The period from after Jan. 1, through January 12 has seen a lot of birds, and hundreds of observers of some of same birds, in Manhattan, and New York County, over that time span.  It is wonderful to note the enormous numbers of eager observers who joined walks led on the 1st of January led by guides & leaders for N.Y.C. Audubon, & for other non-profit groups, as a show of force and strong support for ethically-guided, directed, and sustainable bird observing, and for learning and sharing of knowledge by genuinely knowledgeable leaders and guides.  This includes walks led for N.Y.C. Audubon & others in Central Park, Manhattan on 1st January, as well as further walks by & for additional non-profit organizations.

Some of the many highlights among species seen in the 12-day period noted above have included:

Red-throated Loon, Common Loon, Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Snow Goose, Wood Duck, Green-winged Teal, Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, American Woodcock, Bonaparte's Gull, ICELAND Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, RED-HEADED Woodpecker, VEERY, Brown Thrasher, Nashville Warbler, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, Chipping Sparrow, VESPER Sparrow, BOAT-TAILED Grackle, & other birds.

A VEERY is the most remarkable bird lingering in N.Y. City this winter, in terms of the rarity of that species ANYWHERE in North America in January.   L  I recently posted to this list a very few other records for North America that took in the winter period (generally understood as December thru February) in past years for this almost exclusively-neotropical-wintering thrush.  The Veery of Bryant Park, in midtown Manhattan is ongoing, surviving there to at least Sunday, 12 January, 2020.

The long-lingering first-year plumaged RED-HEADED WOODPECKER has continued to delight many observers on a daily basis, at its winter territory just west of the N. Meadow ball fields in Central Park, & about due east of Central Park West at W. 97th Street.  Look for it especially on brighter days, & look closely to see how it has been coloring up in the typical, slow changeover to eventual adult plumage, which can be anticipated by mid spring. (This is in Manhattan, N.Y. City.)

Iceland Gulls have continued to be seen at and from at least several locations in New York County waters (around Manhattan island) and might be watched for in any areas where good numbers of gulls roost or otherwise congregate; just one such place is, at times, the reservoir in Central Park. Also seen, with effort, is Lesser Black-backed Gull, a species that has vastly increased over the past two decades in this region. Other gull species ought be sought as well, a number of which have occurred in N.Y. County, including in recent times.

A Boat-tailed Grackle, still a fairly rare sighting in New York County, was found in Central Park and had lingered for some time near the reservoir there, photographed and seen by many observers.

A Vesper Sparrow has been lingering at Randall’s Island, a good find generally for N.Y. County and esp. unusual in the midwinter period;  that Island also provided one of the more recent sightings of Nashville Warbler, which close watchers of local trends in winter birds may have noticed was one of the ‘nearly-common’ American warbler species of the near and coastal parts of the region in various states’ Christmas Bird Counts, of the period just-concluded.

Below, only a partial listing of birds found on Manhattan island and its surrounding waters and on several smaller isles that share the same county with it, since Jan. 1st, many still present:

Red-throated Loon (waters off Manhattan & its associated isles)
Common Loon (waters off Manhattan & its associated isles)
Pied-billed Grebe (Central Park)
Horned Grebe (waters off Manhattan & its associated isles)
Great Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron (multiple) day 
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Black Vulture (once very rare in region, now regular in most seasons, if still scant in numbers)
Turkey Vulture (ongoing sightings in the period noted)
Snow Goose (lingering)
Canada Goose
[Atlantic] Brant
Wood Duck (Central Park)
American Black Duck
Northern Shoveler
Green-winged Teal (lingering, Central Park)
Greater Scaup
Common Goldeneye (regular in waters off Manhattan in mid-winter, generally in small numbers)
Hooded Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Bald Eagle (now nearly regular in the county & nearby)
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk (several sightings in the period noted; may winter in the region)
Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot (Central Park)
American Woodcock (at least several lingering thru recent freezes & ultra warm thaws)
Bonaparte's Gull (a few reports from N.Y.County waters where uncommon to rare generally)
Ring-billed Gull
[American] Herring Gull
Iceland Gull (as noted at top)
Lesser Black-backed Gull (“)
Great Black-backed Gull
['feral'] Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Monk Parakeet (ongoing in Manhattan
Great Horned Owl (several locations in the county)
Long-eared Owl (into January)
E. Screech Owl (Manhattan resident)
Belted Kingfisher 
Red-headed Woodpecker (Central Park, as noted at top)
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (multiple, but not very many)
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Yellow-shafted Flicker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper (multiple)
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren (at least several wintering)
Golden-crowned Kinglet (scarce)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (scarce)
Eastern Bluebird (at least several reports, not unprecedented in midwinter)
VEERY (photographed and observed by multiple seekers in past 2 weeks, at Bryant Park, NYC)
Hermit Thrush (regular but uncommon in winter, in contrast to virtually unprecedented Veery in midwinter in N. America
American Robin
Gray Catbird (multiple, esp. in various smaller parks on Manhattan island)
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher (several)
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Nashville Warbler (at least one of several in N.Y. County in December lingered well into Jan. 2020)
Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] Warbler (scarce in N.Y. County in midwinter)
Ovenbird (several wintering so far)
Common Yellowthroat (several lingering)
Eastern Towhee (multiple overwinterers)
American Tree Sparrow (few)
Chipping Sparrow (multiple lingering incl. in Central Park, part of a regional trend of this species this winter so far, and somewhat of more recent years in winter in general)
Field Sparrow (lingering)
Vesper Sparrow (one, as noted above; not regionally-rare, but rare in N.Y. County in midwinter)
Savannah Sparrow (lingering)
[Red] Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow (sparse but regularly wintering in N.Y. City)
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
BOAT-TAILED Grackle (as noted at top)
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow 

"I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good." - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Good & ethically-minded birding to all,

Tom Fiore,

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