I wasn’t going out today. At least not for a walk. I got out of bed later than usual. The birds were waiting to be fed as the bright sunshine poured through the east windows. By the time I got done feeding everyone I had convinced myself the sun was shining and there was no reason not to go for a walk, so I put on extra layers and drove over to the Portage where I was the only car in the lot.
Plenty of people had been there yesterday after the snow. Yesterday wasn’t such a bad day by comparison but I was preoccupied with the snow and stayed home. This morning we were in the single digits. But the sun was shining and there was no wind to speak of. So I walked – and I’m glad I did. My mind and body seem to need this.
Below, footprints in the snow that preceded my visit. But still better than the ice from my last visit four days earlier.
There were not a lot of birds on either day, but I was delighted to see an albeit rather distant American Kestrel land on top of a tree this morning just as I approached the first bridge. I took several photographs like the one below and then managed to capture its departure.
I always take photos of the landscape just to see how it changes with the seasons… There seemed to be a lot of deer tracks across the frozen stream. And then there was a family of deer.
I was fortunate enough to visit with a greeter Black-capped Chickadee for a moment.
On the earlier visit with the little camera I managed to get the images below of Northern Cardinals and an American Tree Sparrow. I saw none of these species today.
Front and back of the statue – today with snow, on the 21st without.
American Robins from my first visit and today. You can see how much colder it was today by how fluffed up the Robin below is.
I also managed to get a few photos of White-throated Sparrows both visits. The closest ones were with the little camera – better weather and a less-intimidating lens, perhaps.
I noticed the wasp nest had a nice snow cap.
There was a Red-tailed Hawk on my way out, but it refused to stay put in its perch locations long enough to photograph and I didn’t capture it well enough in flight to reproduce here.
When I got home, I decided to walk around the back with the camera to see if I could sneak a few shots of my yard birds. They know me best for when they can expect me to fill the feeders. The rest of the time they tend not to tolerate my presence outside much. They are so exposed right now. It will be easier to hang with them when the trees start filling out with leaves.
The American Goldfinches are my steadiest customers up until about 3;00 in the afternoon. I fill up the new thistle feeders every day so more of them can feed at the same time. Every morning there are at least 30 to 40 of them. This is the first winter in a couple years that I haven’t had Pine Siskins visiting the thistle feeders as well.
House Sparrows…an exiting House Finch and American Goldfinch…and some Goldfinches on the thistle feeders. Those feeders were full this morning before I left.
I won’t know if I’m going for a walk tomorrow until I venture out into the yard. Dangerous wind chills are in the forecast. But if the sun is shining as brightly as it did today, it may still seem tolerable. I like to walk at Riverside which is a shorter trek lately anyway, and it’s on my way to the pool. Either way, I likely won’t be going out until something like 9:30. Swimming will be cold enough. I noticed Monday night that the pool has more pockets of colder than warmer water. Keeps me moving!