The various species of “winter finch” tend to arrive here in the south as either feast or famine. Our favourite of them all is the splendid Pine Siskin, a very small brown bird with yellow sergeant’s stripes on its wings and a tiny, sharp beak. (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Pine_Siskin/id_) The finches come and go in flocks depending on the availability of seeds etc in their northern homes and the last time we say Pine Siskins in the garden here was back in 2010 with earlier records from 2008, 2005, 2004 and 2003. Not a common bird, but always very welcome – in fact, almost as welcome in my life as a House Sparrow, than which there is no finer bird at all.
Anyway, a small flock paid us a visit, checked the feeders, sat in a neighbours tree and then headed east. Before their arrival we had a few Dark-eyed Juncos and of course the resident BC Chickadees and two White-breasted Nuthatches plus a couple of Northern Cardinals, him feeding her a seed.
Great to see the Siskins again – now we just want all the other winter finches to arrive please.