It was a bitter cold day here in NJ when I started my final walk of 2017, with the temperature holding steady at 15 degrees with 12 mph winds for a wind chill factor of 1 (can’t we just round that down to zero?). Would any birds be active? The answer was a decisive ‘not many’. I saw a grand total of 12 birds (not 12 species…twelve BIRDS) in an hour and a half. Then when I had another 200 yards or so to return to my car, a bird flitted into the pines. I assumed it was going to be a common bird, perhaps a Carolina Chickadee or Golden-crowned Kinglet, but there were so few birds to look at this morning, that I was glad to finally have a reason to lift up the bins. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was neither of those species, being mostly greenish-gray, with mild streaking down its breast and a bright yellow undertail. Orange-crowned Warbler! What a great way to end the year. The bird fed deliberately in a small area of the pines but stayed on the opposite side of a fence, so I couldn’t get closer for better photos. Here’s my final bird for 2017.