Sunday, March 23, 2008


A great afternoon in Prospect Park. The turtles are out of their winter mud dwellings; they sure could have used the sun today. There were cedar waxwings at eye-level at the Nethermead Arches and along the Lullwater. Usually, these flock higher up, but today they were close: a devilishly handsome bird, with black mask, crest, bright yellow tail tips, and the bead-like red at the wingtip, looking like a blob of bright red wax. “I was in the shadow of the waxwing slain,” begins Pale Fire. South of Breeze Hill, I turned to see a juvenile red-tailed hawk not so far away in a ironwood tree, and it turned out to be dining on squirrel. Much rending and tearing of flesh, in rather small bits, one talon securely anchored onto the meat. Two adults were circling over the hill; earlier, I noted some action at the pine tree in the Ravine where a pair nests. While I was watching, a woman asked me what I was looking at, and she gathered her posse. It made their day. She explained they were escaping from “Wildman” Steve Brill’s edible parks walking tour, which I had passed about fifty yards back. Yeah, I concurred, he’s a little insane, and she said the insanity wasn’t so bad, but the meanness was. Ouch! When I took the tour some years ago, I found him paranoid and humorless and a terrible baker (he handed out nasty things made without flour or eggs or sugar or spice). Other birds seen today were ring-billed, mallard, bufflehead, shoveler, & ruddy ducks; grebe, swan, white and red breasted nuthatches; red-breasted and downy woodpeckers and yellow-bellied sapsucker; brown creeper, junco, white-throat and song sparrows, red-winged blackbird, phoebe, cardinal, robin, chickadee, mourning dove, starling, pigeon.
The paperwhites erupted this weekend.

Saw Ladies and Gents, the play in the Bethesda Fountain bathrooms, on Friday. Eh. Liked the dramaturgy, and the way the Irish lass prounounced the word thigh: "tie."


Brenda from Flatbush said...

Cedar waxwings are on my 'lifetime wanna see" list! Damn! I'll keep an eye out (as if that ever helps). Thanks for warning me off a Brill tour. No one who bakes without butter is to be trusted.

Thew said...

You'll have to come birdwatching with us someday. I'll keep you informed.