Finally another good day!

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After a good period of really nice birds over a couple of weeks, the last ten days haven’t been as good.  Today, things picked up considerably.  I started out on Clements Road in Liberty, hoping for some waxwings.  No luck with them, but as I spished, a good number of birds came in.  I had just lured out a pair of House Finches when right on their tails the BARRED OWL flew out, realized what I was and flew right back around the stand of spruce.  This is my third time having this bird.  From there, I moved on to Grant Road in Bradley, where I found the feeders all quiet.  On to Tazman Road.  Almost immediately I saw a flock of finches fly into some pine trees.  I pulled over and found 24 PINE SISKINS feeding in the pines.  I couldn’t quite figure out what they were eating, no cones, but it was keeping them busy.  Since it is only a mile from the Grant Road feeders, I’m sure this is the same group I’ve been reporting from there.  On to the feeders on Tazman.  Wild Turkeys, American Goldfinches, Chickadees, Blue Jays and a single Pine Siskin were there.  Also, two adult Bald Eagles flew overhead.   From there I continued up Tazman and came upon a flock of COMMON REDPOLL feeding in a stand of birches in a front yard where we’ve had them many times in the past, but this is the first this year. They were quite cooperative and continued feeding throughout my stay.  I then headed to Muhlig where I found little and then on to Sue Rayano’s feeders.  Sue had all the common feeder birds and 12 EVENING GROSBEAK.  I then went on to Woodard Road, but my timing was off and I missed the grosbeaks there.  Karen Miller later informed me that she and Scott Baldinger had nine of them there.  So all in all, it was a great “winter finch” morning! Many of the redpolls were feeding on the ground under the birches (below) and further below are a few of the siskins.

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3 Responses to Finally another good day!

  1. Felipe says:

    I have seen your reports in e-bird about the Evening Grosbeaks that have been around Sullivan County. I did go to that area last Saturday (Woodard Rd + Parkville, Anderson) and I spent two hours in front of feeders in a house (seen from the road) but I did not see any Grosbeaks there. I did see other birds (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S50696511). Anyway, I have read that you have reported Evening Grosbeaks in two locations (Smith and Woodard roads) and I may try (again) during the weekend (if the weather is OK). I assume that the sites that you reported in e-bird are feeders in private houses and I don’t want to park in front of houses and make people “uncomfortable.” Right now, I am in NYC (where I live during the week) but tonight we are going to Orange County (Sterling Forest/Greenwood Lake) where we have a house. Tomorrow or Sunday, I may drive to Sullivan (with my wife) to look for the Grosbeaks, Can I contact you via email regarding the protocol to follow when visiting these sites (as I said, I don’t want to make homeowners uncomfortable)? Thanks in advance. Felipe My email is fpimentel@verizon.net

    • Felipe,
      I appreciate your consideration of the home owners. They are all wonderful people who welcome birders to view their feeders from the road. They are currently aware of the irruption of winter finches and realize people will be coming by to try to see them. Please just park along the road, a bit away from the house on Woodard and you won’t be a problem. Don’t go into the yard, the birds are quite cooperative when present and you should be able to get half way decent photos. At the Rayano feeders, park on Smith Road by the end of the house and view from the road. It is a bit more difficult for good photos, but the birds often come right into the trees along the road and you should get something. Today, I had no birds at Rayano’s (pouring rain, timing) but did have 33 grosbeak at the Marsden’s home. The birds come several times in a morning, if they aren’t there, ride around a bit and come back. I don’t think anyone else has dipped on them entirely. Thanks for your cooperation, John

      • Felipe says:

        Thanks for the explanations. Generally, when I visit private houses —looking for birds— I stay inside the car and if I want to take photos, I always use a long lens (600mm + TC1.4X or TC1.7X) that gives me a focal length of 850mm or 1000mm. Thus, I stay far away from private yards or driveways. I have seen Evening Grosbeaks before but my wife has not seen this bird species yet and for her it would be a lifer. Anyway, tomorrow the weather does not look great either, maybe Sunday morning. Again, thanks for the advice. Felipe

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