The Downy Woodpecker was enough to motivate me to take a walk around Long Pond. While it was not at the feeder when I arrived, I decided to walk the trail and check on my way out. The trail was quite good until I needed an ice pick to ascend the mountain of ice bordering on Allandale Road. Happy to have conquered that obstacle, I stared down the road only to see cars whizzing by and no sidewalk cleared across the bridge. This obstacle prompted a death-defying dash, timed with the red traffic lights at Higgins Line and Prince Phillip Drive to reach safety. Sighing with relief, I thought I had it made, only to find I once again had to scale a walk of ice to return to the trail. Climbing on "all fours," I finally reached the trail and could once again stand upright. When I told my daughter about this, she quickly told me I was not "cool." No, I was cold and a little rattled by the experience.
Despite all that, I did get to see some good bird activity. The juncos (at least 50) were quite active. Chickadees (both species) were low in numbers, but nice to see. There were no Red-breasted Nuthatches which is really unusual in this area. I did see three American Goldfinch. When is a goldfinch "reportable?" When it is ten days into the year and I hadn't seen one. The best bird of the day was near the feeder. I tucked myself in hoping to see the Downy Woodpecker. Juncos, chickadees and goldfinch were spinning around me. While watching, I caught sight, albeit briefly, of a small bird sticking close to the tree trunk. I was delighted when I realized it was a Brown Creeper. I had a really hard time finding one last year. The only snag with this sighting was the creeper didn't stay around long enough for me to get a good picture.
I also thought I saw a Merlin twice. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a picture, and I'm not 100% sure if that is what it was.
Having now made my first lengthy attempt at braving the elements, I think I can do it again. The good news is the weather is warming up next week. Knowing that just makes my day!