I've been watching the weather, waiting for that perfect day to get up to the Chamberlain Lake area, scouting out my favorite woodpeckers. Today was the day. And I wanted to be there at dawn, so I went up last night and slept in the car.well, the van.well, the big van. I tried to get to sleep early, but a saw-whet owl kept piping for hours. It was so close, I could hear it through the closed doors, the little twerp. I didn't bring a thermometer and I don't know what the temp was when I woke up, but urine froze before hitting the ground, so I'm guessing daybreak started cold. It warmed quickly.
Finch fest. Chamberlain Bridge was alive at sunrise, with tons of siskins and crossbills. Most were red crossbills - type 173, I think. Purple finches were in full song. It was noisy the whole dad-gummed day. I birded my usual haunts west of there. There were just as many siskins along the road, but most of the crossbills were white-winged. And THEY were singing up a storm. At least five brown creepers were singing. Through that stretch, I encountered two black-backed woodpeckers and three American three-toed woodpeckers. That's a total of 30 toes.
Officially, the calendar says it is spring. But there is still four feet of snow on the ground up there, and it was a sloppy ride home after the temperatures rose.