I've had it with winter- last Friday morning, working during the wee hours, I was wearing five layers of clothes to cover my "core" during my outdoor forays, due to the cold and the fierce wind. Thankfully, the wind has died down and the cold has somewhat abated. More significantly, I heard the distinctive trill of the red-winged blackbird this morning. Forget the woodchuck, the boid is the true harbinger of spring throughout much of North America.
Also on the bird front, the geese are very vocal, with large migratory flocks honking overhead. We always have a resident population of geese around here, taking advantage of the stretches of open water, but the migratory population has eclipsed the stay-at-home bunch. Oddly enough, the wiki indicates that Canada geese have been introduced to New Zealand... can I get a confirmation from a reputable Antipodean, preferably a science talking guy (or gal)? We also have some visiting Ring Necked Ducks and mergansers both hooded and common, but they tend to leave us as the weather gets warmer. While the juncos are with us year-round, they tend to be the most common small birds to stay the winter. You can recognize them by the flash of white seen at the edges of their tails as they fly off, the shy little things.
I'm looking forward to spring, though I'd be lying if I said that winter doesn't have its pleasures. I have the privilege of spending a lot of time outdoors, so I can observe the seasonal changes. The avian "changing of the guard" is one of my favorite ways to gauge the succession of seasons. Of course, I'll now have to check out the part of the property where the snowdrops come in... so many old friends to welcome back!