Iceland Gulls have returned to birder’s attention, esp. with one again at the 
Central Park reservoir, in Manhattan (N.Y. City), possibly first ‘re’-found by 
A. Auerbach and also seen by others since Friday, Jan. 24th.  This was / is a 
2nd-cycle age gull, & could be in company with as many as 500+ other more-usual 
gulls of the most-typical 3 wintering species (Ring-billed, [American] Herring, 
and Great Black-backed), at the C.P. reservoir.  Iceland Gull has also been 
seen on the East River and possibly elsewhere in New York County in recent days 
& weeks.

A WOOD THRUSH has been sighted and photographed in the southwest part of 
Central Park, this a species that is not at all expected in the region in 
mid-winter (they do breed in Manhattan, typically vacating the local breeding 
areas as early as September each year to head far south), but for which there 
is a precedent, with sightings in other years here, even in February & on 
through a full winter, including in Central Park.

A first-year RED-Headed Woodpecker has continued its winter stay in Central 
Park, regular at a site west of the S.W.edge of the North Meadow ballfields, 
and roughly east of W. 97th Street at Central Park West, also the nearest park 
entry for this bird, seen often by many, many observers. The red ‘hood’ has 
continued to slowly show development, as will continue for many more weeks.

A number of observers have noted Common Raven while in or near Central Park, 
with some sightings also elsewhere in the county of late.  An unusual ongoing 
bird for the county is also the Boat-tailed Grackle, roaming with a flock of 
much more expected Common Grackles in Central Park, among the latter species 
also an ongoing partially leucistic (white headed) individual, which has been 
seen over the years here.

Other recent sightings in Central Park have included Common Loon, a (very much 
presumed feral, not wild) ‘greylag’ type goose, 2 Snow Geese (which latter 
species are annual in the 1,000’s as fly-overs in migration every year as noted 
by dozens of keen observers over many decades), Green-winged Teal, Wood Duck, & 
Pied-billed Grebe, as well as many other waterbirds.

The Bryant Park (Manhattan) Veery of January & prior months there had not been 
sighted for a few days, but could still be present there. Other species far 
more regular, if uncommon for winter, were still being seen there, those 
including Common Yellowthroat, also Hermit Thrush and other lingering winter 
birds.  At least one VESPER Sparrow was continuing on at Randall’s Island to 
Friday, Jan. 24, just east of Manhattan and within New York County, NYC.

Further sightings of Black Vulture have come from the northern end of Manhattan 
island, around Inwood and vicinity and a bit farther south, by Riverside Park, 
has been Bald Eagle, a no-longer unexpected sight in New York City, although 
still uncommon and still ‘new ‘ to many observers. The latter species has 
nested successfully in the city, and has also done so within less than 5 miles 
of the recent very-publicized sightings at Riverside Park - the nesting having 
been within a protected zone across the Hudson River and along rocky cliffs and 
forest of the New Jersey Palisades escarpment. That nesting is well-documented.

Many other species have been noted by multiple observers in the past week in 
New York County, & a more complete report may be given by February.  Some of 
these other species have included Great Blue Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Brown 
Thrasher, E. Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, [Red] Fox Sparrow, 
Yellow-rumped [Myttle] Warbler, and more.

Many of the readers of this list may enjoy reading a well-written review of the 
recent book, “Urban Ornithology” which is about birds in New York City, and is 
likely to be the history and ecology reader for the area for many years; one 
very thorough review of this book was posted by a well-known local birder and 
teacher, on the 10,000Birds blog-cooperative.  Check it out at:

Thanks to all who choose to observe birds in an ethical way, with the birds 
best interests at heart. 

Good winter birding,

Tom Fiore



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