I hate bird watching! When we lived on the Florida coast, Suzy dragged me out to the nature preserves more times than I care to remember. So when she told me she wanted to go to NYC to see a duck, I was less than enthused.

Of course she told me it’s a rare Mandarin duck that isn’t supposed to be in North America. I yawned. Then I realized we’d get a day or two in the city and could do some actual tourist-type things and I decided to get on board.

We got up early to take the train in from New Jersey to Central Park. We first checked Turtle Pond, the last place the duck was seen. The lake was starting to freeze, which didn’t bode well for us. No Mandarin duck. Have I mentioned that it was like 20 degrees?

After a trip to Starbucks, we decided to hit up the American Museum of Natural History where, ironically, we saw many ducks and even duck-billed dinosaurs. Then it was a quick lunch from a food truck and a check of the duck’s twitter account (yes the duck is being tracked on social media — more on that later).

Next it was a trip to the Nintendo Store and the Lego Store near Rockefeller Center, where I proposed to Suzy. Then on to the M&Ms Store and Time Square, followed by Midtown Comics before heading back to the train station.

Right after boarding the train we checked the duck’s twitter, only to see that 15 minutes earlier the duck was spotted at The Pond near the zoo. We briefly debated getting off the train to go back but it was getting dark (and colder) so we headed off to Jersey to get pizza.

All in all, it wasn’t horrible. Best birding trip I’ve ever been on but that said, I don’t need to go back over Christmas break.