[Tweeters] Lakewood Gyrfalcon?

Greg Pluth gjpluth at gmail.com
Sat Dec 14 13:33:27 PST 2013

Dear Tweets -

About two hours ago driving south of Bridgeport Way, I noticed a bird on
the street lamp by the Walmart parking lot. I immediately nixed a gull, and
in the next second I knew it was a raptor. At 30mph and passing under it I
screamed "falcon" (in my head) No way was it a Red Tail. I quickly signaled
and turned into the parking lot to try for a better look. Without
binoculars and with bad light and overcast, I walked across the grass from
the bird's left. I did not perceive the typical contrast of facial markings
and black back of a peregrine. As I approached to about 50 yds the bird
took off hard and fast to the south with steady fast wingbeats. The overall
grayness and size (wing-span) are what convince me it was a gyr. I watched
it speed southward and then a bit to the east. I was able to visually track
it for at least a half-mile and never saw it perch again as I'd hoped. I
was two minutes from home and would've quickly retrieved my camera and
binos, if it had perched. Still, a nice surprise treat!

Greg Pluth
University Place
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