AZ Bird Network

Full Version: Un-finchy winter
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I'm curious about any contrary points of view, but my perception is that Winter 18-19 is remarkably un-remarkable in terms of winter finches so far (with the very notable exception of the rosy-finches near Page!). Other than a few small to medium-small flocks of Pine Siskins that I've noticed here and there, numbers of other winter finches seem very very low (i.e., Cassin's Finches, Evening Grosbeaks, Red Crossbills) in Flagstaff and the surrounding forest. I suppose there must be good food resource elsewhere in the west!

In other news, there was a spectacular light-morph Ferruginous Hawk perched obligingly at the corner of Country Club and Old Walnut Canyon Rd. this morning. At first glimpse, I mistook the bird for a Snowy Owl (wouldn't that be nice!).

Flagstaff, AZ
For me, personally, I believe this is the longest stretch of time that my yard has been just about devoid of any birds (other than an occasional stray junco or chickadee) . It has been almost 2 months...I haven't had to fill my feeders in weeks.

I've been thinking the same thing. EVGR are usually pretty regular at my house but I've not seen any for a couple of months or so. No Siskins, House Finches or Lesser Goldfinches. I have seen a decent number of House Finches at Walnut Canyon Lakes but that's it. A Coopers Hawk has kept my backyard absolutely dead for the most part but, when the birds do show up, I'm seeing both Pygmy and White-breasted Nuthatches, up to ~20 Juncos (down from previous years), Western Bluebirds (up to seven at once, I like to think they are the ones that were raised in the nest box in the yard) and this morning there were three Brown Creepers and perhaps a fourth. There has been a Downy Woodpecker that has shown up more than the couple of Hairys that are fairly regular.
I had been thinking the same thing.  It is decidedly un-finchy around Flagstaff.  Interestingly, on a trip out to Long Lake in November, I saw the largest flock of siskins I'd seen all fall (60+) in the pinyon juniper around the lake.  I've heard anecdotally about similar sized flocks of siskins in similar habitat in the SE corner of the county since then.

Back in October I had a group of 150+ Pine Siskins at Upper Lake Mary. And then in November a group of 80+ at Ashurst. Since then the flocks I've seen have all been much smaller (<20 birds). The flock at ULM was the biggest I've ever seen of that species.

Down here in the lowlands (Cornville) the only expected finchiness is HOFI and there is no shortage. No sign of Cassin's. There is, at least around my home and hinterlands, a distinct paucity of the usual bluebirds, robins and Sage Thrashers we have come to expect when winter sets in.
same here in Cheshire. not a single Cassin's finch yet!