Thursday, January 21, 2010

A raptor day

No, I’m not referring to the continuing rule of the business class. We’re back to nature. There was a peregrine on the Brooklyn Botanic Garden tower today, as there often is, but I’d never seen one up there before. We only start seeing when we start looking. As I walked to get a closer view – the tower is actually outside the Garden, at Franklin and Washington, I think it’s a F.D. communications tower -- I saw another land briefly on top of the first. Ah, love! The tercel (male) then flew away and the falcon (female) stayed there until I crossed Flatbush.

Passing through the East Wood Arch, I was suddenly drawn up by a “keeerrrrrr.” Red-tail. Actually, two of them, practically within arm’s length reach right by the Leprechaun’s House (as I like to call this former comfort station now used as park offices).

Later, in the afternoon, I found a big Cooper’s on the ground by the open water of the Ambergill east of the bridge. I’m pretty sure I saw the same one later on Breeze Hill, then later on at the Lower Pool. While I was on Breeze Hill, an accipiter shot overhead, followed by five silent crows. It looked smaller, and I soon heard and found my big Coopers calling from down near the Lullwater, opposite of where I’d just seen the one fly. So there may have been both a male and female Cooper’s about.

Above the Lower Pool, the Coop called once or twice. Then, it started to vocalize just like a catbird. I thought at first that maybe a bluejay, or even a squirrel was making the noise. It was a funky sound.

Also, a ruddy duck, great blue heron, & red-breasted nuthatch were added to the year list, as was an American pipit, a life bird. A couple had been reported in the fenced-in area on the ballfields – a temporary grasslands habitat uninterrupted by the sporty and the canine -- for the last couple of days. I didn’t see anything on my first pass, but later, around 345, one jumped into my attention about ten feet away from the fence in the SE corner of fencing, near the doggy pool.

Speaking of dogs, there was something sleeping by the northern edge of the Lower Pool. At first I wasn’t sure if it was alive (it wasn’t there when I made a second pass by). It was too big for a cat, but the fur was awfully cat-like. Not a raccoon, not a possum, had to have been a dog. Curled up like one – my view was from behind, so no face/snout visible. But it was behind the fence and quite on its own.

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