A welcome visitor from up north showed up this morning at the north end of the lake: the first Common Redpoll I've seen in the Twin Cities area in at least 3 years.
These little northern finches are relatively common in the wintertime in northern Minnesota, but they don't show up this far south every year. They tend to come south in big numbers only in years when there's less food for them to eat up north. I hope this means that we'll see more of these guys throughout the winter.
This solitary female Redpoll was feeding in the shoreline vegetation on the north side of the lake with a mixed flock of House Finches, American Goldfinches, and a couple of late Song Sparrows. She was not bothered by me in the least (as you can probably tell by how close she let me get for the pictures above).