It was a very cold morning, but clear and a bit breezy.

The temperature never rose above the mid twenties, but the breeze died down a little as the sun rose, and the birds became active by about 8:15 or so.  Nobody showed for the walk, which was unfortunate as it turned out to be a very nice birding day.  The highlight was probably the solitary Blue-headed Vireo in the butterfly garden, which was so absurdly ‘tame’ (or too cold to care) that it almost landed on me while foraging.  There was also the young Red-tailed Hawk hanging out by the ash trees in the casinos, eyeing the numerous finches drawn to the bumper crop of seeds; when I drew close, looking for the hawk whose shadow I had seen on the side of the building, it flew over to me and landed on a dead branch too small to hold it.  The branch broke off as it landed, and they both fell a short way before the hawk caught itself and flew off embarrassedly to another, larger branch.  It snuck a couple looks at me over its shoulder to see if I had noticed (and was laughing – I had, and was), and then as I walked around the building it kept following me as if it was hoping I’d toss it a squirrel or something.  These city hawks..  The Mallards down on the lake were pairing up and even mating, which seems early, but there it is.  The usual Hermit Thrushes and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers posed nicely, and the Ring-necked Ducks were loafing down on the lake as usual.  I thought I heard a Purple Finch at one point, but all I saw were House Finches, and it was a bit chilly to scan for too long if it was just for me..

Overall, it was a pretty good day, and the list is up on eBird, as usual.