Birds were moving through Mr. Neil's yard today. As I was photographing this goldfinch, I could hear tons of birds moving through the woods. It sounded like hundreds of goldfinches and some waxwings and robins. I looked down towards the woods and I could see the bodies flitting through the trees.
I went in to see what I could see. Some of the robins and waxwings must have just flown in. You could see some of them tucked high in the trees dozing. One robin had tucked herself into the crook of a branch and a tree trunk, her wings drooping. I didn't have my scope with me at that point, but decided to go up the hills to get it. I had to find a long and winding path down to this part of the woods, with some of the snow melt and refreeze, the hills were slick and not easy to traverse while carrying a spotting scope.
I found a way down but the birds were awake and feeding--above is a cedar waxwing, stretching and getting ready for action. I did see a couple of bugs and I know on a warmer day like this that snow fleas are active. The waxwings were feeding on some kind of flying insect. They would wait out on a branch and fly out to catch something just like a phoebe or flycatcher.
As I was digiscoping the birds eating the buckthorn, I could hear them overhead and I heard rustling all around me. I looked and the floor of the woods was covered with robins flipping over leaves searching for edible bugs and who knows what else. It was really quite something--there were so many robins that it almost sounded like a small herd of deer were moving through.
I didn't get photos, but Mr. Neil still has a common redpoll and a few pine siskins hanging around. Winter is not over yet.