I woke up to a world turned to glass. Every paved surface was as smooth as a skating rink and icicles dripped from the trees. The rain that everyone else had down below was freezing rain on the mountain. The backyard was a flurry of activity as the regular crowd ate its way through yesterday’s seed. Unable to leave the house, I couldn’t make it out to fill the bird feeders. With no other option, I stood in the doorway to the deck and tossed handfuls of seed out onto the wind and the ground. Within an hour, the backyard regulars had been joined by a flock of 20 Goldfinches, 35 Pine Siskins and 1 female Purple Finch.
I have been seeing Pine Siskin flocks flying over, but they had not visited my offerings until today. And today, I am awash in them.
I happily stood in my toasty house and took photo after photo.
I see on the local ListServ that many people had an influx of Siskins to their feeders during the storm.
On the 3rd try I finally got a really good look at the female Red Crossbill that I have been stalking since last weekend. She is a late riser, so I didn’t kill myself getting there super early only to find out that she had been spotted at 7:30am. Figures. But not having to work, and wearing heavy winter gear; I was prepared to camp out for hours if need be. Within 10 minutes of standing in the driveway, however, she appeared at the neighbor’s feeders. Karla spotted her first and we all got on her. She would fly back and forth from the feeder to a bare oak almost always with a male Goldfinch. I left shortly after 11 having seen her many times. Now, I need a good photo of her. I have hope, she has been here a week and does not appear to be going anywhere. This photo is one of the ones Karla Risdon took crawling commando style across her dining room floor as the Crossbill fed in a window feeder. Thanks Karla for letting me post it.
Last winter was incredible with a terrific northern finch invasion. I am hoping for something similar this year. There are already lots of sightings of Pine Siskins and White-winged Crossbills plus the ListServ has a few reports of Snowy Owls north of us. I hear the Snow Buntings are here too. I hope to get to Spruce Run to see them this coming week when I AM ON VACATION. Oh, sorry was I shouting?
Have there been sightings of northern birds by you?
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