Adventuring

I went to Prospect Park on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and did some intentional birding for the first time in about a year. We’re in the middle of spring migration, and I did get some good looks at a male Scarlet Tanager, a male American Redstart, a family of Red-bellied woodpeckers, and an Ovenbird. I think that this is the first time I’ve stalked down and actually located a bird. Of course, the fact that time wasn’t an issue (I’m stuck here for two weeks, help) was a plus. I suppose I could’ve just been lazy and checked off the birds I identified by ear, but I also (really) wanted to see them. I’ve made it a rule to not count life birds I’ve heard but not seen, unless the bird in question is an owl. But once I’ve gotten past the barrier of actually seeing a life bird, I’m allowed to count it by ear.

A real tree.
A real tree.
The south side of the park overlooks the Poestenkill River.
The south side of the park overlooks the Poestenkill River.
View of Troy and Albany.
View of Troy and Albany.
Red-bellied Woodpecker; digiscoped through binoculars
Red-bellied Woodpecker; digiscoped through binoculars

Prospect Park is no Mt. Auburn; I only saw a handful of species in a two-hour period, and I had to hunt them down as well. The good thing about birding in the city is that whatever park you’re at is probably going to be a “migrant trap” at at least some level. A city park is like an oasis in an asphalt desert, and will usually concentrate migrating birds. What’s good for birders is usually bad for birds.

I did a lot of planning for near-future trips to Prospect Park and Oakwood Cemetery that would hopefully increase my species count, but then my bike got stolen on Thursday. In broad daylight, too. I came back from Prospect Park at 9:00, and noticed that my bike was missing at around 4:00. I wasn’t the only one who had their bike stolen; apparently, someone was taking advantage of the lack of people on campus. Well, that just shot the trip plan to Oakwood, and possibly fall trips to the river to look for ducks.

I also went to West Hall a couple of times. I’m still working on getting The Lark back and trying to not completely screw Pathetique, which I feel is inevitable. I also tried my hand at the musical genre for the first time. I found and printed “Stars” from Les Miserables. This genre is a lot easier; it’s designed so that playing both hands at once is easier than playing them separately at first (if you know how the music goes, you can cheat and skip counting).

Crazy West Hall Dumpster squirrels
Crazy West Hall Dumpster squirrels
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