|Red-breasted Nuthatch Derek Rogers|
|Purple Finch Derek Rogers|
Next on the list were Pine Siskins. Early Siskin reports began filtering in along Long Island's barrier beaches. I noticed my first flock of the season in Field 2 at Robert Moses State Park while birding with Chase Cammarota. A group of 2 dozen birds flew across the north hedgerow heading west. Their classic "kdeew" flight call immediately caught our attention as they flew by. These early reports would soon give way to enormous, record-setting numbers as weeks later I noticed almost 2,000 individuals at Smith Point County Park. It's one thing to see birds moving quickly in flight, and it can be frustrating. But there's nothing like having a large finch flock visit your home bird feeders. On October 12th I counted 38 Pine Siskins at my bird feeders in Sayville. They were tame Siskins as well, allowing me to walk within 5 feet of them while feeding. Again, I managed some great shots with my Meopix Adapter and took this fun video as well (if the pixelation is poor feel free to view the video on my Flickr link). Look for Pine Siskins at your bird feeders this winter. If you're lucky, you'll get some really vibrant birds showing brighter yellow wing bars and edging. My flock of 38 contained some real beauties.
I'll remain hopeful that some of the more uncommon species make their way south to Long Island. Seeing Redpolls and Crossbills at close-range in the Black Pines of our barrier beaches is an experience that is difficult to top. Redpolls are one of my favorite bird species and seeing them on Long Island only further fuels my fascination for the Arctic and the Northern forests.