On Saturday afternoon, Pale Male and Lola spent a few minutes together on the Beresford.
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.
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?
These pictures of Pale Male and Lola taken on Monday really are new! They sure look a lot like the previous days, which makes sense since it's the same locations for both of them.
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?
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.
Random pictures from Saturday...
Central Park's celebrity Red Squirrel was busy collecting nuts and chasing Gray Squirrels on Saturday.
Pale Male spent the afternoon behind the Met again on Saturday. Red-tails like to perch on one leg and stretch the other. Pale Male did this all afternoon.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On Wednesday, Pale Male continued his habit of hunting behind the Metropolitan Museum. I arrived just after he had finished his evening meal.
On Wednesday, the Jewelweed in the Oven (a cove on the Lake in the Ramble of Central Park) had a very cooperative female Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
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.
On Saturday morning along the lower lobe, a Chestnut-sided Warbler flew into the duck weed that was covering the surface of the Lake. The bird may have been confused by the color and thought it was landing on solid ground. It tried to get out of the water by climbing up on to a stick in the water without success. The warbler eventually ended up slowly paddling to the shore and safety.
On Saturday morning, I went birdwatching with Jack Meyer. I highly recommend going on one of Jack's walks. They're a great way to expand your birding skills and learn the hot spots around the Lake, the Ramble and Turtle Pond.
Jack Meyer leads Central Park birding tours during the spring and fall migration seasons which start at 72nd and Central Park West (NE corner) at 7:30 am, four days a week, Thursday through Sunday. This season, Jack's fall tours will continue until Sunday, October 29. The walks last until 10:30 or 11:00 a.m., with a brief coffee break midway through. The walks are unstructured, and there is no obligation to stay to the end. The cost is $6 per person. No reservations are needed.
(If there are any questions, you can reach Jack at 212-563-0038 (Not after 8 PM please) or email [email protected]
Should the weather be bad, and you are uncertain if the walk is going, phone anytime after 5 AM . If you get Jack's answering machine, you will know that he has already left for the park and the walk is on.)
On Saturday, we a nice walk. Our list for the day was:
Double-crested Cormorant (Flyover.)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Ramble.)
Downy Woodpecker (Lower lobe.)
Northern Flicker (Ramble.)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (Lower Lobe.)
Tufted Titmouse (Willow Rock.)
Carolina Wren (Azalea Pond.)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Lower Lobe.)
Veery (Lower Lobe.)
Northern Parula (Several.)
Yellow Warbler (Several.)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (Lower lobe.)
Magnolia Warbler (Lower lobe, Point.)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (Lower Lobe, Point.)
Blackpoll Warbler (Lower lobe.)
Black-and-white Warbler (Several.)
American Redstart (Several.)
Common Yellowthroat (Oven.)
Wilson's Warbler (Lower Lobe, Point.)
Canada Warbler (Point.)
Here are some of the warblers from the day...
Wednesday, Pale Male was on a railing at the back of the Met. On Thursday, I photographed a Flycatcher and a number of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in Strawberry Fields.
Warning Graphic Content! If you're not interested in seeing a rodent get eaten, you might want to view these pictures of Pale Male from a few weeks ago.
In the early evening on Monday, Pale Male was enjoying a meal of a mouse just opposite the north side of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
I spent the weekend on the Connecticut shore of Long Island Sound, and photographed Great Blue Herons, Snowy Egrets and Great Egrets.