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Old Monday 6th March 2017, 11:48   #1
Dawsy
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Siskin seasonal movements UK

I had a siskin on my bird feeder this weekend for the first time in months. This seems to be forming a pattern of having siskins visit the garden in very early spring but not being present in summer or mid-winter. Over several years I've had siskins almost exclusively in March and April. This has been the case both my 2 recent homes. Both homes have been sea-level, suburban and close to farmland in east Fife) or central (Falkirk) Scotland not close to any typical siskin breeding grounds. This seems strange timing to me especially as a small number of birds will sometimes hang around for several weeks. Is there any obvious reason for this timing?

Michael
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Old Monday 6th March 2017, 13:45   #2
coaltit
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In the past I noticed this myself for a while the months you mention but make the most of it my birds when they broke that pattern of visiting and feeding at that time they never came back to the feeders at all I consider now anyone around me who gets siskin on their bird feeders are very lucky, they are very faithful to their normal feeding locations as in alder trees feeding on the cone seeds etc around lakes and rivers and occasionally I may hear in the garden one or two flyover, I don,t use feeders now for the simple reason I would buy plenty of food and the birds hardly came on it (and our winters are milder here to) next door has feeders up but I hardly see any birds there Suburban area.
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Old Monday 6th March 2017, 15:28   #3
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Their main natural foods (alder, spruce, etc., seeds) are running out at this time of year - so they need to go flyabout to find other food resources, to keep them going until other natural foods become available later in spring
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Old Monday 6th March 2017, 21:35   #4
coaltit
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Originally Posted by Nutcracker View Post
Their main natural foods (alder, spruce, etc., seeds) are running out at this time of year - so they need to go flyabout to find other food resources, to keep them going until other natural foods become available later in spring
Hi Nutcracker yes that makes sense and something I did,t think of if my memory serves me right, I do remember an Highlight for me back in the mid 1970,s when I saw these birds for the first time feeding on a feeder we had up in the garden I was able to approach them within several feet or more but that was thee only time that happened I think it was from that period siskin were starting to come in to gardens on to feeders and these were probabily some of the first birds in this area to do that such delicate feeders and quite calls along with their appearance was a highlighting experience for me especially when their in your garden it was around 1975/76.
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Old Wednesday 15th March 2017, 12:55   #5
kb57
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Originally Posted by Nutcracker View Post
Their main natural foods (alder, spruce, etc., seeds) are running out at this time of year - so they need to go flyabout to find other food resources, to keep them going until other natural foods become available later in spring
That makes a lot of sense - at our place in Rothbury we've had (slightly unusually) hardly any siskins all winter, although small numbers of redpolls have been more regular - we did, however see flocks feeding on alder cones down by the river. This week we've had a flock of ca. 15 siskins on niger, peanut and sunflower heart feeders. Single bramblings also appeared for the first time all winter - the same pattern as last year when we saw our first in March.
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Old Wednesday 22nd March 2017, 12:23   #6
JoeRawles
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I remember a few years back there was a dearth of siskins being reported, so the BTO got in touch with the forestry commission (https://www.bto.org/news-events/pres...garden-finches) and that year had seen a bumper crop of sitka spruce seed. As has been said, the siskins seem to only come in to gardens as their natural food diminishes. We have certainly noticed the same trend here in East Sussex, our first siskins this winter arrived in very late feb but we expect them to stay on for a while now before disappearing in the summer.
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Old Wednesday 22nd March 2017, 16:13   #7
Nigel Davies
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Two siskins on my feeders first thing today, lots of redwings feeding on some late stubble fields Downham market area.
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Old Wednesday 22nd March 2017, 20:52   #8
John Fleet
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Had four (possibly five) at my Sunflower heart feeder last week. A garden first for me! Not seen them since - sadly...
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Old Saturday 1st April 2017, 12:56   #9
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Our numbers started to climb by the end of February, first appearing in late January. Their numbers rose to 350+ by the second week in March, but by last Wednesday, the numbers had fallen to 20+. They had been feeding from several feeders filled with Sunflower hearts. Since late January, apart from a couple of Greenies and Bullies, the Siskins consumed over 10kgs of "hearts".
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Old Saturday 1st April 2017, 20:32   #10
citrinella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawsy View Post
I had a siskin on my bird feeder this weekend for the first time in months. This seems to be forming a pattern of having siskins visit the garden in very early spring but not being present in summer or mid-winter. Over several years I've had siskins almost exclusively in March and April. This has been the case both my 2 recent homes. Both homes have been sea-level, suburban and close to farmland in east Fife) or central (Falkirk) Scotland not close to any typical siskin breeding grounds. This seems strange timing to me especially as a small number of birds will sometimes hang around for several weeks. Is there any obvious reason for this timing?

Michael
I understand this is normal timing for an influx from the continent ... IIRC :-)

Certainly when I have had siskin it has usually been at the same time of year - Feb-Apr, though sometimes they have stayed all year and sometimes I have had them in autumn.

Mike.
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Old Monday 3rd April 2017, 20:37   #11
alan kennedy
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Siskins back in force last week having been absent since August. Now bullying everything off the feeders, as usual!

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Old Thursday 6th April 2017, 05:53   #12
Dawsy
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Thanks for all the comments. Sounds like it's the gap between food running out and heading for breeding grounds.
I've never had 350 hanging around though. That would be quite a sight!

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Old Thursday 6th April 2017, 11:41   #13
alcedo.atthis
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"I've never had 350 hanging around though. That would be quite a sight!"
Michael, have a read of this
http://grampianringing.blogspot.co.u...&max-results=7

Regards Malky
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