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.

Tim Dyson
Cordova Mines

(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)

Common Redpoll - male - Tim Dyson

Common Redpoll – male – Tim Dyson

Monarch # 211 - 2014 - Tim Dyson

Monarch # 211 – 2014 – Tim Dyson

Drew Monkman

I am a retired teacher, naturalist and writer with a love for all aspects of the natural world, especially as they relate to seasonal change.