We walked at a small local park on the first day of winter. An American robin, actually a flock of robins, immediately became our first of winter species. Karl and I both grew up in the snowy part of New York State. In our childhood, the sighting of a robin meant spring arrived. Here in central Florida, it means winter arrived.
The birds loudly called to each other, flying from tree to tree and eating the berries from the red cedar and the berries of the invasive Brazilian pepper trees. The wind came from the north and gusted occasionally, so they needed a lot of food to maintain their body temperature. In the photograph above, you can see the wind ruffling the robin’s breast feathers.
The entire time we walked the flock moved here and there. A few would settle in a tree, as above, then another came in for a landing causing them all to scatter, which I captured in the second photograph.
The winter solstice turned out eventful this year. First our walk and our first sighting of robins for the year, then seeing the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in the southwest sky just after sunset, and finally seeing a shooting star with a tail, bright enough to actually startle me during my early morning run.