On the George Washington Bird Project: March 24, 2008


In which The Gay Recluse takes pictures and displays ignorance.

First, a note from our new friend and GreenCine film critic James Van Maanen, who writes (with regard to the below shot):

Is that first picture of a hawk, maybe? (I ask, because we are getting a number of here out here in Jackson Heights of late. Much to the dismay of our pigeons and other smaller birds & rodents….)

Thanks for the note, Jim! We were kind of hoping that it was an American Kestrel, mostly because it’s the title of a record our band once released. What we really need is for someone like the guy who wrote this post to point us in the right direction! We love this guy, not only for his enthusiasm for the birds of Upper Manhattan, but for his appreciation of the ruined state of affairs that marks our existence up here:

As we walk along the neglected park, I can only wish that the wealth of the Central Park Conservancy could somehow also adopt these little green strips and return them to the glory of years past. Northern Manhattan deserve parks without crack pipes, weeds and broken glass.

So true! But since we’re here to talk about birds and not ruins, we now present our latest batch of photographs, all taken on Saturday afternoon as we hiked along the forgotten piece of land that lies between the train tracks and the Hudson, north of the bridge and south of Dykeman. It is an oddly desolate place, filled with debris, gnarled trees and — yes! — birds.

This is Manhattan!? Believe it.

Could you be a white-breasted nut-job nuthatch?

Another view. Different bird. Beautiful tail.

Is this the same as number one above? Or something different? (How clueless are we?)

Could these be chicks? Or wrens? Or sparrows? (Thankfully, our field guide is in the mail.)

We might not be cut out for birding, after all, at least the up-close variety. We’re pretty sure this is a lowly seagull, but we still love to watch them fly.

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