Daffodils in Snow © Lang ElliottWinter has returned in spades! There’s about four inches of snow on the ground and last night the temperature dropped to 10F. It feels like mid-January here in upstate New York, and it’s hard to believe that it was in the 60s no more than a week ago, with spring singing hallelujah.

This cold spell is a real setback as far as spring is concerned … the blooms of red maples are frozen and wilted and the daffodils are drooping with heads in the snow. And the poor, poor robins. They’re still out looking for worms, but what worm of right mind would be anywhere near the surface of the soil? I have faith that the robins will make it through this rough spell just fine, but perhaps not so for certain other birds.

With winter temporarily back in the driver’s seat, I decided to spend this morning indoors, preparing something nice for my friends (you guys!). So I busied myself editing video footage that I gathered during last week’s warmish spell, at the nearby Cornell Plantations Arboretum (a lovely landscaped area just east of campus, with lots of trees, ponds, and hills). The arboretum is bird magnet for sure. As you can see from my video, I snagged some pretty nice footage:

My favorite clips include:

  • Cedar Waxwings feeding on Red Maple flowers (I didn’t know they did that!)
  • A wonderful portrait of an Eastern Phoebe flicking its tail, in Red Osier Dogwood
  • An upset Canada Goose, displaying right after chasing an adversary
  • Several great clips of a Song Sparrow singing in a non-native Dogwood with yellow-gold stems
  • Plus nice impressions of Common Grackle, Red-winged Blackbird, and Mourning Dove
  • Please enjoy the birds and think of me, huddled in front of my computer on this frigid winter day … actually, it seems to be warming up a bit outside … I think I’ll go for a walk!

    NEWS FLASH: My friend and bird photographer Marie Read braved the frigid weather and photographed at the Plantations Arboretum this very morning. She just sent me this absolutely wonderful photo of a Red-winged Blackbird singing from a frosted perch! He sure doesn’t seem any worse off for the weather, does he?

    Red-winged Blackbird © Marie Read

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