Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My old friend: "Cedar Hill at Central Park"

In 1997 I was in New York City in September and October on a preaching assignment. On my "downtime" I discovered what was then a very well organized "Hawk Migration Count" which happened mostly on the top level of Belvedere Castle which is right below >"Turtle Pond"strong> and right at the beginning of "The Ramble" which is pretty much the center of Central Park. There I met many professional birders and bird photographers and naturalists as Lloyd Spytylnick, Debra Allen, "Birding Bob De Candido and many others. Today I was with two two gentlemen whom I have known since then: Bernie Nathan and Art Le Moyne. Now "Cedar Hill" which is right above what is known as the "Boating Pond" and leads up to the Boathouse where "The Ramble" begins is the best birding spot in all of Central Park, most especially for seeing warblers during this Fall and also Spring bird migration. In 1997 I spent my Thursdays during September at the morning Hawk Count. On days with a load cloud cover and good northwesterly winds one can see many hawks, falcons on there way south to winter and some to nest. It is a truly splendid sight to see an enormous "kettle" of accipiters or falcons soaring, gliding and spiralling sometimes a thousand feet up in the sky. The picture below is of Cedar Hill where today, even with the 60 degree temperature and the winds sunbathers and others enjoy these "last days of summer". I arrived at the Ramble around 11am and so there wasn't much movement of warblers, just a few Black Headed Blues, one Worm Eating Warbler, a number of Black and White Warblers and some Cedar Waxwings chewing away at the berries near Belvedere Castle. This "Hudson River Birder" began as a "Central Park Birder". I still feel a great love for the "lung of New York City" because that is what this great creation of two great arquitects: Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux truly is.

Cedar Hill at Central Park