And there were a couple of blue jays in the bush as well--strangely furtive and behaving in unusual ways. I mistook them both for other things--a thrush seen in the distance traversing the ground, and a flying squirrel scuttling across and swooping through the branches above me. Jays both times. The flying squirrel illusion was particularly unsettling. After I saw the jay I kept on looking for the squirrel I was sure must be occupying the same space--though they say that's a logical impossibility.
So not without its perceptual interest, but that's not many birds. Not a cardinal, a robin, a goldfinch, a junco, a crow, a tree sparrow, or a snowy owl to be seen.
So last night I dreamed of a great horned owl, and even better, four or five birds of a species I didn't recognize. Maybe the size of an evening grosbeak, sturdy birds, with delicate markings, rich browns predominantly. A bird I've seen a picture of somewhere perhaps. But what it put me in mind of was the Asian koel I read about on the Bird Ecology Study Group blog out of Singapore recently. Not that it looked like that exactly--rather it may have been a dream bird inspired by that bird.
This morning it was raining. But then the rain turned to snow!
When the snowfall lightened, but before the sun came out, the birds came back. No juncos or tree sparrows, but goldfinches, chickadees, and woodpeckers swarmed the feeders.
The sun did come out, and the temperature hovered around the freezing mark, maintaining most of the 4 or 5 cm of new snow. The birds left again.