Yesterday the airwaves were full of rumor of a storm that was going to nail New York. The reports I heard had warnings out for Hamilton, Herkimer, and Warren Counties, which leaves out us here in Newcomb (Essex Co.). So we entered the night a bit trepidatious (even braving the storm to attend the school holiday concert).
This morning I woke to the radio saying eastern NY was hit with snow and ice - some places up to half an inch of ice! And Newcomb Central School was on a two-hour delay (Newcomb is rarly delayed and almost never closed). I was afraid to get up and look at the driveway.
On my way to the kitchen I looked out the living room window and saw goldfinches galore! My little crabapple tree had birds on every branch and twig, and each feeder had at least six birds on it: the suet block, the peanuts, the nyjer, the sunflower seed tube, the sunflower seed platform feeder. Must've been easily a hundred birds, including the batch that flew in while I watched. So I grabbed my pitchers, filled 'em with seeds and peanuts, and tossed the food out on the ground around the base of the feeders. Of course Toby charged out with me, chasing the birds away.
It took about two hours for the goldfinches to gather up their courage and return.
As I drove in to work, I almost drove into a flock of crossbills on the road. There were 30-40 of them in a group in my lane. A beep of the horn meant nothing to them - apparently they wanted that salt and sand more than they cared about their safety. Luckily for them there was no traffic in the other lane, so I swerved around them. Not too many drivers would afford them that courtesy.
And the feeders at work are swamped - even saw a white-breasted nuthatch (usually we get the reds). I think we will all be looking throughout the day to see if the cardinal returns.
And for those of you wanting to get into your winter sports, we now have over 8" of snow, so our trails are now open for snowshoeing and skiing.