Whoosh! While I was waiting for the nuthatch to come back, a bigger bird flew close by me and landed on a poplar branch further into the trees. Could it be that the Merlin is here already? Although I didn't get a good look at him, the tail bands looked familiar. He flew away shortly afterwards without turning around so I could see his face.
It has been quiet here today. We had a dusting of snow last night, and the temperature hasn't risen much above 5 degrees C. The sun came out now and again when I was outside earlier to observe the birds at the feeders which made it feel a little warmer. The little nuthatch arrived for a seed, but didn't linger so there was no chance of a picture. I heard the Bald Eagle, but I didn't see where he might be perched.
These pictures were taken one sunny afternoon in late January. The Ruffed Grouse family paid us several visits this past winter when they were searching for food. They invariably headed to the Saskatoon bushes at the edge of the garden or else to my Red Currant bush, both of which still held some berries.