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Siskins in Argyll?

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Old Sunday 17th February 2019, 16:02   #1
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Siskins in Argyll?

We are in Argyll in the Western Highlands in a rural property. I can't find the answer to this question anywhere on the Internet and wondered if anyone knew. From late spring and through to early autumn we have literally clouds of siskins on our feeders, but during the winter and early spring they disappear and we don't see a single one for several months although we have loads of other species in great quantities. I don't see any indication from any information I can find that siskins are migratory, and as we provide loads of food I would have thought that they would be more likely to be here during the winter, rather than less. I was wondering where they disappear to.

Saw one isolated sighting of one yesterday which is very early for the year and my husband asked if I knew where they had been all winter.

I'd be grateful if anyone knew the answer or has seen the same kind of thing :)
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Old Sunday 17th February 2019, 19:08   #2
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Siskins do indeed migrate, though I'm not sure just how far they move. I've certainly seen some passing through in October while watching visible migration at the coast. Where the weather is likely to impact on them over the winter months I would think it likely that a large chunk of the local population would move somewhere milder - which seems to be what you are seeing.
Here's an article from 2011 showing that good numbers of Siskin do indeed move elsewhere for the winter.
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Old Sunday 17th February 2019, 20:04   #3
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Just as a point of interest, when I lived in my previous house in Glasgow there was a constant stream of siskins throughout the winter using the feeders. I've moved away from that house to a flat now so I don't see them as often, although when I visit RSPB Lochwinnoch, they've usually got them over winter too. I'd imagine it's slightly (but not much) milder here in winter than it is in Argyll (although Argyll's a big place, so depends on where you are).
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Old Sunday 17th February 2019, 20:24   #4
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Hi Inadorel

It's rather difficult to know your circumstances really, as Argyll is such a big area with a wide range of habitats, from the warmer coast to the cold highlands.

While Siskins aren't really 'migratory' as such, there will be local movements away from the highest elevations. I live in a town flat and am sometimes lucky enough to get a few here in the autumn, with later visits later in the winter, especially when it's severe weather.

Over at Dunkeld, they visit the feeders on the Loch of the Lowes reserve all through the winter months, but rarely in the summer, as they'll have headed back to the forests where there's plenty of food.
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