My first bird of 2008 was an American goldfinch in winter plumage.
I could have waited around, blind-folded until Julie saw a less common species and led me to it—say a nice eastern bluebird, or a purple finch, or a red-breasted nuthatch—but when I cracked my eyes open for a few minutes at about 8:30 this morning, it was the GOFI that I saw.
This is a game I've played for a couple of decades. Some years I really try to get a "good" bird to start the year off. When I lived in New York City it was almost always a rock pigeon (then rock dove) or a house sparrow. One year I lucked out with a herring gull. In Baltimore, I could sometimes see the neighborhood American kestrel that roosted in the church steeple across the park from my apartment.
I did not see another bird today until about 2:45. I was sleeping to recover from a very late night last night. More on that later...