Wednesday, May 22, 2024

In the Merry Merry Month of May

It was a beautiful May morning: crisp temperature, bright blue sky, a stiff breeze. I took a walk along the river for about a mile. As in many places the railroad parallels the shore; not unusual for railroads, it’s undergone many name changes and mergers, starting life as the Sunbury and Erie Railroad, which became part of the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad that was absorbed by the Pennsylvania Railroad, became part of Conrail and is now operated by Norfolk Southern.

Walking down the tracks my attention was drawn to the dee-dee-dee-dee of a killdeer’s alarm call. Killdeer prefer to nest on a gravel substrate and the trackside was a perfect place for them. The bird ran ahead of me calling constantly –

As hard as I looked, the well camouflaged eggs eluded my gaze. It’s certainly possible that the site had been selected but no eggs had yet been laid and the bird was alarmed in advance.

On I went, stepping on every other tie for several hundred yards when another killdeer began sounding an alarm. This one didn’t just run down the tracks, it put on a full-blown broken-wing display –

Once again there was no nest to be found. To show what a killdeer nest looks like, here's a photograph of a nest on I found on the edge of a parking lot several years ago –

On down the tracks I went, toward the bridge where peregrine falcons nest. And there in a tree was a falcon, from the size almost certainly the male of the pair –

I waited for a while, hoping he’d take off and present an opportunity for some photos of a peregrine in flight. He didn’t cooperate so I went on.


  1. Those Killdeer were successful in luring you away.

  2. That is a great hiding spot, in plain sight!

  3. Love the Killdeer images, they are so cute. Great sighting and photos of the Peregrine Falcon. Thank you for linking up and sharing your critter post. Take care, have a great day and happy weekend.

  4. The Killdeer blends in so well with his background. I love them and haven't see one in a long time!


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