Fresh snow makes everything nice…

It did finally snow last night, and we ended up with about four, light-and-fluffy inches of the stuff, which is our biggest accumulation this winter. Then there was a mix of lake-effect snow showers and bright sun against a blue sky this morning, so quite the pretty scene. Plus, folks seemed to expect that the combination of Tuesday’s ice and Thursday’s snow made for slippery trails, which it pretty much did, but that meant that I got to lay the first human tracks along most of the river. Best of all, the birds were especially accommodating this morning, and it was like school picture day.

Let’s lead off with a perennial favorite, a male northern cardinal snacking on some snow-covered sumac seeds over the pond.

Here’s a female I found nearby after a little snow shower kicked in.

There were plenty of juncos also checking out the sumac.

Plus, dozens of house finches, and here’s a female and male much less hidden in the bushes than usual.

At the north end, a nuthatch had just found a fat-looking little snack.

Here’s a red-bellied woodpecker still on the hunt for the same.

And here’s a mourning dove just trying to stay warm and apparently not interested in shoveling another parking space on some other branch, thank you very much.

Finally, our pair of red-tailed hawks were over on the east side again to soak up some sun. Here’s the first one I saw, up high and on the east side of the meadow. I think it spotted me.

Here’s the second one, which I almost missed, a lot closer to the ground and between the meadow and the river. What a handsome pair!

Finally, on the open river water beside the southern half of the park, I saw nearly a dozen goldeneyes, four mallards, our regular pair of buffleheads, and our solo little hooded merganser hen, who was nestled down into the snow for a comfy little nap.

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.

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