It snowed over the weekend, but it was stealth snow that fell by night. Today it snowed on me while I birded in Prospect Park! I was filled with glee, even though it was just a little flurry with no accumulation. Now it is truly winter. The winter irruptives will dance before my eyes any day now!

But not this day. I must have looked at a hundred goldfinches, and every one of them stubbornly refused to be a Pine Siskin. For the occasion I composed a limerick:

The Pine Siskin, avian tease
Is a bird that one only sees
by scanning by inches
through flocks of goldfinches
Til one’s fingers and toes all freeze.

The last line doesn’t quite scan, but the wind was blowing straight up my nose from across Prospect Lake when I composed it; whaddaya want, Shakespeare?

Still, it wasn’t what you’d call a bad day; I hit 150 for the year with a lovely drake Hooded Merganser near the Audubon Center, and saw not one but two beautiful Fox Sparrows. And there was snow.

Rock Dove Columba livia
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
American Coot Fulica atra
Bufflehead Buchephela albeola
Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis
American Goldfinch Carduelis tristic
Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapillus
Dark-eyed Junco Junco hymelis
White-breasted Nuthatch Sitta carolinensis
Brown CreeperCerthia americana
Hooded Merganser Lophodytes cucullatus
Red-bellied Woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus
Northern Shoveler Anas acuta
Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
Canada Goose Branta canadensis
Mute Swan Cygnus olor
Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens
Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
Fox Sparrow Passella iiaca
Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis
Rusty Blackbird Euphagus carolinus
Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina
European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
Yellow-bellied Spasucker Sphyrapicus varius
Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
American Robin Turdus migratorius

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