The best thing there were two Snow Geese, a very rare sight in Central Park, even as a flyover much less down on the water.
I have heard that they are still there.
Walking around the Reservoir, I saw the Ring-Necked Duck drake that has been wintering there.
I think this is the first photo I've taken where you can see the ring around the neck
The Reservoir gets one or two Ring-Necked drakes every winter. I wonder if the same bird has been returning every year. He was hunting quite successfully, and I spent some time trying to get a good photo of him at the moment of the dive.
It was a little beyond my skill, and it was quite windy and cold so I gave up after only ten minutes or so. . This is the best one I got.
Also new for the year at the Reservoir was a Pied-Billed Grebe. We generally have two or three hanging around, but I think only one this winter.
Heading toward the Ramble, I found the Orange-Crowned Warbler that was found during the Christmas Count. It looks like it's trying to overwinter here, which is pretty scary.
it's a living
In this photo, you can see it's probing at sapsucker scrapes on the viburnum (I think that's the plant, anyway). The Orange-Crowned has basically been following an overwintering Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker around, poaching insects from its wells and scrapes.
It is still behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art, though it has moved to the area right up against the East Drive between the Transverse and Greywacke Arch
the hawk gaze
In the Ramble itself, I found this juvenile Accipiter, which I think is a Sharp-Shinned Hawk.
tail looks pretty square to me
On my way out, I was startled by a flash of white wings darting into a mixed flock of sparrows. It turned out to be this partially-leucistic House sparrow. I think a couple of people have remarked on this bird recently.
It's interesting--the white doesn't look that extensive when the bird is at rest, but in flight it was really startling.
One thing I didn't see that day was the Great Horned Owl which was present from late October to early January, and then disappeared once all the leaves droppped from its favorite roosting tree. It's apparently back! I've seen several reports of it this past week, in the same now-bare tree near the feeder area in the Ramble. I guess it missed the attention.