On our second day, Sunday, we were up bright and early to go birding in Central Park with Deb Allen. We met what seems to be a devoted group of regulars by the Turtle Pond dock near Belvedere Castle, where I spent many high school Saturdays climbing the castle and the rock walls below. Laura was delighted to be in the midst of the fall migration, surrounded by her favorite warblers, and found it interesting that some of the birds we take for granted and enjoy in full summer plumage, such as goldfinches, are simply visitors in New York in the autumn. Also novel was birdwatching as a large group activity.
We started off at the Turtle Pond,
Laura with her new binoculars, a belated birthday gift from Grandpapa,
The lack of binoculars didn’t hinder Daniel,
and I can tell you that by the end of our birdwatching, that backpack was full of acorns, all of which made the journey home with us.
The group zeroes in on a new specimen,
Laura in her element,
We walked through the Ramble, then out onto the very new Oak Bridge (which is really steel and aluminum), and toward Strawberry Field,
Laura kept a list in a notebook of all her sightings for the day, which included ruddy ducks and gadwalls at Turtle Pond, brown creeper, golden-crowned kinglets, a swamp sparrow, a northern water thrush, winter wren, brown thrasher, eastern towhee, and pine warbler. I’m sure there were more, but I’m not the official birder in the family. Between the birds and the lovely New York birders we met, it was a wonderful morning.
We left after two hours (the walks usually last three hours) to head over to my parents’ apartment to make pancakes for brunch. As it was, we ran into a 10-block street fair at Broadway and 86th Street, which slowed us down considerably,