11/19, Palemale and Lola

Palemale by the Turtle Pond
Palemale by the Turtle Pond, Nov. 19

Sunday I was determined to do two things I'd been planning to do for some time and which were conveniently close to each other. So even though I got started later than I should have, it was time for a little hawkwatching, and then into the Metropolitan Museum to see the exhibition on Americans in Paris. There'd be no messing about looking for hawks by the Central Park Loch, just go straight to the south end of the Great Lawn.

I entered the park at West 90th St. and passed alongside the Reservoir, stopping just before 3:30 to take some shots for a panorama from its southwest corner.

Central Park Reservoir Panorama #4

From there I headed south directly across the Great Lawn, stopping to take more pix for panoramas (not posted here because the pano stitching programs are putting up a fight). Finding a hawk turned out to be a gimme. I'd been looking up at the flag pole at Belvedere Castle and scanning the windows at the Beresford, but no luck. Then as I was about to reach the path alongside the south end of the lawn, I looked up to see a red-tail perched on the scaffolding of the Delacorte. Subsequent examinaton of photos revealed that it was Lola.

Lola at the Delacorte But Lola wsn't the only hawk around. Even as I was snapping my first pix of her, another was soaring overhead. Palemale? Possibly, but if so he was sneaky because it wouldn't be long before I encountered him in an entirely different direction. Perhaps it was instead one of the other two hawks, maybe the juvenile, that Lincoln reported were in the area on Saturday. But that hawk was quickly gone and it was back to watching Lola... which didn't last long. Two minutes later she dropped off the scaffolding, flew directly over my head and headed southeast across the Turtle Pond and over the trees beyond.

Palemale by the Turtle Pond I headed off along the path on the north side of the Turtle Pond, figuring to check for Lola around Cedar Hill, but hadn't gone more than a hundred yards before spotting Lincoln shooting pix of Palemale perched in one of the trees in the pond-side lawn. Numerous passers-by got an eyeful of His Majesty as his perch was close to the path and the tree was almost bare of foliage.

Palemale would hang about in that area for about the next 15 minutes, swooping off just once to try catching something in the dead reeds alongside the pond, and then coming back. Startled duck squawking of course ensued as he buzzed the mallards on his way back to his perch.

A couple minutes before 4:00, Palemale too decided it was time to exit to the southeast apparently headed for Cedar Hill or the Boat Pond. And as I slowly made my way out of the Turtle Pond area, I again looked up see another hawk in the area, flying south toward the same area but at a higher altitude. Lola?

A few minutes after 4:00, Palemale was found atop one of the cedars of Cedar Hill, seemingly surveying his domain alongside the back side of the Met as the sun set and the light dimmed. A few minutes later, he perhaps decided it was time to find a roost for the night and flew off to the north, headed for the Hamilton statue area or the east side Pinetum. My last glimpse of him as I hurried up the east loop road was of a pale pair of underwings disappearing into the trees a few hundred yards north. After ten minutes of fruitless searching, it was time to see some paintings.

PS. In addition to the above, there are another half dozen photos from the day on my Flickr page. Just click on any of the pix above to go there.

Posted 11/20/2006 06:05:00 PM by Robert

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1 Comment:

On 11/26/2006 1:53 AM , Donegal Browne said...

Rob,

Great stuff, I particularly love the photo of Pale Male at Turtle Pond with his foot extended. Quite wonderful.

Donna