After a promising beginning, my spring migration has been rather slow. Perhaps the weather gods took my previous blogging as a challenge; perhaps the one-two punch of getting excellent looks at American Bittern and Prothonotary Warbler used up my seasonal allotment of awesome; perhaps the laws of conservation of Carrie happiness mean that my writing and my birding can’t both go well at the same time (and my writing has been going very well.) Or perhaps, I don’t know, migration is controlled by vast meteorological and biological forces of inhuman complexity and it’s really not about me at all (perish the thought!)
No matter what the cause, my trip to Central Park this weekend yielded little but dampness and disappointment. When it started raining minutes after I reached the park, I knew there wasn’t much hope. And when Strawberry Fields yielded nothing but a female Black-throated Blue Warbler, a singing House Wren, and a bunch of irritable Robins, what hope there was faded. But by the time I came out the other side of the Ramble and found myself profoundly grateful to see a Common Yellowthroat, I decided that it was time to pack it in and go down to the 9th Avenue Food Festival instead.
The next day was even less birdy… and yet. As the Inimitable Todd and I strolled up Bedford Avenue in pursuit of vintage clothes and beer, I spotted not one, not two, but four House Sparrows engaged in midair pursuit of a yellow butterfly (some kind of Sulfur, I think.) Now, I know very well that in addition to their profligate breeding, one of the keys of House Sparrow success is that they’ll eat anything that will fit down their throats. But I’d never seen one engage in fly-catching before. And they could use more practice, judging by what I saw yesterday, since the butterfly successfully evaded all four of them and flew away.
Perhaps this coming week will be better.