Autumn has definitely set in. The air was nippy late this afternoon, and Central Park's northern Wildflower Meadow seemed to have lost its color saturation, and almost all of its birds. The NYC bird report indicated that the blue grosbeak was there this morning, but when I passed through at 5:00, a single, solitary sparrow was the only bird to be seen within the confines of the meadow. All the monarch butterflies were history and even spotting a robin in the area took some time.
The one sighting of note, at least for ye olde hawkwatcher, was the hawk that appeared at 5:08. Heading south from somewhere over the northern woods, it circled once over the Wildflower Meadow and then headed off in the general direction of Mount Sinai. Hieing my way over to the loop road, I caught distant sight of it again circling about north of the hospital 2, 3, 4 times and then it was gone. My immediate reaction was that the bird's torso seemed a bit thin, and although none of the five photos I took turned out all that well, a very close look at the tail feathers in the best one (above) seemed to indicate the barring of a Cooper's hawk. Also, the bird report did say that a Cooper's had been seen in the area this morning.
The bird report also indicated that a hairy woodpecker had been spotted this weekend near the composting area, so on my way out of the park I made sure to check the area about Green Hill to see if I could spot the red-topped woodpecker I had briefly glimpsed a week ago. No dice. Just a couple robins, a half dozen sparrows and a blue jay.
Heading west along 110th St. just before 6:00, I caught a distant glimpse of something slowly but easily soaring toward the domed roof of the St. John's. But no luck spotting anything after making a 270° circuit of the Cathedral.