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Winter Finches on schedule

After finding Purple Finch on both the Rocky River and Long Cane CBCs Friday
and Saturday, I was still quite excited to find Purple Finches at my feeders
this morning during my Project Feederwatch counting.  This is right on
schedule for that species.  In winters that they show up here in any numbers
at all, they always begin to show up just a few days before Christmas.  I
always thought of them as the best of my pre-Christmas presents.  This
morning's total was two birds, two males, one more highly colored than the

Among the unusual birds counted at the feeders this morning were two Common
Grackles.  I can only conjecture that the mild winter has kept the
blackbirds in this neck of the woods.  Normally, at least here in the local
area, we are without blackbirds except for an occasional Rusty Blackbird for
about six weeks from mid-December through late January. 

And while the single bird didn't make it to the feeders to be officially
counted, this afternoon I found a lone Pine Siskin in the yard, dining on
seeds from the fruits on the sweetgum tree in the company of a couple of
House Finches.

In a winter season that so far for me has been noteworthy with lots of good
sparrows and a knockout gull, is it too much to hope for another Fox Sparrow
under my feeders on Christmas morning?

Donna Slyce Bailey
Winnsboro, SC

e-mail: dsbailey@conterra.com

URL: http://www.conterra.com/dsbailey
     "Where are the Birds?  Migration across South Carolina"