Bobby! August 31, 2011

At long last, I and a few other hawk-watchers saw Bobby tonight! Pipsters had reported seeing a hawk or two over the last several days but they weren't able to photograph them in time and the sightings were quite brief, unfortunately. But tonight was fantastic since we got to see Bobby flying, perching, and hunting for about an hour and a half.

I first spotted Bobby as he flew from building to building at the Northeastern side of Washington Square Park. I lost sight of him for a minute until I saw him fly from the park to a flagpole atop an NYU building at the Southeastern corner of the park. He sat perched on that flagpole for about half an hour then on the next building's flagpole.

After sitting on this new flagpole for only half a minute, he dove into the park for some fine hunting for about forty minutes. He caught a small mouse and ate it whole in one swallow. He continued to fly from tree to tree then from building to building again until he disappeared out of sight while turning right onto Broadway. By then it was too dark to photograph anyway so I went home.

This vantage point made for some good contrasts between Bobby and the planes flying overhead:

Sunset illuminates the stone:

Bobby flew from one flagpole to the next:

He soon flew to the park to hunt:

Hello, handsome:

A squirrel seen on the left came closer to have a look. Bobby was only mildly interested. He had mice on the mind, not squirrels:

Bobby spied a mouse and pursued:

Only to come up empty:

No time to burn. Bobby kept searching for prey:

Note the outstretched leg and balled foot. :)

Success! A dive in a different bush brought a tasty reward:

A small mouse which he ate in one swallow:

Off again:

And again...

The darkness was making it more and more difficult to spot Bobby as he made his way from perch to perch.. especially when trees were in the way much of the time and I'd lose sight of him for a few seconds while he was in flight.

Trusting my gut was the only way to go.. glad to see the distant, dark figure was indeed Bobby:

Good night, Bobby:

Post-Hurricane Irene neighborhood walkabout - August 28, 2011

Well, it was the storm that never was. Manhattan came through just fine overall. There were strong winds and steady, light rain all night long but nothing as intense as the weather heads were predicting. But it's just as well since it means people and property were safe. We didn't lose power in Manhattan so luckily, we now have all this extra water and snacks to enjoy. 

I woke up several times over the night to check the status of the hurricane online and from tv so I've been feeling stuck in an odd time warp circadian rhythm-wise all day. Watching the intense wind in the trees outside my apartment building during the night and early morning was exciting so I have to admit I am a little disappointed we didn't have as big a storm as first suggested.

I walked around town as soon as I could post-sleep deprivation this morning. The transit system is still not operational. The Metropolitan Transit Authority is currently hard at work pumping random flooded stations and removing trees from outdoor tracks. There is no telling yet what kind of commute we'll have Monday morning.

Local station's entrance:

Just about every street and avenue was empty during my walk. Here is a photo of one example. This corner is usually full of traffic and pedestrians:

Cop busy catching up on current events:

There were several downed branches but no downed trees that I can report:

Sanitation vehicles at the ready:

This particular tree on Broadway (by NYU) was damaged and had to get cut down for safety's sake:

One of Bobby's favorite perches with newly-shredded flag:

Downed branches in Washington Square Park:

But thankfully, the red-tailed hawk nest fared well!

Damaged trees along 6th Avenue:

One squirrel was happy to acquire new real estate in Marble Cemetery:

A tree along the cemetery didn't fare so well: