Mystery Solved! (Maybe…)

Falcon

A few weeks back I wrote a post about something I saw as I walked my dogs in the dark.  I had no idea what it could be.  It was fast and silent.  After discarding the usual suspects (rabbit and deer)I had thought “falcon” because of the speed, but it was flying silently after sundown in the winter.  So my next thought was “owl”.  In the week before I saw the mystery object, I had seen or heard at least three different owl species in the neighborhood.  They were around.

I was back down there last weekend.  I was walking the dogs on Saturday afternoon in pretty much the same area.  Close – the sitting a few weeks back was a few hundred yards/meters farther along in the walk.  This is a slow residential area were i don’t worry about cars and so was walking in the middle of the right lane with the dogs sniffing along the edge of the road.

For no reason at all I spun around.  A smallish bird (compared to an eagle, red tailed hawk or osprey) was flying down the left lane at about knee height.  It was moving fast, if not quite as fast as the mystery object.  It started to rise just before it reached me and continued the slow climb. It was about waist height when it passed me and started the climb described below at about shoulder height.

About 20 yards/meters in front of me, off to the left, was a row of dense evergreens with a driveway on the other side.  A house stood at the end of the drive with a row of trees behind.  A cemetery is on the other side of the trees.

When the bird reached the driveway, it did a sharp, fighter-jet-would-be -proud, turn.  It also did a steep climb.  My guess is that it went over the house and into the cemetery.

Four things.  First, although I only saw it for a second or two, I was able to make out that it was a falcon.  Second, it was silent.  Third I looked it up, and although falcons are rare, they do winter on Cape Cod.  And fourth, the behavior was almost identical to the unidentified flying object (yeas a UFO ;) ) that I had seen a few weeks ago.  It was going a little slower.  Maybe – seeing something zip by in broad daylight is different than at night.

I am about 90% certain that what I had seen a few weeks ago really was a falcon.  I’m leaving that 10% because it was dark and so could have been an owl.

Anyway, mystery is solved.  Maybe.

11 thoughts on “Mystery Solved! (Maybe…)

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      They do. When I saw it the first time, I did a mental estimate on how fast it was moving by the distances involved and the amount of time I saw it. Only a falcon can move that fast. I guess it’s nice to know my math wasn’t that far off ;)

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      It was cool. It’s odd, but even though the population density is much higher where I have my cottage on Cape Cod than up in New Hampshire, I see much more wildlife up closer on Cape Cod.

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