When we first arrived a Northern Harrier was feasting on the carcasses of two dead coots on the edge of the open water in the lower impoundment. This isn't a good month for coots, we later saw 4 other carcasses floating in the upper impoundment. With the purpose of the day being birding not photography and with the gusty wind, I though it prudent to not bring my 500mm, so you'll have to satisfy yourself with some crops from my zoom lens.
This is the harrier with the stick in the back, affectionately nicknamed "Spike". However, we have since learned that it is a female. Somehow Spike no longer seems appropriate. May I suggest her nickname become "Stiletto". Even she wanted to find shelter from the gusty breezes. We later saw her resting in the cattails on the lee side of the trees.
The gusty winds started last night and there were downed branches along the road and on the impoundments.
Broken windblown trees are nothing new at the refuge. This one is an impressive home for moss & fungi.
This cute red squirrel didn't seem to mind the cold breeze
I thought this was interesting. It appears that there is either snow/frost or trapped air bubbles on the stones captured under the ice.