From the George Washington Bridge, I tracked a large osprey meandering over the cliffs of the Pallisades. Eventually crossing over and through the woods, I came to an overlook deep in the Park. And even though I only had my 18-250mm lens, this big girl came in so low over the trees, that my shot needed no cropping.
Still I pressed on, searching for the wild heart of this jagged place.
Deeper still, I came to an outcropping that offered an uninterrupted view of the entire west side of the island of manhattan, as well as its own rocky cliffs.
From a hidden cave I heard what sounded like the utterings of parrots or dinosaurs. A chattering, like a child trying to learn a language. Patiently I waited...what seemed to be making it was moving around back in the woods now. As I peered over a boulder, a medium sized falcon raced toward me from the shadows. I held my ground as it broke across the cliff and swirled around me. This is what I saw.
Two juvenile Merlins, inviting me to play.
They call softly, wingbeats easy and sure.
This is what a Merlin traveling at 50mph, 10 feet away looks like.
And now the video.
Finally, as the sun began to set,
two quorking ravens skimming the trees below.