4/18-4/19, Phoebes and Bats and Hawks, Oh My

A two-day report...

Over to the Cathedral to check on the hawks at about 5:20. No hawk sign anywhere except for a suspicious scattering of pigeon feathers on a Morningside Park path beneath one of the hawks favorite feeding spot.

But wait, what's that little white-breasted bird over there?

Eastern Phoebe in Morningside Park

Yes, an eastern phoebe. With last week's great egret and Tuesday's double-crested cormorant, this continues a small trend of spotting migrants in Morningside Park about a month after they show up in Central Park.

The phoebe flits out of sight. I walk down by the pond -- no shoestring incidents with the geese; also no cormorant -- and then head back uphill. Still no hawk sign. Exit about 5:50.

A great glowing ball of fire appeared in the sky this afternoon. I believe this manifestation was connected with A-Rod's three-run walk-off homer which occurred a few minutes later.

In any event, despite the very pleasant weather, I was busy and didn't get over to the Cathedral or Morningside Park until probably 7:20. All looked quiet. Well, might as make the usual stroll into the park. Whilst down by the pond, I realized that the small bird flitting about in the sunset sky was not actually a bird.

Sunset Bat

Bat watching goes on for close to ten minutes. The little guy -- possibly guys, as I'm not sure whether I've seen a second one or not -- proves tricky to follow with the camera, but I get a few half tolerable sunset silhouettes. Hmmm, bats... another sign of spring?

Looking uphill at 7:40, I discover that Tristan has quietly shown up and is perched on Gabriel's horn.

Tristan and Gabriel at Sunset

I lose interest in the bat and watch Tristan for the next five minutes. When I look down at 7:45 to adjust the camera strap, he disappears. Ah, must be going to roost. But although I head north to check the expected tree, Tristan has apparently chosen to roost somewhere different tonight. Salving the disappointment, the park turkey is just then making her roost directly over the path. Amazing that such a large bird can perch on such a small branch.

Exit is made at 8:00. The bat flits by as I walk past the park's upper lawn.

Posted 4/19/2007 10:55:00 PM by Robert

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On 4/20/2007 11:31 AM , Ben C. said...

Excellent image of a bat. Thanks for keeping us informed on the SJtD Red-taileds.

On 4/20/2007 3:41 PM , Robert said...

Thanks Ben. I actually shot about 20-25 pix of the bat. The one posted here was the best of the 3-4 that I posted to Flickr.

If you have Photoshop, you can play with the image enough that the bat's right leg and "arm" become visible.