Winter Life at the Reservoir

By Vladimir Brezina

Last weekend at NYC’s Central Park Reservoir. An icy cold day. The Reservoir is mostly frozen over, leaving just a patch of open water where all of the Reservoir’s birds have congregated.

Johna surveys the panorama. (Click to enlarge any photo.)

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Midtown Manhattan rises up beyond.

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The birds are mostly Canada Geese and ducks, including some varieties that we’ve never noticed here before—they are probably from Canada, down for the winter. They paddle through the patch of open water, squabble, or just stand silently on the ice, beaks tucked into their back feathers, facing into the cold wind.

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The blue shadows lengthen as the sun goes down, lighting up the East Side on the other side of the Reservoir with its last rays.

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More photos are here.

90 responses to “Winter Life at the Reservoir

  1. I enjoy being able to visit NY through your lens. Thanks so much. These are very nice shots of the geese.

  2. Beautiful photos – yes, looks like a Northern Shoveler in the 5th & 8th photos. The bill is a really distinctive filed mark, but you didn’t get that view so it was harder to identify. So pretty in that late sun – well, I don’t miss the cold you guys just had but I miss the sun!

    • I did get some shots of the broad bill, but the photos weren’t that good so I didn’t post them. The bill was actually a feature that we remarked on immediately as we looked at the birds. It’s just that many of the photos on the Internet were taken from the side, where the bill looked even more peculiar, so we weren’t quite sure of the identification.

      It was a bright sunny day but it was COLD…

    • Johna Till Johnson

      Thanks for the clarification! It was actually quite a thrill when we realized these birds were different from the mallards. We aren’t really serious bird-watchers, but our powers of observation have been sharpened by years of kayaking…

  3. You did it again! :) Beautiful photos! I agree with Pat – I love seeing NY through your lens! It’s a beautiful place! Thanks!

  4. Picture-poscard perfect photos. I especially like the first one in the series. Nicely done.

  5. Lovely photos. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Lovely sequence of shots – looks like a popular stop-off for the geese and ducks :-)

    • I believe it is. There are the ordinary, year-round resident geese and ducks, but in winter there are all kinds of additional species, such as the Northern Shovelers (I’ve never seen them here in the summer) and, out on the sea, huge numbers of brants.

      For other kinds of birds, too, including those migrating up and down the East Coast, Central Park is apparently a favorite spot, being a green space in a large built-up area… It’s certainly a favorite spot for bird-watchers!

  7. VB–I’m sorry I wasn’t in the City to see such a beautiful sight last weekend. I tried to pin your first photo on my “Places and Spaces” [] board on Pinterest, but it was too large.

  8. Love the close ups of the geese and tha last few landscapes. Stunning Vlad!

  9. lovely photos.. i especially love the 10th photo..

  10. Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  11. I agree with Madhu. The geese and the reflection pix are awesome!

  12. I feel like I am there feeling the cool air on my face! Thank you for the pictures.

  13. Great geese shots – they look much happier than if they’d stayed here! How cold is it actually? My own Miss Z is down in your neck of the woods next week and debating coat choices….

    • Last weekend, when these pictures were taken, the daytime highs were in the twenties (degrees Fahrenheit), night-time lows in the teens. And that’s in NYC’s heat island; just a few miles outside the city the temperatures were ten degrees colder. Of course, this is nothing special for those living in many places further north, but for us it’s cold!

      Since then, however, it’s warmed up considerably. The cold dry weather has been replaced by warm wet weather. Yesterday, when we were in the warm sector of a passing system, the temperature rose up to sixty…

  14. Fabulous photos, Vlad. It does look extremely cold up there. :)

  15. Your pictures make me happy.

  16. Excellent capture! It looks like even without the bed of birds, the reservoir still looks awesome esp. with that perfect sunray position and the cityscape from afar.

  17. Stunning Shots! Great Blog! Congrats

  18. Brrr and WOW! Fantastic array of photographs … love the golds and blues of the natural lighting.

  19. Wow these are some beautiful photographs! The northeast is such a beautiful place to spend outside this time of year!

  20. brilliant photos, i know that spot well so it is a joy to see the winter view and all the immaculate geese :)

  21. I like them all but the last three with the striking blue and brown tones are amazing!

  22. Thank you for reminding me of a lovely day last year. My friend and I walked from the Guggenheim to the John Lennon memorial garden, taking the long way around the far side of the reservoir. Beautiful shots!!

  23. Beautiful pictures – the lot of them!
    So enjoying following the pair of you….

  24. Lovely! The first photo is stunning!

  25. You take me back to when I live in NYC and went running around this reservoir frequently. Beautiful photos!

  26. Beautiful photos! The panorama one is stunning.

  27. Such beautiful photos – they’re travel-brochure worthy

  28. Amazing, Vlad, that top photo is gorgeous and those bright orange feet made me smile!

  29. These photos are just superb.

  30. These are amazing pictures. I particularly like the ‘wave’ of ducks.

  31. Hi Vladimir, thanks for stopping by my blog. I love the panoramic shot of the reservoir in particular, it’s very effective. The sun peeping over the top of that building is a nice touch. Great photos.

  32. Really great photos, Vladimir! The winter light has such a shine to it and you’ve captured it so well. It looks like the kind of day that brings New Yorkers out to squint and smile at the sun.

  33. These photos are breathtaking! The color of the birds against the ice, and the composition of the cityscape against the water… Wow!

  34. Stunning images … I can feel the icy bight from here ;)

  35. Pingback: Hiking Tadake Falls « The Sophomore Slump

  36. a breath taking image..wish i was there..take nothing but picture

  37. Pingback: Our 2014 Calendar | Wind Against Current

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