All my summer friends have flown south, and my winter visitors are few and far between this year. While my feeders are incredibly busy with the normal suspects (chickadees, nuthatches, and the woodpecker trio … downy, hairy & red-bellied), the huge flocks of winter redpolls and pine siskins are not present this year (at least so far). The great gray owls have been non-existent.
At sunset the mercury soared to 47F, which is unheard of for northern Minnesota in December. Thus, what is a birder / photographer to do? In my case, the answer was mallards. Photographers love the golden hour of photography … that time when the sun is almost horizontal to the earth throwing off beautiful golden light and shadows. Have you heard of the golden minutes? These photographs were taken 10 to 15 minutes before sundown! Notice all the December snow and ice. Not!