This morning I decided to stick to the valley for birding. I figured I probably wouldn’t get anything new, but could update some records on birds that have been scarce due to the recent deep freeze. I had a pretty good morning. The highlight was easily three male RUSTY BLACKBIRDS I spotted along Rt. 209 across from the D & H Canal Linear Park Museum. This species winters in the valley every year, but since I hadn’t run into them, and there was such a deep freeze I presumed they didn’t stay over this year. Fortunately, they did! I had lots of common birds in the valley, including the NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD in Phillipsport. I hadn’t seen this bird since before the freeze, but now that the water is open, it is back in the thicket across the road from the old Homowack Hotel. I ended the morning with a modest 28 species.