Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mad & merry sledders and other snowy park scenes

Pilgrim Hill at E. 72 Street, , the best sledding in the city [statue of Pilgrim seen among sledders at top]

A merry sledder sledding

Two sledders sledding

Three sledders sledding

and finally...

Mob sledding [not bobsledding]

Meanwhile, watching them all:

An eager bystander [or rather byclimber]

All photos by Murray Head taken on 1/27/11

Elsewhere in the park, silence and solitary splendor:
Water fountain with Beefeater headdress

The unfrozen Gill surrounded by snow in the Ramble

Snow-blanketed benches

The Bethesda Angel with frosted wings

Bow Bridge

All photos above by MURRAY HEAD -- 1/27/11

Friday, January 28, 2011

Yesterday after the Blizzard

Red-tailed Hawk in snow 1/27/11

Wood Ducks on sn0w 1/27/11

Peregrine Falcon pursuing a rarely seen Black Vulture over Central Park

Park benches after blizzard 1/27/11

Picturesque tree after blizzard 1/27/11

All photos by Jeanette Holmes

Jeanette Holmes, a Central Park birder, sent in the following report to eBirds this morning along with the photos above. More photos may be found on her nice blog--

"Hello All, I ventured out into another winter wonderland today after another snowfall. At the pond, the two wood duck drakes continue to mix with the mallards, and agreed to pose for me today. At the mall, a red-tailed hawk landed in the snow before flying off, it looked like it was hunting, the flights were short and low and gorgeous. At one point it flew ~right~ over the heads of some guys who were too focused on learning to snowboard to notice.

At the fountain, a falcon (I think a peregrine but I'm not sure) flying from the west side to the east side, where it harassed a black vulture and escorted it off to the north. It was my first time seeing a black vulture in Central Park, and the falcon was definitely not pleased.

The varied thrush was in its usual spot, by the maintenance field
bathrooms. If you go, look in the leaves beside the building with your binocs, even if you don't see it there. Its camouflage is amazing! It did get onto the snow and was just beautiful. Those are the highlights, more pictures [including the thrush] on "

PS From Marie

Tune in tomorrow for more post-blizzard photos, this time of mad and merry sledders by

PPS For seekers of arcane knowledge, here's info on the etymology of "blizzard" from the ever interesting website Naturalist's Notebook

"Perhaps you’ve noticed the snow and cold—even in places like Atlanta. We’re getting a blizzard in Maine right now; I have the soggy mittens and cold cheeks to prove it. Much of Europe too has been hit with unusual cold and snow, including, aptly enough, the Midlands region of England, where the roots of the word blizzard can be found: in the terms blizzer and blizzom, describing something that flashes, or blinds temporarily.

However, lest anyone be blinded by the weather and lose sight of the climate, a forecaster from an atmospheric and environmental research firm offers an explanation of how the Arctic melt-down on our warming planet may be causing the current freeze-up:"