Since I last wrote two days ago on the Solstice, we have gained a whole 3 minutes of daylight. It will be awhile until days are noticeably longer. Although the days have been cloudy, the sun has periodically peeked out and has illuminated things, especially the clouds.
The bird highlight of the day (and week) that I finally was able to see and photograph is the Sharp-tailed Grouse first identified a week ago on the Anchorage Christmas Bird Count. It was on the same street as previously reported and sitting on a snowy fence right along the road when I arrived. It later flew up to a crabapple tree where it also has been regularly seen. While this bird is apparently a first ever record for Anchorage and therefore new for my Anchorage list, I have seen them on their normal Alaska stomping grounds near Delta Junction, and of course, they were common birds in and around Rapid City where we lived before moving to Anchorage.
What a little beauty! (And a very Merry Christmas to you!)