Yesterday, (the 12th of October), while walking a road north of Belmont Lake, a small flock of eight Common Redpolls flew overhead. I pished them down onto a fencerow, where they stayed for a short time before flying off again. I checked Ron Pittaway`s 2014 Winter Finch Forecast on the Ontario Field Ornithologists site, and yes, he says we should expect to see them this year. So, I guess it has begun.
There have been many White-crowned Sparrows around for more than a week now, with a smaller number of White-throated Sparrows. I can`t remember seeing so many White-crowneds before, and in such large groups either – 30 to 40 together in some cases.
After a dry spell of about a week, I just saw my 211th Monarch (see photo below) of 2014 a few days ago.
After seeing only 32 during all of 2013, I am happy to see that for now at least, their numbers seem to be way up from last year`s dismal showing.
I have not kept as busy of late, watching the autumn raptor migration as I was back in September, but will soon report the few highlights since my last raptor posting.
(Notes: Fred Ford of Oshawa also reports Common Redpolls. They have been coming to his feeder since October 8. A few small flocks of another winter finch, the Pine Siskin, have also been seen locally in the past week. Like Tim Dyson, I also had a late Monarch butterfly. I saw mine on Oct. 11. – D. Monkman)