7.5 degrees Fahrenheit on the thermometer this morning; wind chill pushed the temperature below zero. Dry and cold -- not a drop of precipitation for an entire week. I would prefer some snow, but instead warmer temps and rain are on the way this weekend.
The cold, dry air has brought goldfinches and pine siskins to the nyjer ("thistle") seed feeders. I just counted a dozen siskins at our feeders. Similar in size to goldfinches, siskins are brownish with lots of streaking and a hint of yellow in their wings and tail. You might mistake them for a sparrow. They are known as an "irruptive" winter finch because in some years they migrate farther south in large numbers to feed, perhaps when their own food supply in the boreal forest is in short supply. New Hampshire Audubon is predicting that pine siskins will "erupt" this year. And sure enough the siskins are showing up at the feeder.
Three gray squirrels have congregated below the feeders to catch any seeds kicked out by the birds. The squirrel baffle is effectively blocking them from climbing up the feeder pole.
On our walkabout this morning Kodi and I met up with a woman and three dogs. The four of them had a blast running together and seemed thrilled with the concept of walking on water (in ice form). Frozen ponds, icy waters, chilly winds, freezing temperatures -- the cold means nothing to these dogs. They just want to be outside tearing around in the woods together.