Daily Observations

Crescent Moon

I spent most of the day at home, but I did make a short trip over to Alice Island to look for the redpolls. I decided to try the heavier clothes (more layers, actually) that I used yesterday on the scooter. I used the excuse that I wanted to make sure it was not just the clothes that kept me warm yesterday, but really I was just being kind of lazy. I found that I was definitely warmer with the heavier clothes, but still quite chilly compared to bicycling.

Weather: Clear and cold for another day. The wind was out of the east or northeast today. It made for very chilly conditions on the scooter ride back across the bridge.

Birds: Shortly before I left to go to Alice Island, one of the neighbors called to say a bird had hit the window. She was not sure what, if anything, she might be able to do to help it, and wondered if I knew. I told her I usually just set them on a towel someplace protected and they gradually pulled themselves together. She described the bird as gray and yellow, and I could not think of what it might be, so I went over to look at it. It turned out to be a Pine Grosbeak, the first one I have seen in a couple of years. It was a little stunned, but when I reached out to see if it would step into my hand, it flew a short distance. From there it hesitantly moved into the salmonberries, but I figured it would probably be okay.

While I was there, I heard some tapping in the nearby trees. After a few minutes of looking, I was able to spot a Red-breasted Sapsucker working its way up a trunk.

I did not see the redpolls at Alice Island, but once again the Song Sparrows were actively feeding all around the island. Though still active in the cold, I could see that the chilly temperatures were having an effect; they barely seemed to notice my approach in their quest for food, and they kept their feathers rather fluffed up. I suspect the birds are residents, but at other times I have never noticed quite so many of them. As dark colored birds, I guess they do not blend in so well with the leaves off the trees and snow covering the ground.

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