This series of photos is from December 23. I went back on the 26th and will share those photos in a separate post. The weather has since turned a bit more wintry. I decided not to go out today due to early cloud cover and mostly mud – I am getting a bit tired of cleaning the treads of my boots. But I also have so much to do at home that I kept putting off “until I retire” or “until winter” and since I am in both those places, I need to get going on the 20-years-of-accumulated-stuff project.
The sky was dramatic at first but brightened up ever so slightly. There are new piles of chopped wood here and there along the trails. I can only imagine the volunteers were taking care of fallen or about-to-fall trees.
At first this White-breasted Nuthatch was hard to uncover but he came out and made himself known eventually.
Red-bellied Woodpeckers have been more abundant than I remember, but it could just be that for the sake of getting out more, I have become more attuned to their comings and goings. I was delighted to find the flight sequence in my photos, which I put into the carousel below.
A favorite ground-foraging place these days is the trail, and when I’m lucky and the only person on the trail, I can usually stop and watch the birds for some time.
I was beginning to think my ears were lying to me because I thought I always heard White-throated Sparrows but I was never seeing them. Then this one posed for a picture.
Dark-eyed Juncos are also fond of the gravelly trails.
I could barely focus on this somewhat far-away American Goldfinch, but I so love their muted tones this time of year.
It wouldn’t be Christmas week without a male Northern Cardinal.
I’ll be back shortly with the next installment. The days are getting longer…already!
I am surprised that fallen trees are sawn up. I thought that the modern trend was to leave to rot where they fall.
I think it depends on where they fall… I am not sure why these trees were taken down, which is more likely the case. I will certainly ask the volunteers if I manage to run into them before too long.
Was at Portage yesterday and this morning. Admiring the hazy overcast skies, The birds are infrequent and remain the usuals. The snow added a texture and visual change to the walk. Almost no one on the trail or parking lot. But, the cardinals are still a bright red and the red-bellied woodpeckers and still singing. I did see two robins hanging around along the trail.
Thanks for the report, Bob. I was in Riverside this morning – saw a Great Blue Heron flying down the river. I will likely visit the Portage tomorrow and see if I can locate that darned Winter Wren again. I agree, the red of the cardinals and red-bellieds is much appreciated contrast to the gray birds and skies.