Thursday, January 28, 2010

Central Park: Hooded Mergansers, Hawks, Woodpeckers, and More!

Another amazing day at Central Park! First I came across this hooded merganser, and snapped when he was fully deployed. Then I wandered around until I heard the squirrel alarm cry (thank you to the man who taught me that!) and found a red tailed hawk. While trying to get a good shot, this red-bellied woodpecker teased me, moving too quickly for me to get a really good shot. This is the best one I got. Once I lost him, I moved around for a better view of the hawk and got a better look at him!

After that I walked around the ramble more and came to a place called the oven, according to one kind birder I ran into. I had seen a couple of flyovers from hawks that looked all very pale grey, she said those were probably cooper's hawks. I didn't manage pictures of them. Got some classic shots of empty sky, though. Anyway, she pointed the way to the feeders, where I saw this gorgeous downy wood pecker, first on the feeder then on the tree. Oh, and the American robin.

I went from there around the rest of the lake, but no wood duck sighting for me today. I did see some northern shovelers really going to town shovel-wise, so I paused to watch them for a bit. There were a bunch of gulls circling overhead, and I saw another bird above them, darker and bigger. With pointy wings. This was definitely interesting. It started to dive, like it was hunting, and it had a gull in mind! Down and down in came, and then from nowhere (OK actually from a tree a ways behind me) comes this red-tailed hawk! And they sort of had a fight! Talons were out, birds were calling, it was incredible! So I think that it was a falcon and the hawk was chasing it out of its territory. Awesome! The hawk was about a third or so bigger than the falcon, and the falcon had pointy wings and flapped more than a hawk does. The falcon flew up and around a few more circle and then disappeared behind the museum of natural history. Then I thought, hey, I wonder where that hawk went? So I went looking and found it in the trees a little ways behind me. I didn't get a good angle, and the light was fading, so that's the best shot I got. What an incredible day!

No comments:

Post a Comment