(Click on the photo for a larger image)
You are correct if you think more Purple Finches are in the northeast this October than at this time last year. The following screenshot of an eBird data map shows the distribution of Purple Finches in October 2013 (blue is eBird’s marker color for data older than 30 days; red is within 30 days. Markers with flame icons are hotspots; markers without flame icons are personal locations). As always, click on the image for a larger version:
Here is a screenshot of the map showing Purple Finch density through Oct. 25, 2014. Enough said:
This morning, Troy Meadows had 12 Purple Finches in three separate groups to add to the data. Equally interesting were 25 Pine Siskins, 23 in one flyover flock. These birds were in the southwestern section of Troy Meadows accessed via Patriots Path on South Beverwyck Road. Sparrow counts were 8 Field, 15 Savannah, 77 Song, 1 Lincoln’s, 36 Swamp, 52 White-throated and two White-crowned juveniles.
The above photo was taken facing north while standing on the recently built recycled plastic walkway along the Susquehanna-Roseland Project powerline in the northeast section of Troy Meadows. Troy Brook is the waterway in the photo. Old-timers may recognize the remains of the dilapidated plank boardwalk to the left of the new plastic one. Many of us walked those planks; many of us fell through those planks.
A Marsh Wren worked the edge of the cattails just before this photo was taken. Hundreds of Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles roosted in the area and took off at sunrise. Swamp and Song Sparrows are abundant.