Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Winter" finches and tardy migrants

Redpoll flocks are everywhere. Many are taking advantage of the bumper crop of White Birch seeds. Many more can be seen migrating along the Lake Superior coast, from SE to NW. I saw the first flocks, numbering ~140 individuals, on October 13. On the morning of the 18th I tallied ~1250 redpolls migrating westward. Since then they have been ubiquitous. Today I spotted a Hoary Redpoll, a very pale male "exilipes", feeding in a birch with a dozen or so Common Redpolls.

[click on images to enlarge]

Since late spring we've grown accustomed to very good numbers of White-winged Crossbills that have taken advantage of the abundant crop of White Spruce cones. Along the north shore, males could be heard singing through the summer. In the last month, WWCR numbers have grown and have been joined among the cones by Pine Siskins.

Northern Shrikes are more conspicuous this autumn. I saw three this afternoon. All were chasing redpolls.

A few interesting late-to-depart passerines have shown up in recent days.

Lastly, in nearby Manitouwadge a female Eastern Towhee - a real rarity in northern Ontario - showed up in Tammie Hache's yard today [thanks for the use of your photo, Tammie!]

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful birds and photos. I love the Crossbills and what great shots of the Thrasher and Towhee. Happy Birding!