After my last adventure in the high hills of western Albany County I got an email from Christine, the birder who found my year Lark Sparrow, asking if I might be willing to try to show some Pine Grosbeaks to her over Thanksgiving weekend. Of course I was game, not only because I felt like I owed her a bird but because the looks I had at the Pine Grosbeaks that Tom and I saw were a bit short of satisfying. This time would be different.
Christine got to Albany just after seven and we hopped in my car and headed west. En route, we got a call from Tom saying he had a flock of cooperative Pine Grosbeaks so we hustled to meet him. I’m not sure if cooperative is the word…
The reddish ones are males and the yellowish ones are females. There were about twelve of them chewing up the fruit and spitting it out while retaining the seeds. They totally ignored the three of us, allowing us to approach within six feet without a care in the world. Talk about good looks!
And, over the next couple of hours we also spotted two Evening Grosbeaks, a Northern Shrike, a flock of eight Common Redpolls, American Tree Sparrows, Ruffed Grouse, Snow Buntings, and a host of other more common birds. It was fun to get Christine a lifer, her ABA area #510, even though Tom really deserves the credit. But it was even more fun just appreciating such a rarely-seen bird at such close range.
Those photos are fabulous.
When Danika got home, I told her she had to quit her job to free up my saturday’s again. You have no idea how frustrating it was staying home changing diapers and cleaning while you are off seeing the crown jewels of finches.
Wow! Those are fantastic shots of those beauties. Thanks for sharing, Corey. So, are you still at 298 for the year?
NICE pictures!!! I just got my lifer PIGR the other day, but they were just flyovers…not super looks. Eh, good enough to count anyway…
Sweet! Great photos! I want to get within six feet of one next time…
Still have not found these guys that far inland where I am located but I am looking! Great pictures for sure!
Thanks everyone…and good luck finding them if you’re looking. From all account they are still moving south in numbers.
And Mary, I’m no longer at 298…I’ll be posting tomorrow (Monday) about the AMAZING birding I experienced today.
They are quite hard to get in Europe as they don’t really venture south of their breeding range even in winter, so a trip to the taiga of Scandinavia is a necessity.
And even there you don’t find them easily.
Very special birds indeed, and surely amongst the most wanted of many European birders.
Thanks for the pics!!
Yet another reason for you to come back for a visit Jochen!
Okay, quick question. I saw what MIGHT have been a Pine Grosbeak last weekend in Carson City, NV. Could you look at my photo and tell me what you think?
Amazingly, I got a decent picture of it.