About 21 degrees at 8:30 a.m. and overcast. Pretty chilly, but thanks to Ian, I am wearing wool pants today and am very comfortable.
On arrival to the lower gardens I saw a large shape in the trees bordering the golf course and the lower gardens. Yes, it was a hawk. I've made an assumption that it was a red-tailed hawk and just as I honed in on it with the binoculars it flew off. the ends of it's wings curled up as it flew off to another tree. Saw some blue jays, robins, chicka-dees, tree sparrows and mockingbirds.
In the upper gardens I saw that the bee hives have been put to bed! Maybe they were a while ago and I didn't notice. At any rate, the first little creature I saw as I walked up the path was a male downy woodpecker very busy for himself high up in a tree. There was a beautiful pair of cardinals in the big tree in the middle of the gardens chip chipping away. Lots of tree sparrows and goldfinches foraging. The tree sparrows (pictured to right) and a song sparrow or two were very busy on the ground today, poking around in the gardens looking for something decent to eat.
The pond is pretty well frozen now. Saw a herd of juncos between the path and the pond as well as some goldfinches. They seemed to be hanging out together.
The Christmas Bird Count is tomorrow. A Nor' Easter is forecasted for tonight and tomorrow. I really hope they don't cancel it...