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Pale Male and Lola on the Beresford

On Saturday afternoon, Pale Male and Lola spent a few minutes together on the Beresford.

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Lola comes in for a landing.

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Pale Male is up on the roof.  Lola is landing on the oval window of the SE tower.

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There is a small collection of twigs on this perch.

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Pale Male leaves the Beresford.

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In the strong winds Pale Male tucks in his wings to gain control.

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The amount of control these birds use to kite is amazing.   He then moves off towards the north east.

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Lola stays for a few minutes...

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and then is off...

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to the south.


Saturday in the Park

I birded in the North Wood on Saturday and enjoyed the second wave of the fall migration, which as brought new ducks, woodpeckers, fly catchers and thrushes.  I also stumbled into the Monarch Butterfly migration, where at least 500 Monarchs were taking a break in the Wildflower Meadow.

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Pale Male on Thursday

Pale Male was tough to find on Thursday.  I finally found him in a tree east of the basketball courts, northeast of the Great Lawn.

Over the past few weeks, both Pale Male and Lola have been spending time further north than usual.  I wonder if they are establishing a territory boundary line between themselves and the hawk(s?) up at Mt. Sinai?

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Mt. Sinai Red-tailed Hawk

I learned on Sunday that hawks were back on the Mt. Sinai Medical Center.  I went up on Monday and saw this adult hawk on a water tower one block north of the hospital.  I only got a few pictures in the golden light of the setting sun before the hawk flew off.  Who is this hawk?

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Sunday with Pale Male and Lola

The rain kept me from the park until about 4 p.m. on Sunday.  When I arrived Pale Male and Lola were on an antenna atop a building at 79th and Fifth Avenue.  I had to rush home to accept a grocery delivery, but when I returned to the park around 5:30, Pale Male was east of the Met in a tree he's been using over the last few days which overlooks a few apple trees.  While photographing Pale Male, Lola few from the east side to the west side, where she ended up roosting on the SE tower of the Beresford for the evening.

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Red Squirrel

Central Park's celebrity Red Squirrel was busy collecting nuts and chasing Gray Squirrels on Saturday.

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Pale Male on Friday

I could only stay in the park for about an hour on Friday evening, but was able to find Pale Male. He's moved a little further north than usual.  There are a set of apple trees that are dropping fruit, which are attracting mice, which may be luring Pale Male to move 200 feet north.

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Pale Male on Thursday

When I arrived in the early evening Pale Male was in a tree a little further north than usual.  He stayed in the tree before being mobbed by a few Blue Jays.  He then went east across the drive and landed in a low tree branch, before returning back to the tree he had spent most of the early evening in.  As night fell, he moved to one of his favorite roosting spots a few blocks north.

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Lola Spends The Night On The Beresford

Lola roosted overnight on the Beresford Wednesday evening.  This was the first time I had seen her stay overnight on the West Side.  (Normally, I wouldn't discuss a bird's roosting location, but Lola's use of the Beresford as a daytime perch has been widely publicized in the New York City tabloids and the high height of her perch would make it difficult for anyone to bother her.)

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A shot just after sunset.

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An eight second exposure shows she's still there at 7:45 p.m.

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Pale Male on Wednesday

Pale Male was near Cleopatra's Needle behind the Met on Wednesday evening.  He was in a high tree branch swaying back and forth in the wind.  He would move his head back and forth to keep his balance, as if he were a person on a boat leaning back and forth to stay upright.

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Pale Male Eating Yet Again!

Pale Male has been so consistent in his hunting patterns these past few weeks.  On late Sunday afternoon, I saw him catch and eat a rodent, yet again behind the Met.

Warning Graphic Content!  If you're not interested in seeing a rodent get caught and eaten, you might want to view these pictures of Pale Male from Wednesday.

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This last picture is of Pale Male's current mate, Lola who was perched on an antenna atop a building at 79th and Fifth Avenue while Pale Male hunted for his dinner.


Weekend Assortment

Saturday was a great day for birding.  Once the rainy weather had cleared up, the park was full of active birds.  Sunday was quieter, but there was still lots to see.  Highlights for me included a Solitary Sandpiper, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks eating Jewelweed, assorted warblers and close up views of a Black-crowned Night Heron.

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Loch Ness Turtle

I had heard stories of very large turtles in Central Park, but since I'd never seen one thought they were a myth. These stories included one about a 75 pound turtle being moved from Turtle Pond to the Lake in 1997, and various tales of ducklings being eaten by large turtles.  These stories always seemed as plausible as the Loch Ness monster being real!

But they must be true, or at least partially.  On Sunday, I saw the largest fresh water turtle I've ever seen.  It was huge!  It was between 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 feet and slowly moved about a cove in the Lake called the Oven. 

I hope it gets looked after during the Lake's renovation. Maybe it can go back to Turtle Pond, although I suspect we'd have fewer goslings and ducklings reaching adulthood.

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Even More Hummingbirds

On Saturday, I continued to experiment with different techniques for photographing hummingbirds, this time trying to use more natural light with mixed results.  They are more realistic but less clear than my flash pictures.

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Pale Male Behind The Met

Pale Male continued his late afternoon/early evening pattern of hunting behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Saturday.  While I was there he caught a small rodent and eat it in about three bites.  He was so quick, I wasn't able to capture an image of him hunting or eating but got lots of nice shots of him on various perches.

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