October brought a flurry of finches into the northeastern Lower Peninsula of Michigan. I birded the Isaacson Bay (IB) and surrounding area (in Alpena County) and at Thompson's Harbor State Park (THSP) [in Presque Isle County] on nine days each. A very good number and variety of finches were seen!
I was very pleased to see four pine grosbeaks on 10/18 at THSP. White-winged crossbills staged a good invasion, being seen at THSP on 10/24 (34) and 10/30 (116). They were seen at IB on six days, with a maximum of 45 on 10/29. Purple finches were seen nearly daily, with a maximum of 100 on 10/22 at THSP and 21 on 10/23 at IB. House finches, seldom seen away from 'civilization' here in the northland, were only seen at IB, two on 10/4. Pine siskins made a very strong showing, with a total of 1075 seen on nine days at THSP (maximum of 396 on 10/8). IB's siskin maximum was 112 on 10/13. American goldfinches were seen on six days at THSP (maximum of 17 on 10/30) and on four days at IB (maximum of 4 on 10/4). And to top this off, three evening grosbeaks flew over IB on 10/24!
So October was a very good 'finch' month for me!
Let's hope they stay around for our CBC's.
Good birding - Bill G.