
through for a while.


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