The deep of winter settles in…

It wasn’t as cold as yesterday so my eyelashes didn’t freeze this morning, but sustained temps near 0°F and about a foot of snow on the ground is about as good as we get it here in southeastern Wisconsin, and the hardy critters seem to be coping just fine.

The five female common mergansers were in their usual spot on the lower river, and I even got a nice shot of them all lined up, but this close-up of the middle one standing up for a moment to keep and eye on me looked better.

The group of goldeneyes upstream has grown to eight females and one male, but they are just as shy as ever, so I can only get this group shot from far away, and the steam fog is still present.

Also on the lower river, a herring gull was working on a morsel it had found while a female mallard looks on.

Above the falls, I could only see mallards today, and this bunch had found a spot to graze that was perhaps a little deeper than usual, but not deep enough to dive for. Thus, they had to generate quite a bit more splash with their feet than usual to reach the good stuff.

Meanwhile, on the far shore, a crow stopped by to take a sip of the only liquid water to be found in the park.

By the pond, someone has scattered birdseed on the snow, and it attracted this trio this morning: a red squirrel, a female cardinal, and some kind of sparrow.

The woodpeckers were hard at work throughout the park, including this hairy male.

Finally, despite the current conditions, some of the male cardinals have already started to stake out their territory in song. This was not one of them, at the time, but he made a much nicer picture.

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

5 thoughts on “The deep of winter settles in…

  1. How sweet that the squirrel, cardinal, and sparrow can all get along and share in the bounty. A lesson for our elected officials!!


    1. Yes, but wait till a Cooper’s hawk shows up hoping to share in the bounty, too. But seriously, it has been fascinating to observe which birds will hang out with which.


  2. Andrew,I have another request for a dear friend who just moved into the Oaks.  She too would love to be put on your email list.  Her email address is: sheilabluehills@yahoo.comThanks so much, we all so enjoy your daily sightings!!ChrisSent via the Samsung Galaxy S9, an AT&T 5G Evolution capable smartphone


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