My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Winter Finch Arrive (Finally)

Red Poll
Pine Siskin and Common Redpoll (Feb 2004)

I woke up and found a Common Redpoll feeding with a flock of American Goldfinch this morning! OMG – that was my first for the year Redpoll (CHECK)! I think it has been since the winter of 2003-04 since I have seen one of these guys and there it was sitting on my birdfeeder! (THINK TOM) I quickly scattered to get my camera and of course it flew away just as I was pulling my camera up to take its picture!! So, after getting my hair cut . . . I spent the day trying to capture a picture of that Redpoll!

I waited and waited by the window without seeing this little bird again. . . . so I started capturing many hours of video with American Goldfinch coming and going (while I did laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc..). The Common Redpoll never did return but after reviewing these hours of clips, look what I did find!!

Yep, that was my awaited Pine Siskin and my first Siskin for the year (CHECK)! I haven’t seen these guys since the winter of 2004-05 and my quest is now to locate some Evening Grosbeaks and or some Crossbills!

BTW: Only caught one Northern Saw-whet Owl last night!

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23 responses

  1. Oh Tom, I am so happy the Pine Siskins arrived!
    They are darling little birds. Now I will go look in my book to see if Redpolls come to Missouri. I have never seen one.
    You do get so many different species. Always exciting for me to see a new bird in the backyard.

    9 November 2007 at 6:57 pm

  2. We have Pine Siskins all year long in Washington. They’re one of the little guys that we expect at the feeder all the time. So it surprises me to read that they are long-awaited at your place. Very sweet. Even though we see them nearly everyday, we still very much enjoy their company.

    We saw our very first Black Phoebe yesterday. What a pretty little bird that one is too!

    9 November 2007 at 7:04 pm

  3. I haven’t even seen a redpoll yet. I thought I heard them the other day.

    9 November 2007 at 7:47 pm

  4. Lisa at Greenbow

    Common Redpoll at your feeder. OMG. We have never had one at our feeder. What luck.

    9 November 2007 at 7:49 pm

  5. I plan to watch my feeders more closely over the weekend. The days are so short now that I seldom see anything on working days. Love your video clips.

    9 November 2007 at 8:11 pm

  6. The Pine Siskin looks just like the fox sparrow to me. I have a long way to go before I’ll be any good identifying birds, especially little brown ones. But I know what a Saw whet owl looks like now and I’ll learn others in time. That’s why I love this website so much.

    9 November 2007 at 8:49 pm

  7. Nice! Good to see you’re finding finches. I still haven’t seen redpoll this year, and I’ve only ever seen it twice. Would love a nice long look at one at a feeder.

    ~ Nick

    9 November 2007 at 9:06 pm

  8. @ Sherry – So am I happy to see both of them! It would be great if they come down to visit you also! If they do, this should be the year!
    @ Robin – back a few years ago they were here all year also and even nested in the pine behind the house! But, depends on the cone years if they nest here or not! I would love to see a Black Phoebe one day! Congrats!
    @ Trixie – I bet you get both species of Redpolls?
    @ Lisa – thanks and had been a while since I had seen one! One Christmas bird count many moons ago we had a huge flock of them (like birds in the hundreds)
    @ Ruth – do watch those goldfinch! That’s were both species will be mixed in together with! Thanks
    @ Erie – major size difference! The Fox Sparrow is 2 maybe 2.5 times the size bigger than the Pine Siskin! They are in the same family of a goldfinch and the bird you can easily confuse! Thanks for you kind words!
    @ Nick – I was very glad to finally see some winter finches! Shouldn’t be too long before the Grosbeaks or Crossbills show up! I know they are in the area, just not within eye site of me!

