Left the house to the sounds of golden-crowned kinglets in our tree-tops; arrived at Millennium Park just in time to see clouds of robins departing their roosts. Suddenly it's glove weather. Ice coating standing water.
The theme for the last couple of weeks has been sparrows. Today was no different (though it was nice to see a blue jay down there with them). Here's a better look at that (imm.) white-crowned sparrow also spotted a field sparrow, in addition to the regular song, savannah, swamp, and white-throats.
Vesper sparrow was a pleasant surprise.
On to the river, where the foliage views are spectacular. Not as much raptor action as usual, though I did see some chickadees flush a sharpie from the brush. And some unusual (to me) northern harrier behavior.
Yesterday I watched as a harrier at Great Meadows chased a sharp-shinned and a red-tailed hawk. This morning I watched a harrier harass a great blue heron.
The scene below is a clue for this level of aggressiveness, perhaps. There were actually two harriers on the scene. (Click to see the spooky owl face better)