Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Super-Regulars

This photo by LINCOLN KARIM, taken on Groundhog Day, [six more weeks of winter!] clearly reveals how much progress these diligent hawks have made in the great task of nest rebuilding.

2/3/05 --The Super-Regulars

There is a small group of birdwatchers who come to the park often enough, in all seasons, to be called Regulars. I count myself in that group. But even these Central Park loyalists go off and do other things occasionally -- a trip to Colombia, or a few weeks at Point Reyes, or, speaking for myself, frequent spring and summer weekends at a small cabin in Putnam County.

I only know two Super-Regulars. They never seem to take off for exotic climes , and only on a rare occasion do they check out Jamaica Bay or other city parks. Mostly, these two unique gentlemen arrive in Central Park every single morning, always at 7 a.m., summer, winter, autumn, spring, except, of course, when the weather is too terrible for anyone with a modicum of sanity to venture out into,or when illness intervenes.

Anybody who has spent any time in the Central Park birding community knows who I'm talking about: Marty Sohmer and Jack Meyer. Every morning these super-Regulars check out the best birding spots, and then retire to the boathouse for a quick R&R. Then out again to check the late risers among the birds.

If you are out birding and run into Jack and Marty, they will point you in the direction of any interesting bird they've come across that morning; odds are their list includes more birds than yours. Moreover, when Jack comes home, usually by noon, he promptly sends an e-mail listing of the day's birds to the listserv called e-birds. In this way a great many people can get an idea of Central Park bird opportunities on any given day.

Here is a typical winter's list, when the park is down to its bare minimum, in numbers and species of birds: [That will begin to change by the end of this month.]

DATE: Thursday, 3 February 2005
LOCATION: Central Park
OBSERVERS: Marty Sohmer, Jack Meyer

Red-tailed Hawk (Pair on nest site with twigs 10.45 AM.)
Mourning Dove (Several, Evodia Field.)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Feeders.)
Downy Woodpecker (Several, feeders.)
Hairy Woodpecker (Feeders.)
Blue Jay (Feeders.)
Black-capped Chickadee (Several.)
Tufted Titmouse (Several.)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Feeders.)
White-breasted Nuthatch (Several.)
Brown Creeper (Feeders.)
Fox Sparrow (3, Evodia Field.)
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco (Several, Evodia Field.)
House Finch (Several, feeders.)
American Goldfinch (Many, feeders.)