Yesterday we had one of those crazy days where it was unseasonably warm, 48 degrees(!) until about 3 p.m. Then the arctic wind blew in and the temperature began to plummet. I had spent the warm afternoon preparing for the impending cold spell--cleaning up cowpies in the cow-feeding area and dog poops in the yard because I knew they would soon be frozen fast to the ground. I had chipped the ice out of the wading pool and filed it with clean water so the ducks and goose could take a rare midwinter bath. I secured a window in the coop that had blown loose and cleared away branches that had blown from trees and would be menacing if it snowed and we unwittingly snowblew over them. By the time I got to refilling all the birdfeeders, the wind was blasting at over 40 mph and it was bitterly cold. I felt sorry for the poor songbirds, who could scarcely navigate in the wind, so I created a makeshift lean-to shelter between the feeders so they could access the food and easily take shelter. This morning I was pleased to see they were making use of it.
We often see five different kinds of woodpeckers in our yard; this is the downy, pecking at the suet feeder by the window where we sit to drink our morning coffee and watch the show.