Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Look Back

As I watched the various September 11th memorials on the news today, it made me reflect on my feelings after the horrific events. Looking back into my journal from that period, I came upon my brief writing on September 12th. Blogger was still a relatively new service and the creation of this blog was still a couple of years away. Cornell's "eBird" website was a year off. The birding forum NYSBird-l was just beginning and not known by most NYC birders. For sharing bird sightings and other relevant information, a group of us created an email group called "eBird-NYC". Below is my short note to the group following the 911 attacks:

SUBJECT: Prospect Park
DATE: Wednesday, 12 September 2001
OBSERVERS: Joe Canale, Rob Jett, Tâm Lê Mihn

Unable to work and needing to get out of the house I thought cycling through the park and some birding would help mask the melancholy and feelings of helplessness. Sometimes it helped. Mindlessly, I watched a hummingbird perched on a twig at the edge of the Butterfly Meadow. It momentarily erased the events of a day ago. It felt wrong that I should be watching birds under a clear, blue sky. I used to marvel at the Herculean task that the diminutive Ruby-throated Hummingbird confronted twice a year. Today that task seems relatively easy compared to what New Yorkers now face. I pray that all of the family, friends and loved ones of the eBirds community are safe and sound.

Peace and good birding,



Prospect Park, 9/12/2001
Double-crested Cormorant
Green Heron
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Common Nighthawk
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Northern Flicker
empidonax sp.
Blue-headed Vireo (Butterfly Meadow)
PHILADELPHIA VIREO (Locust Trees next to Butterfly Meadow)
Red-eyed Vireo
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Cedar Waxwing

Nashville Warbler
Northern Parula
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Palm Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Northern Waterthrush
CONNECTICUT WARBLER (Peninsula and Wellhouse path near Maryland Monument)
Common Yellowthroat
Wilson's Warbler
Canada Warbler
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT (Center Dr. in front of Quaker Cemetery)

Scarlet Tanager
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch

Other resident species seen (or heard):
Canada Goose, Mute Swan, American Black Duck, Mallard, Herring Gull, Rock Dove, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, American Robin, European Starling, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, House Sparrow

1 comment:

tim b said...

For several years after 2001, I made a point of riding out to Jamaica Bay on Sept. 11 for exactly the reasons you describe. The open space and the wide sky out there were more what I needed than any of the organized memorials around town.

In some weird way, I found - I think I still find - the indifference of nature comforting in circumstances like those.

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