Thursday, 22 February, 2018
Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City

A first-cycle Iceland Gull was present & was photographed by a number of us, 
along Central Park’s reservoir central dike (this is in Manhattan, N.Y. City) 
from at least mid-morning, where seen by at least several other observers, and 
I believe Stefan Passlick may have been the finder, earlier this cool (normal) 
weather day; the Iceland still present thru at least 1:30 p.m. when I passed by 
again & spotted it near where seen earlier, closer to the n. end of the dike 
than to the central area, & mostly showing as seen from west of the pumping 
stations, on the N-NW side of the reservoir’s (running-track) view-points.  
N.B., Iceland Gull, while not an easy find in NY County (a.k.a. Manhattan & 
political-adjacent waters) is at least near-annual in ocurrence in the county 
over a long period of observations.  Thanks to Anders P. and others this a.m., 
on-site when I came along not yet knowing of this gull.

Here is an eBird checklist S. Passlick submitted: 
<> which is for 2/22/2018.

Incidentally, the gull numbers at mid-day on the CP reservoir were vastly lower 
than on some days earlier this month, although hundreds of gulls were present 
still. Further, many of the Canada Geese seem to have departed.  Some ducks 
were in slightly reduced numbers this morning & mid-day as well, as compared 
with recent weeks in CP.

I searched, as I believe several others did in the morning, for Wednesday’s 
(far rarer-in-Manhattan and Central Park) Redhead with no success this day, and 
further it seemed some of the other waterfowl had moved, at least out of the 
park, perhaps out-of-area as well.  I checked all waterbodies south of the 
reservoir, & the Pool, but not the Meer.  At The Pond, in the SE portion of 
Central Park were the long-lingering drake N. Pintail, at least 2 drake Wood 
Ducks, and 1 American Coot.  Three more drake Wood Ducks were seen at the Lake, 
mid-day.  A minimum of 140 N. Shovelers continue in the park, likely more, with 
high numbers at Turtle Pond & also at the Lake.  

The feeders & vicinity (i.e. adjacent trees, not just on-ground) in the Ramble 
held around 1,000 birds of variuous species, with by far the majority being a 
raucous group of Common Grackles that came in & seemed not to stay, or at least 
most did not linger at the feeders, as precipitation started up again, after 
the noon hour. Also present were modest numbers of Red-winged Blackbirds, in 
varying plumage but mostly males, & a couple of Brown-headed Cowbirds in the 
noisy mix. However, elsewhere in my rounds of the park I encountered far more 
sparse songbirds, excepting typical White-throated Sparrow flocks, & just a few 
[Red] Fox Sparrows in some parts of the Ramble, one noted also in the Loch. A 
Swamp Sparrow again at The Pond’s shore is certainly one that wintered; that 
has regularly been one of the best areas to find that sparrow species through a 
winter in Central Park. 

- - - -
Here is a link to a Feb. 21st N.Y. Times Science section story on Flamingos 
-the real ones, not the lawn-decoration kind- in the state of Florida: 

very good ethically-minded birding,

Tom Fiore

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