An hour-plus of looking for hawks on the Riverside side of Morningside Heights late Saturday afternoon looked to have been futile. The usually reliable "Mr. 116th St." didn't seem be around and the Grant's Tomb hawks were elsewhere. But as I was headed back south and toward home, the 116th St. bird put in an appearance.
Note: Although I call him Mr. 116th St., there's no way to be sure that he was the male of last year's 116th St. nest. Also, no one I've heard from has reporting seeing a "Mrs. 116th St" in the area.
He'd been perched by the Riverside Park wall at 112th St. But when I caught up to him, he had just flown across the road, into the strip between the main part of Riverside Drive and the neighborhood access road.
It didn't seem like much of a spot for hunting, but there was a small area of ground clear of snow. Perhaps he thought he'd catch a mouse sneaking out come sunset, which wasn't far away.
And there's the brief bit of "urban alpenglow" as the setting sun colors the apartment buildings.
Ten or 15 minutes go by, and he finally swoops at something on the ground but comes up with nothing.
Stared intently at the ground for a bit longer.
Flies over to another tree and perches briefly.
And then quietly disappears whilst I look the other way.