[Tweeters] Into the darkness-Robinson Canyon, Common Poorwill

Dan Reiff, PhD notcalm at comcast.net
Sun Aug 7 15:45:34 PDT 2016

I have spent much time with Common Poorwill this year in several locations to better understand their behaviors. Very special and interesting. And difficult to observe and film.
Have learned a lot. They are very active. Feed for long periods almost continuously on fuller moon nights.
Short periods on dark nights like the past week.

Monday was interesting.
I went to Robinson Canyon to film poorwill. Above the upper parking lot, a male fed, landed and began calling. I was able to get incrementally closer until I was reasonably close. I stood motionless, enjoying the video screen images of the male Common Poorwill calling nearby. After a few minutes it briefly stopped calling, looked up the path into the darkness of the riparian zone and then began calling again. In the darkness, I watched a coyote approach to about 90 feet and stop. It appeared to be interested in the bird. I ignored it and returned to filming the calling poorwill. The bird again looked up the path, away from me, and flew away.
I looked up to see the coyote directly approaching me on the trail in the near darkness, now about 40 feet away. I was slightly annoyed that it had flushed the poorwill.
I decided to focus on the coyote. With light, I manually focused on it as it continued to casually walk towards me-30-40 feet away. The image slowly came into sharp focus, full frame, on my camera screen: a Mountain Lion.

Dan Reiff

Sent from my iPhone

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