Thursday, January 3, 2013

Redpolls on the way home

While driving home from work along Gulf Ave on Staten Island's west shore, I noticed a flock of about a dozen small birds on top of a birch along the side of the road.  As I pulled over, the flock took flight and I took a deep breath.  Luckily, they actually landed in another birch tree much closer to the road. Thinking that none of our "usual" birds would, expect maybe goldfinch, would behave in such a manor, I quickly grabbed my binoculars from the passenger seat and from the car I could see they were REDPOLLS!   Bingo!

Common redpoll are a "northern finch" which every few years makes large scale irruptions southward when the food up north is scanty.  This is one such year.  So far, Mike Shanley has been the only one to report redpoll on Staten Island this year, but there are sure to be more seen.

Here's a really blurry and cropped photo I was able to get with my point-and-shoot (need to get my 30D in my car for just such happenings)

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