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Tom Brown would call it "dirt time". The more you're out there, the more you see. Nice description. Thanks!
   
  

"[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
  After trucking up to Moose Bog numerous times this winter to watch the 
Crossbills and others, I had my very best looks ever of White-winged 
Crossbills 1/4 mile up the road from my home in Lowell. There are 
plenty of spruces, firs and hemlocks around here so, I've kind of kept 
my eyes and ears out for them all winter but, until this morning, no 
sightings. 

The birds, one male and one female, seemed very unconcerned about the 
presence of me and my two large (but calm) dogs. The pair initially 
flew up from the dirt road as I rounded a corner but, immediately 
returned to the same spot in the road where they had been pecking at 
something (grit? seeds?)before I disturbed them. I watched them from 
fewer than 10 yards away for several minutes. Then, both birds flew a 
short distance to the snow-covered ground under a stand of large 
hemlocks. There, they stayed and pecked away at hemlock seeds that had 
shattered from their cones. I watched the pair from the same close 
range for another 5 minutes before they took to the trees and I lost 
them. You just never know what you're going to see when you step out 
your door in the morning. Wonderful surprizes everywhere!

Good birding to all,

Heidi
Lowell, VT