I was hoping my first bird of 2012 wouldn’t be a pigeon, but, the fact that I was ringing in the new year in New York City, didn’t bode well for that. Sure enough, as we headed out on the morning of the First to take in sights, a Rock Pigeon landed in our path. It felt like a bad omen. The next few hundred birds I saw were also Rock Pigeons. Then I got to thinking, why not a pigeon? Sure they are commonplace. Most city dwellers deal with them daily. They probably aren’t on anyone’s life list. Most birders probably don’t even count them. But Rock Pigeons are birds too. And it’s inevitable that I’m going to see one eventually this year, so why not start off my 2012 Year List with one? As we continued our sightseeing in lower Manhattan and I ran across some more typical city birds — House Sparrows, European Starlings, Ring-billed Gulls and Herring Gulls. Finally at Liberty Island I was rewarded with a new bird for my Life List — a small gaggle of Brandts grooming the well-manicured lawn behind the statue. I was armed with only an iPhone, but here are a few shots of my New Year’s Day birding excursion in New York City.