    9 November 2007 at 10:04 pm

  9. Be sure to send some down this way.

    9 November 2007 at 11:38 pm

  10. I’ve never seen a Redpoll, and by the maps, looks like I won’t down here in GA! Hope he comes back by for you Tom. :c)

    10 November 2007 at 7:11 am

  11. Marg

    ONTbirds had a Winter Finch alert yesterday-hope you don’t mind me posting it here Tom-because they expect them to be showing up at feeders all over the place-keep your eyes peeled and your feeders filled everyone!

    “We are experiencing the biggest winter finch irruption since the “superflight” of 1997-1998, when many boreal finches went well beyond their normal ranges. The cause is the largest tree seed crop failure in a decade across more than 3200 km (2000 mi) of boreal forest from Saskatchewan into Quebec. Today in Toronto, I had a Pine Grosbeak, Evening Grosbeaks, Common Redpolls, Pine Siskins and Purple Finches migrating along the shoreline of Lake Ontario. Boreal winter finches are being reported in many areas of southern Ontario and the United States, where some species such as Pine and Evening Grosbeaks haven’t been seen in years. There is no telling how far south this “superflight” will go and how many finches will remain in Ontario this winter. Stock your feeders.”

    10 November 2007 at 10:16 am

  12. CHECK!!! Lucky Ducky! A Redpoll! I LOVE your movies. Your’s is the third blog I’ve read tonight that is sending me out the door tomorrow for MORE bird feeders.

    10 November 2007 at 6:59 pm

  13. I’ve never had either of those birds at my feeders but I’m hopeful that I’ll get to see them this year due to the irruptive finch forecast.-I’ve actually never seen a Redpoll anywhere. .

    10 November 2007 at 7:13 pm

  14. i love the picture of the birds at the feeder. came upon a christmas tree farm today by accident while traveling in the country , it was awesome. fir and pines as far as the eye could see. ~nita~

    10 November 2007 at 8:33 pm

  15. Good news on the redpolls. We’ll need to add that to our list of “birds to watch for” in this much-anticipated irruptive winter!

    10 November 2007 at 9:09 pm

  16. Tomorrow is my bird-watching day in the yard. Weekdays are too dark for looking now.

    Tom, I get so excited when you shout CHECK CHECK CHECK! at the beginning of every season. LOL!

    Happy you have your pine siskin, and a Redpoll? Wow.

    10 November 2007 at 9:25 pm

  17. @ John, from my feeder they probably are heading south! Thanks
    @ Jayne – they are great birds for sure! This year will be your best chance! Keep your eyes open for them!
    @ Marg – Thanks and I saw that on someone else’s post! I sure hope we get some Pine Grosbeaks and Evening’s! I have only banded one Evening Grosbeak ever!
    @ Cathy – thanks and sometimes I forget to include them in my post! Great that you are getting outside! That’s what everyone should be doing!
    @ Larry – I sure hope they will show up in your area! I was starting to wonder myself and then there they were! Redpolls are great little birds and this year will be your best chance to find some!
    @ Nita – Thanks and very cool about the tree farm you found!
    @ Zen – thanks and without a doubt look for them and both Pine/Evening Grosbeaks!
    @ Mary – Hope you get some great birds! I love saying check’s also! Lets hope for some good reports in tonight’s post!

    10 November 2007 at 10:46 pm

  18. Marg

    I think that “only one” will be different now ;D

    11 November 2007 at 3:14 pm

  19. @ Marg – thats “1 me” and “1 J” now!

    11 November 2007 at 4:34 pm

  20. Marg

    Ah! Congrats J!

    11 November 2007 at 5:54 pm

  21. Grace

    A Redpoll would be a life bird for me. Keeping my eyes open.

    12 November 2007 at 11:18 am

  22. Oh man, Mon@rch, that’s so cool about the Redpoll. I haven’t seen them for at least 5 years at my feeders, but maybe this is going to be the year again! I’m keeping my eyes open….

    13 November 2007 at 4:32 pm

  23. Tom,

    I am happy for you and your good luck. I am still interested in your Redpolls, Siskins and Grosbeaks if they start coming in regularly.


    23 January 2008 at 3:07 pm

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