Well, some snow did finally arrived, but it was mostly melted already by the time it got here, and I blame De Joy for that. Luckily, the birds don’t seem to care one way or the other, and this little cutie, an American goldfinch by the river in its winter coat of “drab, unstreaked brown, with blackish wings and two pale wingbars”, was singing the same hopeful little song I’ve heard since the spring.
Further north, above the falls, there was yet another new arrival chillin’ with the mallards, this time a pair of buffleheads (Bucephala albeola), and yes that’s their real name, click the link to see for yourself.
They were diving just like the goldeneye, of which there were two today that didn’t get along with each other. The buffleheads were shy like the goldeneye, too, so I was not able to get very close. Maybe I’ll have better luck next time.
As I got north of the second island, a couple of crows got excited, so my heart swelled with hope, and it didn’t take me long to spot the source of their excitement, in a tree clear across the river. Happily, just as I figured I had gotten the best picture I could, it must have decided the fishing was no good there, took to its wings, circled twice that wide spot of the river where the damn used to be, and headed back north from whence it had come. Ta da!
Finally, at the risk of igniting a firestorm, I stopped by the pond on my way home and found this little guy sitting by itself on a branch over the water, and this time, based on the clearly-visible reddish patches on its cheeks, head, and rump, I’m going to go with purple finch (Haemorhous purpureus). I look forward to your well-reasoned contradictions in the comments.
Go, Pack, Go!