Last official day of the season here at Quaker Ridge. The raptors were essentially a no show, but the winter finches put in an appearance to give everyone something to get excited about. First up was a singleton White-winged Crossbill that dropped in on the lonely blue spruce a few hundred yards downhill from the watch for a minute or two. About half an hour later this little guy appeared, as if by magic, on the bird feeder I had just yesterday hung at the bottom of the hawkwatch lawn.
There’s always been something romantic about ‘winter’ finches. Wondering where they’ve come from, how they survive in the harsh climates they inhabit and whether they’ve ever laid eyes on a person before their encounter with you. Lets face it it’s pretty light population wise up in and even beyond those boreal forests. Today we tallied 4 Common Redpolls, 2 White-winged Crossbills, 3 Red Crossbills, Pine Siskin, 2 Purple Finches and one final rarity 2 Mute Swans heading east fairly high over the watch – not sure I recall ever seeing them here before? A fine end to the season rounded out by a Barred Owl as I drove to the store post count (pictures later).
Thanks to everyone who stopped by on the day to say farewell. ‘It’s been emotional!’