The last day of hawkwatching for 2006 provided two red-tailed hawk sightings in Central Park, but the hawks were busy and so not prone to hang around for pictures.
The first sighting came at 3:05 after circling around the North Woods area for 20 minutes and then opting to check the Great Hill before perhaps heading over toward the Meer. Taking one of the trails leading off the Hill, I had one of those frequent thoughts of "that crooked branch looks just like a hawk leaning forward," and even throwing in a "it's even got a little snag at the end like a beak." Five steps later it was evident that the bent branch even had pale breast feathers and was moving. There was time for just one picture as the red-tail flew off to a nearby tree, then one more picture of its back (brown tail feathers, ergo it's yesterday's juvie) before she swooped off toward the Blockhouse.
Despite circling about the North Woods area for another 40 minutes, there were no more sightings of the juvenile. I headed south in the direction of the Pool with no particular goal in mind.
Bruce was standing at the loop road bridge below the Pool, watching the Loch area. New Year's greeting were exchanged, and then we opted to head south to look for the "ringer", the extra adult red-tail, who had been haunting the area west of the Reservoir of late. Bruce is plainly much better at scanning rooftops than I, as he spotted the hawk perched on scaffolding atop a building at the corner of West 94th St. She didn't stay there long, but swooped into the park a minute later, and then began the first of several circuits about the area bound by CPW, 93rd St., the loop road, and 96th St.
The light was dimming rapidly and 20 minutes later I lost sight of the adult flying into the trees near 93rd St. Sunset may be getting later now, but by 4:40 it was too dark to see much of anything.