[NatureNS] Winter Finch Forecast, Other Northern Birds

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Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2012 13:34:17 -0400
From: Rick Whitman <dendroica.caerulescens@gmail.com>
To: naturens <naturens@chebucto.ns.ca>
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I'm pretty sure I didn't post Ron Pittaway's forecast for this winter
before. He predicted a big move out of the eastern North woods, but
they will only stay here in numbers if they like the conditions. I do
have my doubts about our coniferous cone crop & his article implies
the same:

"The theme this winter is that each finch species will use a different
strategy to deal with the widespread tree seed crop failure in the
Northeast. It will be a quiet winter in the eastern North Woods. See
individual species forecasts for details. Both coniferous and hardwood
tree seed crops are generally poor from northeastern Ontario extending
eastward across Quebec to Newfoundland south through the Maritime
Provinces, New York and New England States. Within the Northeast there
are pockets of good crops. Cone crops are much better in the Hudson
Bay Lowlands and northwestern Ontario west to Alberta, Northwest
Territories and Yukon. Three irruptive non-finch passerines whose
movements are linked to finches are also discussed."

His article is here:


A number of you have been seeing Evening Grosbeaks & since Nov. 4 Ken
McKenna & Dominic Cormier have reported Pine Grosbeaks on eBird. I
also had 3 Pine Grosbeaks in my yard at White Rock yesterday. I don't
see any eBird reports of Common Redpolls in NS yet. Today I had 46 at
Horton Landing feeding in birches. So I've already seen 2 winter
finches that in some years I don't see all winter. It must be a winter
finch year.

On a somewhat related note, I saw all of the following on the Grand
Pre dykelands today: Horned Lark, American Pipit, Lapland Longspur &
Snow Bunting. These have all been "around" but this speaks of winter
to me.

Rick Whitman

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