Re: Death Valley birds 30 Sep to 2 Oct

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Date: 10/22/2004
Time: 05:28 PM -0400


Golden Canyon near the base of Manly Beacon recently, late morning, very clear, very very quiet. Suddenly behind me I heard a noise that reminded me of tearing cloth. I turned around to see a bird at almost eye-level flying very very fast (I wasn't even sure what it was at first), from my right to left. It suddenly dove straight down and snatched up an unfortunate meadowlark that I had noticed earlier and took it up toward Red Cathedral. It had the face of a falcon with a gray (I think) back and light underparts. I'm rather new at birding and none of what I've seen in my field guides give me confidence as to a confirmed sighting. I think it might have been a prairie falcon. Opinions?