I got to my sister's place out on the prairie, on Monday the 13th, and promptly saw a Hoary Redpoll among all the Common Redpolls. My sister maintains a seed feeder and a suet feeder, plus a few deer carcasses hanging in trees. With my new snow boots, I tromped out into their woods a ways along snowmobile trails. Very few birds there. They would rather hang out at the feeders. The next day I hiked an hour in. Such a wonderful sound, boots on snow. There were tons of tracks, rabbit, grouse, deer, and maybe some mice and a fisher. Since it was Valentine's Day, I stopped and drew hearts frequently in fresh snow.
I saw four woodpecker species, Red-Bellied, Downy, Hairy, and Pileated, around their house. Wednesday it even snowed! Really magical. But John was flying in that night, renting a car and driving up from Minneapolis. He had no problem except finding the driveway. Just drove by it once. It is dark at 10 PM on the prairie.
Today, Thursday the 16th, John and I walked out into the woods together. I showed him some of the hearts I drew and we flushed a Ruffed Grouse. He didn't get a very good look. Phooey. But I made a couple of snow angels.
Tomorrow we drive over to Meadowlands for the start of the Sax-Zim Bog birding festival. Hope we get some of the cool birds that are possible.