The year got off to a slowish start for me. Usually, I spend New Year's Day going all over Central Park getting as many ordinary birds as possible along with whatever rarities are around. I do it this way because I use the eBird "year Needs" list, and it's a little annoying to see dozens of "Common Grackle" reports for the first few days of the year.
This year, though, I decided to start by looking for the several rarities I knew were around Manhattan. I started with a swing around the Reservoir, where the three drake Ring-Necked Ducks are still in residence,
ducks in residence
and then went down to the Village for another look at Couch's Kingbird, who put in a quick appearance.
Then I sent up to Hudson River park in Chelsea, where I dipped on my old friend the Eurasian Collared-Dove
, who I know is still around. I also didn't see any of the resident Ravens. I decided to to troll Riverside Park looking for the Black-Headed Gull found there by Jacob Drucker. I'm not sure I'd know a Black-Headed Gull if it crapped on me.
Friday and Saturday I was in Central Park, which was a bit sparse. I did have both Sharp-Shinned and Cooper's Hawks at Maintenance on Friday, and the Chipping Sparrow is still maintaining his place at the Evodia feeders against all comers.
Chipping Sparrow tells a Titmouse what's what
Sunday I finally made it up to Randall's Island, where several remarkable birds--Tennessee Warbler! Cackling Goose! Orange-Crowned Warbler! Lesser Black-backed Gull!-- had been reported, but none of them appeared for me. I did see Field Sparrows.
rather late for Field Sparrows
Always a cheerful sight, they were hanging around with a small flock of Juncos and a few House Sparrows, which was working both sides of the Bronx Kill west of the railroad bridge.
And since then, my morning jaunts through the Ramble on my way to the subway have started filling in my species list.
How's your New Birding Year going?