The forecast for yesterday was for 1 to 5 inches of snow, and extremely strong winds. In fact, it was the first time I had seen "Blizzard Warning" show up my weather station radio. But we lucked out and only had 1/2 inch of snow here in Crozet, although the winds were very strong, and the bottom dropped out of the temperatures. It was 22 degrees when I awoke this morning, and only 30 degrees when I went on my hike. At least the wind had died down a bit.
Now that the clocks have changed, it helps with my birding to get out an hour earlier, as the birds will remain on EBT (Eastern Bird Time). But it also hurts my astrophotography, as celestial objects are still on EDST (Eastern Dark Sky Time). :-)
It was fun to watch birds foraging in small pools that were not frozen, and the strong winds had dried out a lot of the ground dampness. At one of these pools, I saw a couple of Yellow-rumped Warblers starting to get their breeding plumage, a few Song Sparrows, and two Swamp Sparrows. One of the Swamp Sparrows had its rufous crown feathers, and the other one must have been a first winter bird that was just strting to get its rufous crown feathers.
Yellow-rumped Warbler and Swamp Sparrow
I ended the hike after 2-1/2 hours with 30 avian species on my morning list. This included two avian species I had not seen in my four day (3/6 - 3/11), 42 avian species list, from here in Old Trail: a pair of Northern Flickers and five Wood Ducks.