Alright, winter is no longer one of those abstractions that will happen at some point--it's officially on:
Look what I found lurking in the grasses in Forest Lake, MN (it's considered a northern suburb in the Twin Cities). Why, it's a slate-colored junco. For non birders, this is also known as a "snowbird" or birds that nest so far north, spending winter in Minnesota doesn't seem so bad. I posted a junco update on both Twitter and Facebook and I had reports of several juncos in northern Minnesota and a few reports on the outer suburbs of the Twin Cities--even Minnesota. I better keep riding my bike and enjoying it while it lasts.
Speaking of Facebook, I got the coolest update today--a pair of whooping cranes showed up at Carelton College's Arboretum! The rumor I have heard is that these are two males who spent the summer in North Dakota and are now on their northward migration but this is in now substantiated by the Crane Foundation. I've heard that the cranes moved on, but it's cool to know that whooping cranes stopped in the Twin Cities on their southward migration.