August 02, 2019 - Toronto - Don Mills and Eglinton - Amexon

Cathy Kerr Reports:

DAY 7:

The day started off fairly quiet, Bruce reported that Tardis was doing short flights across the roof but that was it.  I relieved Bruce and found the building setting up for a large party–tents were going up, bouncy castles, the works(like last year),noisy generators…ugh, not going to fly while that is going on.  When they settled for their afternoon siesta, I escaped for lunch.  I came back to find the kids where I left them.  Lucie joined me shortly after and Sally in the evening.  We enjoyed Keplers flights and the lovely interaction between him and his sister.  We were getting ready to close at 8:55 when off Tardis flew…over to 150, she just missed the roof and down she went, bumping off ledges as she went. She finally flew off and over to the DVP-her parents were after her in a shot and directed her back to the east side of 150 but she missed the ledge again, and down she went further, bumping all the way.  She now made a panicked flight low , with Mom right behind her, over the trees to the DVP and we lost sight of them.  Seconds later, Mom was headed back, alone and landed on 150.  Our hearts sank.  It was almost dark and a fence and trees and bushes were between us and the DVP….Sally said she knew a path thru near Eglinton and we were off.  We got to the ramp to the DVP and we split up, Sally up Eglinton and me onto the ramp(staying off the road of course).  Thankfully it was quiet, and I headed up one side looking left and right at all the bushes and trees…ugh.  I was more than halfway up(its a fairly long ramp), when on the left I heard a starling chirping…I would check on the way back down..I had to make sure she wasn’t on the ramp. Nope.  I crossed and started back, came to the starling, and stopped and looked at the trees…was that her?? A brown lump-it was after 9 and sun was down..I stared…It was her!  Jammed into a crook–but was it?  She moved her head…thank goodness.  I phoned Sally and Lucie and they joined me.  But she was at least 12 feet up from the ground…there was no way we could rescue her.  Even if we could attempt it, there was the danger she would panic fly out onto the highway and then…well we didn’t want to think about it.  We were in contact with Mark and Marion and they advised us the same.  They have so many years experience and said they had had birds in trees before and that we had to give her a chance to get herself out of this mess.  We contacted Bruce and we all made plans for Friday…Bruce, Sally and I would meet at 530am to start our watch and keep an eye on our girl.  With very heavy hearts, we went home…leaving little Tardis in that tree in between a very busy highway and its ramp…

DAY 8:

Sally reports:

Having left Tardis hiding in a tree only about 12 feet high (from the highway ramp) the night before, I arrived at about 5:40am to meet up with Bruce and Cathy who were already there, and had walked the quiet highway ramp to reconfirm Tardis’s location. She was a bit farther up in the tree and sitting upright….a good sign!

Bruce did a walkabout to figure out the best sight lines and advised us on where to split up. He wasn’t keen on us heading to the roof top of the parking garage (a tempting spot that would give a good view of Tardis, but also a potential landing spot, should Tardis attempt to return to the nest building). I confess, after feeling blinded by the rising sun, Cathy and I agreed I would sneak up to the parking garage, but below the roof. It was a good spot to try and locate her, but ultimately the best place to be was on the ground, ready to move when she did.

It was so, SO frustrating to know where she was, but not able to do anything other than watch and wait it out. Bruce got out his scope and found her!  She had moved up the tree-it was great to be able to see her. I joined Cathy in a shady spot south of Tardis, and Bruce sat west of her, with all of us able to keep an eye on her. She wrestled with the branches and leaves, hopping over to a branch more suited to her weight. She climbed higher up the branch(smart girl). While watching Tardis, we laughed at Kepler chasing birds as if attempting to engage them in play. He certainly needed his sister back!

While Kepler was chasing birds, Tardis was getting harassed by starlings and robins. She turned this way and that (no don’t face the highway!), and several hours later (!) she attempted to fly home. She made it to the parking garage roof (Bruce called it!). SHE WAS HOME!! How happy we were to see her away from the busy highway and messy scrub! Close to home, but not there yet and she knew it.

A few more flights, each time attempting to get to the nest building but miscalculating and ending up back on the garage roof. While on the roof, she felt the wrath of the resident swallows. Ouch.

By this time, Lucie had joined us, and was able to confirm that Tardis flew high around the south west side of the ICICI building. We’d all lost sight of her but walked around to where we saw her last. Splitting up again, Cathy and Lucie were on their way to drive further back to view the ledges, when out she popped above me. She attempted to fly out and back up to the roof of the building, missed, bonked her head on the “I” letter, recovered, flew and batted against the building, and then flew out over to the nest building roof, batting against the concrete before hoisting herself up to the roof. Yay Tardis! You’re home! All that happened at the same time a poor red tail hawk was passing through and got a royal escort OUT by both parents. We hope the red tail hawk is safe somewhere, wondering what on earth just happened. Can’t wait to see Lucie’s photos!

She probably decided the roof of the nest building was the best place to be, because she didn’t leave for the rest of the day. Mark and Marion had joined us late afternoon and , it had been an exciting morning but no more flights for Tardis… Kepler fooled us into thinking Tardis flew, when he set off screaming and chasing after something. Tardis was no doubt loving the safety of the roof after a night in a flimsy tree, and after being fed, had no intention of embarking on any more adventures. Cathy confirmed it. Kepler showed Mark and Marion how far he’d come in a week. What a champ. Great stamina, cheekiness(he chased his Mom and gave her a bonk!), and some fancy landings now!

Mark and Marion closed the watch with Tardis on the roof and Kepler on his favorite spot-the letters. Well done Tardis. In under 3 hours you did an incredible job of coming home, gaining altitude and learning from some clumsy mistakes. Let’s see what you do tomorrow.

Note from Cathy:  I just want to give a huge thanks to Sally, Lucie, Bruce, Marion and Mark for all their help and support, it was a very stressful 14 hours, and for the whole week!  I can’t wait to see Tardis fly tomorrow!!

More pictures from Lucie to follow….