I took a walk at Rollins Savanna in the late afternoon on January 1st. The only bird I saw was my FOY American Robin. I also noted a Baltimore Oriole nest I remembered finding earlier in the year on bird walk with Lake-Cook Audubon, back on a cool day in June.
Part of the trail I took passes through a cattail marsh, which was naturally frozen over. I was really surprised to count over 30 muskrat lodges in the marsh. The mounds are nearly completely covered by the cattails during the summer and I would never have guessed the amount of muskrat activity in this water!
I remember being cold on that June walk, but it doesn’t compare to the below-freezing temperatures we’ve had since the year started. The savanna was covered in snow which crunched beneath my feet. I was joined by at least nine White-tailed Deer.
The cold snap that’s hit most of the country looks to stick around for a while. I’m no cold weather hero, so I think that walk at Rollins will have to satisfy my birding bug for a while.