Saturday night with the Barred Owl was less spectacular than previous nights. The owl had studied the cavities squirrels were using and went to three of them after sunset. I don't think it got one, but it was a nice start to the evening. It then gave us the slip going deep into the woods.
After a few days without seeing it, the Barred Owl was seen again on Wednesday and again today. It hunted after dusk, and much to my joy, after missing a Chipmunk perched within a few feet of me on a stump. I was so worried I might bother it, I just froze and admired it. What a wonderful experience, and in Manhattan of all places!
I'm amazed to see the Chimney Swifts still roosting in large numbers at 944 Fifth Avenue. I would have expected the number to have decreased by now. What's been fascinating to watch is the change in behavior. Instead of swarming at the model boat pond and then going to the roost, lately the swifts have been appearing almost out of nowhere five minutes before they roost.
It would be fascinating to know if they are swifts hunting higher or in a different place during the day or if these are migrating swifts that know this stop along their migration route?
Update: I went to see them on Thursday, October 22nd and only saw one Chimney Swift at the roost. It made one pass at the chimney and continued on.
Tonight almost seemed like a bust. There were a few bats at the Model Boat Pond, but no swifts in sight. However, after sunset the swifts slowly began to appear above the roost and for about 5 minutes swarmed above it. Then it was off to roost for the night.
It will be interesting to see when they leave the city.
While watching Eastern Red Bats and Big Brown Bats on Thursday, I ran into a bird watcher studying Chimney Swifts that roost at 944 Fifth Avenue at 75th. It turns out the best place to watch them is the "hawk bench" where "regulars" watch Pale Male's nest in the spring.
The swifts swarm around the roost and then around 6:30 into the video they start to enter the roost. In a few minutes, they are almost all inside. Thank goodness for pre-war buildings.