I'm on vacation in Antartica. We're having wonderful weather for their summer, highs around 36. Penguins are plentiful, and we've seen all three members of the Pygoscelis family, Chinstrap, Adelie and Gentoo Penguins so far.
The Tompkins Square Hawks and a young Cooper's Hawk were in the the park this afternoon. There were snow flurries and a tree lighting in the park.
You would think Tompkins Square Park would be quiet in early December, but the resident Red-tailed pair has had to deal with visiting Red-tailed Hawks, Cooper's Hawks and Peregrine Falcons. It's a great show and made it a fun visit to the park.
I went down to City Hall Park to look for the Western Tanager. I saw brief glimpses of it, but also got to see two Peregrine Falcons chase a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk. Here's a few pictures of the Red-tailed Hawk.
Octavia, Pale Male's current mate was on top of 1001 Fifth Avenue this afternoon. (1001 Fifth Avenue is a bland Philip Johnson (Johnson and Burgee) building across from the Met.)
It was a very windy afternoon on Friday. When I arrived the two adults were escorting a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk out of their territory. We lost track of the adult female, but the male came into the park and made two loops around the park and made a trip to the top of the Chritodora House. It's amazing to watch hawks maneuver in high winds. They move very fast with incredible control.
With thunderstorms expected on Thursday and the end of Daylight Saving Time this Sunday, today was the last day I could go birding after work until the spring. So, I went to Tompkins Square Park and watched Christo (and Dora briefly) hunt in the park. He caught a small rodent but didn't really get a great meal.
I've been away at a conference for a week in Las Vegas. I returned to the city last night and went down to Tompkins Square Park this afternoon.
Christo, the male of the pair that resides in the park, fly into a tree next to me within minutes of my arrival at the park. He then went hunting and caught a rodent. He then ended up into a tree where he roosted for the night. As I was leaving, I saw an Eastern Red Bat.
What a nice homecoming back to New York City.
The temperatures are dropping and Red-tailed Hawk pairs are returning to their old hunts. Both hawks were in Tompkins Square Park this evening. Nice to see them enjoying the park.
I spent the afternoon watching more Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at the Oven in Central Park, just as I had yesterday. They're so much fun to watch!
In the Ramble of Central Park is an area of the Lake called the Oven. It has a patch of Jewelweed that attracts Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks during the fall migration. It also attracted a Tennessee Warbler today as well.
Now that we're in late September that number of bats seems to be declining at the Model Boat Pond. Tonight I got 8 recordings of Big Brown Bats, 29 recordings of Eastern Red Bats and 29 recordings of Silver-haired Bats. Of course a single bat will have multiple recordings. These number are a lot fewer than a few weeks ago, although the Silver-haired Bat number are the highest I've seen for this species.
Fall Migration is in full swing with lots of different species in Central Park. My favorite of the day was this male Hooded Warbler.
Tonight, the ratio of Eastern Red Bats to Big Brown Bats recordings was 129 to 38, where last week it was an even split. But I don't know if it was a change in the number of bats or if the Eastern Reds just hung out longer. Last week, the Eastern Red Bats came out early, followed by the Big Brown Bats. Tonight, the Eastern Red Bats stayed until it was very dark.
I have no idea if the number of bats has changed or if the food sources changed. Unlike Bird Watching, which has a long history of citizen science and great databases (eBirds, Christmas Bird Counts, etc.), there are almost no resources for bats. There are no hot spot maps for bats for example! Or online records of when to expect different bat species to be present in Central Park. This is going to take time to figure out!
A female Hooded Warbler was near the Azalea Pond in Central Park today. This shy bird was the highlight of my day.
I caught up with Pale Male after he had raided a squirrel's nest and taken a baby. Luckily, I arrived after the damage had been done.
Tonight there continued to be a large number of bats at dusk flying around the Model Boat Pond.
(Pale Male roosted on a building a block south of his nest. He's done this two other nights this week.)
My study of the bats at the Model Boat Pond in Central Park continues. I used a flash to photograph the bats tonight. I was able to get a few good shots of the bats. I think it's going to take me weeks to learn how to shoot these bats!
There were one or two Silver-haired Bats in with the mix of Eastern Red Bats and Big Brown Bats.
I've somehow become addicted to watching the bats at dusk in Central Park at the model boat pond. I even invested in a Echo Meter Touch bat detector so I can see spectrograms of the bat's echolocation sounds. The detector is identifying (with 80% certainty) an almost even mix of Eastern Red Bats and Big Brown Bats. The Eastern Red Bats appear earlier in the evening followed by the Big Brown Bats.
Walking around the lake and out the west side of the park, I was able to detect two more Eastern Red Bats and two more Big Brown Bats tonight.
Another day trying to capture photos of bats at the Model Boat Pond in Central Park. They're a lot harder to photograph than Red-tailed Hawks!