Friday, May 05, 2006

View of the nest from Little Hill

The Trump Parc, the gold and peach building on Central Park South, just west of Fifth Avenue, hosts the nest of Pale Male Jr. and Charlotte on its west face. Go down from the gold crown on the top, further down past the peach section with it's row of corbels and at the top of the yellow see the second row of corbels. The nest is located on the third corbel from the left.

Little Hill, one of the few places in Central Park where the nest may be viewed, particularly at this time of year with the trees in full leaf, is a knob of rock located just inside the southern wall of the park and across the street from The Hampshire House and The Essex House on Central Park South.

Field Notes 04 May 2006

Sunset- 7:56PM
Temperature- 79 F.
Wind 5-10MPH
Humidity- 27%
Moon-1st quarter

All times PM unless otherwise noted.

Charlotte and Pale Male Jr.

4:30 Columbus Circle, the pigeons are agitated. They bank and wheel but I don't see any hawks.

4:34 Still a distance away on Central Park South, I see Charlotte and Jr. circle over The Hampshire House, one RT dives between the Trump Parc and The Hampshire House. The other flies up, there is a member of the genus Falco in the mix, sharp wings and tail, fluid wingbeats, it follows the rising RT.

4:36 Standing on the sidewalk in front of Little Hill, both RTs back in view, one swoops again, wings folded into the same area, between Trump and H.H. Falcon appears. RT above it. Falcon to NE into Central Park. RT follows. Several pigeons sit watching the drama on the railing of Art's roof. Jr.'s pale head flashes in the sun flying S over trees, Charlotte comes from direction of nest.

4:42 Charlotte and Junior begin to circle in front of Trump. One clockwise the other counter clockwise, nearly meeting with each circle. Courtship dance, they continue circling, over CPS, over the Artist's Gate of Central Park, then the trees. One RT folds wings to body, swoops over nest, pulls up.

4:44 Both RTs back to near meeting circles

4:45 One RT lands on metal rod protruding from Hampshire House chimney , NW corner, just below the molding. Charlotte?

4:47 Other RT above chimney flies toward Trump. I can't see and need to get inside the park and to Little Hill, get the scope set up. I run toward the Artist's gate. No RTs apparent from that angle. I turn the corner and start W. Lawn east of Little Hill is fenced off. Both ends of the sidewalk that pass Little Hill are gated off but Little Hill has a large group of people having a picnic on top of it. How did they get there? I can't see the hawks. I can't see anything but trees. I finally find a 20 foot gap in the fence adjacent to the jogging path.

5:05 Junior folds wings dives towards Central Park. Charlotte circles the nest then goes behind The HH then The Essex, continues W.

5:10 Jr. buzzes the nest. Jr. swoops over nest and circles, then continues with several more swoops over nest, goes N to S disappears behind HH. Reappears, circles HH, reappears again, looks to be landing on nest, veers off to the the S. Jr appears circling with talons down.

5:16 Jr. is back swooping over the nest repeatedly, then HH.

5:19 Both Red-tails in near meeting circles, over nest, over street, over Little Hill, then Jr. to HH Chimney rod, alert, preens mid-back, alert to Gapstow Bridge area.

5:22 Jr. is off and up, folds wings, swoops over top of Trump, then to 58th, Charlotte follows.

5:26 Jr. to front edge of nest, facing S, right wing out, "mantles" edge of nest. Wind lifts wing, up, down, alert, facing out, then looks at nest bowl, wing gets higher, higher, focusing on bowl of nest, wing down but still spread, looks out.

5:30 Jr. looks into bowl, walks center, half sits, fluffs, tail to HH, head to wall, head still completely visible. Keeps looking over right shoulder, settles, wing tips and tail tip visible.

5:32 The Cooper Union student picnic is over and they've disappeared as has Jr.

5:45 Art's railing is bare. Aha, two pigeons copulate on top HH railing. House Sparrows attempt to crunch and eat the egg shells left by the students. Calcium supplement? Chipping Sparrow appears on the lawn a few feet away, knoshing on grass that's gone to seed.

6:00 Flock of Starlings begins it's through foraging march across the lawn. Jr. still on the nest. Charlotte?

6:25 The same.

Time to check on Ben Cacace and the GM Peregrines.
(I'm told I've been remiss in not introducing Ben a bit better. So here goes. Not only has Ben watched the peregrines for 10 years, he's one of the original 5th Ave. Hawkwatchers, one of the most respected observers in Central Park, an utter computer whiz, and lest we forget, a great guy who is generous with his hard won knowledge of raptors, his expertise in myriad other areas, and with his photographs. Besides he ALWAYS has the absolute correct time.)

6:50 The female Peregrine, Mrs. P. is perched on the GM building, three windows east of the NW corner...GM NW 3, posterior to viewers.

6:55 She preens.

6:56 She stretches wings, preens back, toes curled around railing.

7:03 Preens left wing. (The edges of the first few GM windows from the W corner, do a little "Stonehenge" effect each evening. Lighting and darkening with the angle of the sun.) The light begins to touch GM NW 3.

7:05 Mrs. P is very still, looking down.

7:38 Mrs P does a full body stretch, first on one leg and then the other. She's up flies east and then lands GM NW 5. (nest switch area) She faces in, listening, looking. She jumps down from railing out of sight. Mr's P's head appears between far left railing upright in 5, and the E wall of 5. He drops out of sight. He flies to GM NE 5 , facing wall.

7:43 Turned out, he defecates.

7:44 Mr. P one foot up.

7:48 He preens.

8:10 Still there, foot up.

8:18 Still there.

8:24 Gone!

8:25 Civil Twilight. Ben spots him. Mr. P is perched on the top edge of furthest E top window on the north face of Nine West.

8:30 Difficult to see but there.

8:37 Still there.


(I'm also remiss in not noting the addresses of the buildings mentioned. They're coming.)

1 comment:

Marie Winn said...

Great descriptions of nest and Little Hill locations. Thanks!