After visiting Doug in Unionville this morning (and a few drive-by's of Reesor Pond), I stopped in briefly at Cranberry Marsh for the hawk watch, but the wrong winds meant few birds, so I headed over to Thickson's Woods and ran into John. We were both in need of the reported Pine Siskins for our lists, and in fact it turned out to be a year bird for me, as last winter tanked. The numbers of these dark, striped finches vary from year to year, as they will move around depending upon the conifer crops. The prediction for this coming season is promising, so we were pleased to find them high up in a tree thanks, John!, feeding away with some American Goldfinches. My lesson for the day is to never assume that when a single Goldfinch is seen, all the other birds around it are the same species.
Here's one of the American Goldfinches feeding high up:
Now here's the Pine Siskin, with heavy streaking, a sharply pointed bill, and some yellow markings on the wings:
There are four of them in this next photo:
Other good birds for the day in the woods included a Hermit Thrush, a Purple Finch, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, Golden-crowned Kinglets, and American Robins.
As we were leaving, a beautiful Common Buckeye unexpectedly landed in a bush next to our parked cars. Perhaps this image will compensate for the preceding ones...