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Escaped falconry bird???: White Gyrfalcon flyover in Clairemont (San Diego nieghborhood), 12:15, Sep 18, 2018

I am out in the field trying to refind this bird, so am thumb-typing this message:

I was coming out of Home Depot at Balboa and Genesee at 12:15, looking up at the sky as I always do, when a white morph gyrfalcon flew over my head, heading to the north/northeast.
The bird was in view for about 10 seconds, about 75-100 feet up. A large falcon, bigger than a peregrine, broad-winged, with a powerful flight. Completely white underneath except for primary tips, speckled black on the dorsal side. No jesses visible in flight.

Just to the immediate north of that area is a long corridor of high-tension wires and poles that stretches for about 2 miles. Most are not visible from Genesee, but I first drove 2 blocks north to the Sprouts parking lot and scoped the ones I could see from there. I’ve been driving around the neighborhood here trying to get more looks at the electrical poles, but the entire area has aboveground wiring, and the streets in this area are a labyrinth.

I have a vague memory that a[-n escaped] white-morph gyrfalcon was reported from L.A. county last year, but do not have access to the listserv archives at the moment.

I cannot suggest anything other than keep your eyes open. I’ll put in maybe another hour of searching before I have to give up, and will post if I re-locate it.

Stan Walens, San Diego
Sept. 18, 2018; 1:25 pm
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports