Siskin, Grosbeak & Redpoll

On the cool side, but a great afternoon for a walk. On arriving at Reifel I heard there were some Evening Grosbeak and Common Redpoll seen earlier in the day. On heading out the east dyke trail where they had been seen, it was not long before I located the Grosbeak. They were not in a great spot for photos, but while watching them I noticed another flock of birds active on the lower inside trail.

Pine Siskin
Pine Siskin

It was a good sized group of Pine Siskin. While higher up initially,

Pine Siskin
Pine Siskin

… they did make there way down to some lower branches.

Pine Siskin
Pine Siskin

It has been a few years since I have managed any shots of the Pine Siskin.

Pine Siskin
Pine Siskin

So I quite enjoyed this moment with them cooperating while feeding on the catkins.

Evening Grosbeak
Evening Grosbeak

Then the Evening Grosbeak made their way to a slightly better location,

Evening Grosbeak
Evening Grosbeak

… and provided a chance for some photos.

Evening Grosbeak
Evening Grosbeak

The Evening Grosbeak were busy feeding on some of the remaining Pacific crab apple. After they moved on it was time to find the Siskin again. If the Common Redpoll were around, chances are they would be mixed in with them.

Common Redpoll
Common Redpoll

There were a few Common Redpoll mixed in with the Siskin when I relocated the flock. Unfortunately they were not quite as cooperative and this is the only decent shot I managed. Nonetheless, a great afternoon to be out and about enjoying it all.

Birding Highlights Of 2012

As another great year of birding and photography comes to a close, there were several highlights that come to mind for 2012.

One nemesis bird I had been trying to get better shots of,

Common Redpoll
Common Redpoll

… was the Common Redpoll.

A life list addition was the Red-necked Stint,

Red-necked Stint
Red-necked Stint

… which is a rare visitor and not photographed often around here.

A couple of shore birds I have not managed to photograph for a few years.

Ruff
Ruff

A Ruff (juvenile),

American Golden-Plover
American Golden-Plover

… the American Golden-Plover,

… and after several attempts,

White-throated Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow

… the White-throated Sparrow.

While not the best day for photos,

Cave Swallow
Cave Swallow

… the Cave Swallow was another life list addition.

The last life list addition of the year,

Sage Thrasher
Sage Thrasher

… was the Sage Thrasher this month.

Happy New Year!

Common Redpoll

Over the winter I have made several trips out to locations around here where Common Redpoll had been sighted. These outings netted me neither sightings or photos. Yesterday took me to Deas Island Park, a spot I had not been in some time. Lo and behold, I came across a small flock of Common Redpoll. Unfortunately they were high up in the trees, which is normal, and the back light was too bright. I did manage a few record shots which I did not bother to blog about.

Hoping for better luck I returned today. I located them again early into my walk and once again they were in a poor spot for photos. They then moved off out of sight and I lost track of them. After several laps around the park I was on my way out when I located them again along the same stretch of trail as yesterday.

Common Redpoll
Common Redpoll

After a little wait, some of them did make their way a little lower with a more neutral background.

Common Redpoll
Common Redpoll

This small finch is normally found and nests in the arctic tundra.

Common Redpoll
Common Redpoll

During the winter they will migrate further south.

Common Redpoll
Common Redpoll

You will usually find them feeding on the catkins in Alder and Birch trees.

Common Redpoll
Common Redpoll

It has been about four years since my last Common Redpoll photos.

Common Redpoll
Common Redpoll

Needless to say I was delighted to finally get these today.