7/26, Close Again

Thursday

Two red-tail fledgling sightings this evening, but no way to tell if it was two separate birds or just one.

First checked the Close on the south side of the Cathedral of St. Jphn the Divine. Just some sleepy peacocks.

Sleepy Peacock

From there, down 110th St. and into Morningside Park. At 6:30, there were robin alerts going off north and east of the dog run. After a minute I hadn't spotted the target of their ire and was watching the geese harass a dog walker and a greyhound/whippet-like dog. Then a hawk came zooming of the trees over the steps behind me, dived down low over the geese on the lawn east of the pond, did a U-turn and headed back uphill alongside the willow tree. There was a quick glimpse of a brown tail (fledgling!), along with two smaller birds in tight pursuit.

For a long time, that five seconds of excitement looked to be it for the evening. One robin kept complaining near Morningside Ave. for a few minutes, then quieted down. In the hour after that, the only suggestive noises were intermittent blue jay calls near the dog run, and then a bit of catbird squalling near the 116 Steps.

Bailed out of Morningside Park around 7:40 but again checked the cathedral Close. Ah, suggestive robin complaints. And there's a red-tail fledge perched on a tree overhanging of the Peace Garden.

Red-Tail Fledgling

Looks like Brownie.

She started hopping around in the branches, perhaps to avoid bombarding robins, perhaps to lunge at the worst of the harassers.

Red-Tail Fledgling

(Yes, I know. Overcast, humid skies, getting close to sunset, and moving targets. Feh.)

After five minutes, Brownie had had enough and flew over to the roof of the Synod House.

Red-Tail Fledgling

Perched there for a few minutes.

Red-Tail Fledgling

Then she dived down to Pulpit Lawn, a bit closer to the Peace Garden than the pulpit. Was she attacking something? From 100 feet away, I initially couldn't see anything, but was bemused to see her standing 20 feet away from the white peacock stepping across the grass. They studiously ignored each other.

Getting much closer, it looked like Brownie had something in her talons.

Red-Tail Fledgling

She'd stand there and look around, sometimes bend over and rip something off with her beak. Then she'd leap into the air and shake her feet. I figured she had caught something but hand't quite managed to kill it.

Red-Tail Fledgling

Finally I realized that while I was running around to get closer, Brownie had attacked a piece of paper lying on the lawn. (Drat. So much for witnessing a successful hunt.) Now she was having trouble getting rid of it.

Red-Tail Fledgling

I'd been chatting with one of the cathedral guards while this was going on. Soon enough he needed to lock up the Peace Garden for the night. As we exited, Brownie shifted over to the base of the pulpit and was last seen there at 8:10.

And finally, another Harlem panorama, using new pictures and different software. The software was better but Tuesday had better lighting.

Harlem Panorama 2
Posted 7/27/2007 04:58:00 PM by Robert

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