Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Cathedral Fledge Almost Makes It, and Black Skimmers

2:50:51pm Adam Welz, the film maker had called be around 1pm and said he's seen one of the eyasses on the scaffolding on the north side of the Cathedral. When Sam and I arrived, there she was making flap hops from horizontal bar to horizontal bar in what looked like an attempt to get to the nest.

And here's the same moment only in the full shot. She is looking around methodically searching for what the next short trip will be. See the next horizontal, to the left and slightly lower than the one she is currently on. She went there next, staying only for a second and then flap hopped up to the round protuberance, nearest to the scaffolding and higher than her horizontal perch. She couldn't find a decent purchase so lost her grip and ended up on the top of the slant below it.
2:50:59PM At which time she lost her grip on that as well. Made a recovery and flew quite decently considering, across the street and onto the roof of the hospital.
2:59:06pm Where she treated us to a view of the tip of her tail.
3:01:00pm Odd feathered shapes appeared in view and Sam said, "She's preening." And indeed she was.
3:01:11pm More of the same.
3:04:52pm Then a big stretch and she retreated from view completely. By this point Adam appeared with his friend Alex and we went off in an attempt to find the second eyass who hadn't been seen lately. We searched the trees from the top. We searched the trees from the paths and from the bottom of Morningside Park. Not a scold did we hear in the entire place. No help today from Catbirds, or Jays, or Red-winged Blackbirds. I began to worry that the second eyass had gone the way of Tristan.
Eventually we ended up on the corner of Morningside and 113th, and suddenly heard a very short burst of beg vocalizations. But it wasn't repeated and we couldn't find the beggar.
After 5pm I'd heard some Robins and started down the hill and saw Lincoln who said he'd just seen Isolde in a tree near the Cathedral School. Soon Stella and Rob were also on the search. We were going to Marie Winn's talk about her new book, Central Park in the Dark at the American Museum of Natural History, so passed on our sightings to Stella and Rob and headed for the subway and downtown.
It was old home week at the museum. There were the Regulars, Noreen, and Lee and Jimmy and Ben. Jean was there and Eleanor and Maryann. The Central Park community had come in mass. And after a lovely talk and many giggles, we were given maps and off we went to stations set up in Central Park.
The astronomers were there and we saw Saturn.
The Bat Group searched for Bat squeaks at Turtle Pond and when arrived at that station we were told we'd just missed a Black Skimmer. A particular disappointment for Adam.
The Central Park Moth-ers had their black light and white sheet and a grand time was had by all.
Rob text messaged and Stella called. They'd seen both the eyasses on the Cathedral. Hooray! No one was missing after all.
Eventually Adam, Sam, and I took our leave and headed for the west side subway. Somehow in our meandering we ended up at The Model Boat Pond. It's truly lovely of an evening with the lights reflected on the water. And what's that? Ah, it's a couple half grown Frick ducklings sleeping on their Boat Pond duckling raft.
10:26:58pm Then Adam said, "Look!" There at the Boat Pond for the first time, and I've spent many a dark evening there searching for Pale Male and Lola's roosts, we saw two incredible balletic Black Skimmers doing their food flights, breaking the water tension with their beaks and gleaning fish, insects, and other tasty Skimmer snacks from the water.
Marie's book is about these kinds of special moments and here we were after hearing any number related from the past, once again we found ourselves having a magical adventure in Central Park. We watched submerged in the miracle of nature, a vision that suspends time. For once again we had stumbled on the transforming experience.
Donegal Browne


Karen Anne said...

Any news of the new Riverside nest? Should there be eggs yet, if there will be any?

Donegal Browne said...

As I just got back to town, I haven't been over to the new Riverside nest myself, but I'm told that it looks as if it isn't being kept up. There are twigs that have fallen off to the ground. Now we have had some wind and rain which may have caused damage that hadn't been repaired yet or it's possible that they'd worked on a second as well as this one and are using it, or they just have decided not to double clutch after all this season.

I'll be on the look out for other information until I have time to take a look for myself.