Check out City Birder Tours, and Green-Wood sponsored tours on their calendar pages here.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Night time in the park

Roberto and friend

(Photo credit - Rob J)

On Saturday I was cycling passed Nelly's Lawn when I spotted a pair of Common Nighthawks swooping above the field. I stopped to watch them and noticed Roberto on the north side of the field, also enjoying the sky show. I met him halfway across the field and we talked for a few minutes. He asked me about the location of the "Sparrow Bowl" as I reported some interesting birds in that area. It was along my way so I walked with him south along the Long Meadow to the bowl-like depression between the Picnic and Tennis Houses. It isn't the "official" name and I don't think it has one. Local birders discovered years ago that its natural windbreak and variety of grasses and low, dense vegetation attracted a nice variety of migrating sparrows.

By the time Roberto and I arrived at the Sparrow Bowl it was already pretty late in the day and there wasn't any bird activity. We were standing around chatting when Roberto noticed a couple of bats flying low over the area. As the sun began setting more bats began to feed close to the edges of the bowl. I had my camera with me and started to experiment with taking photos of the bats. It wasn't easy photographing them as they changed speed and direction like a drunken New York City taxi driver. I went back again on Sunday night to try out some new ideas. Six to eight bats were still in the area and I was able to capture a few decent images. With a little practice I should be able to get some nice flight shots.

Little Brown Bats (Myotis lucifugus ) in the Sparrow Bowl

(Photo credit - Rob J)

-Click here for more info on Little Brown Bats-


Yojimbot said...

cool post...any luck getting nighthawk shots?

Anonymous said...

those are awsome shots. I used to do a lot of bike racing in the park and think that I remember the general area. My favorite pics yet.


Rob J. said...

Thanks, the mosquito bites not withstanding, it was a lot of fun. I went back last night and the bats were gone so I guess it was a migrating flock.

The Common Nighthawks weren't as cooperative. They were a little too high for my lens to capture anything decent. I they're still around on the weekend I'll try digiscoping some photos.

Janet said...

hey Rob, that is awesomely cool. I couldn't even imagine getting bats-in-flight shots with my slr. But it would be fun to try!

Rob J. said...

Thanks Janet. I think the key was that there were just so many of them. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone who is afraid of bats because they come really close. I'll send you a funny example.

Exploring urban nature, birds, birdwatching, birding, hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, hawks, raptors, wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, environment, binoculars, spotting scope