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Siskins and Redpolls appealingly absent this Winter?

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Old Tuesday 21st January 2020, 19:59   #1
KenM
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Siskins and Redpolls appealingly absent this Winter?

There appears to be a distinct “almost” absence of the above this Winter in the London area (prior to this I’ve had both species certainly every Winter over the last six years, what about elsewhere and on the continent?

What does seem a little incongruous was the flock of Siskins that I encountered on Fuerteventura at Xmas not to mention the two Brambling.

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Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 10:39   #2
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Very few Siskins and no Redpolls that I know of in lowland southeast Northumbs. Have heard there's lots of Siskins in the spruce plantations (Kielder, Harwood, etc.) in the hills though - Sitka Spruce had a fairly good cone crop in 2019.
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Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 11:34   #3
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A VERY, mild winter in Russia, hardly any snow at all and I think it's been similar elsewhere so maybe more birds stayed put?
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Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 13:49   #4
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We've had flocks of up to a dozen or so redpolls feeding on alder cones around my NW Durham office recently, but very few siskins (1-2 in mixed flocks with goldfinches and redpolls). Normally siskins are much more frequent by now.

I'm sure Andy's observation of mild weather in Russia (and presumably Scandinavia too) is a major factor - its possible the small numbers of redpolls around here are from the local breeding population, which I believe still exists in the west of the county - I've had small post-breeding flocks around here as early as July.
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Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 14:47   #5
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oddly enough the same effect is in play over on the other side of the pond. Zero reports locally of any redpolls and pine siskins also are absent in central Wisconsin. Explanation I have heard is that there is enough food up north that they haven't had to head down south. Certainly this winter has (mostly) been more mild than previous winters
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Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 15:01   #6
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Although only 22 days of data for this year, BTO's Birdtrack is showing a distinct drop in reporting rates of Redpoll and Siskin...
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Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 15:26   #7
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So far thanks guys, for me itís not just the polls/skins, itís also the almost complete absence of Redwing (just the odd Singleton), also no Fieldfare or Brambling this year yet!

Would be interesting to know if the Central European roost of Brambling (Slovenia?) is in operation this year?

Iíve certainly experienced Winters where the skin/polls have been less...but not like this, then being complimented by Siskin and Brambling respectively being present in two flocks on Fuerteventura to late December at least!

Even accepting that no two years are the same...it all does seem very odd.
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Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 16:17   #8
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So far thanks guys, for me itís not just the polls/skins, itís also the almost complete absence of Redwing (just the odd Singleton), also no Fieldfare or Brambling this year yet!

Would be interesting to know if the Central European roost of Brambling (Slovenia?) is in operation this year?

Iíve certainly experienced Winters where the skin/polls have been less...but not like this, then being complimented by Siskin and Brambling respectively being present in two flocks on Fuerteventura to late December at least!

Even accepting that no two years are the same...it all does seem very odd.
We are also short of Siskins and Redpolls (especially Redpolls!), but Redwings seem to be around in fairly normal numbers. Brambling locally tend to be a late winter thing anyway so I can't judge, but we found them in the New Forest on 1 January without difficulty.

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Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 16:20   #9
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Think I actually had my highest ever count of Siskins on my patch earlier this winter (around 60). Those could be fairly local birds coming from the Highlands though.
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Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 17:04   #10
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Only our second winter here so too early to make any judgement on local trends - but we have around twenty siskins visiting the feeders. They breed locally and we saw several families last year.

I think redpoll may be something of a rarity round here - but keeping fingers crossed.
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Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 17:14   #11
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So far thanks guys, for me itís not just the polls/skins, itís also the almost complete absence of Redwing (just the odd Singleton), also no Fieldfare or Brambling this year yet!

Would be interesting to know if the Central European roost of Brambling (Slovenia?) is in operation this year?

Iíve certainly experienced Winters where the skin/polls have been less...but not like this, then being complimented by Siskin and Brambling respectively being present in two flocks on Fuerteventura to late December at least!

Even accepting that no two years are the same...it all does seem very odd.

In my experience in Russia, it wasn't always just the weather but the abundance of food too.

One year I had overwintering Blackbirds, Redwings and Fieldfares in small flocks of c20 in -20c but Rowans were mega abundant that year.
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Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 17:27   #12
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Very few Siskins around my part of the Alps it seems, I’ve had none locally so far this year whereas the past three winters at this location saw them daily throughout the season. No shortage of Brambling though!
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Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 17:40   #13
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Can't comment on numbers, we don't usually get many down here in Cornwall anyway. I'm just bemused by the thread title.

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Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 17:47   #14
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Can't comment on numbers, we don't usually get many down here in Cornwall anyway. I'm just bemused by the thread title.

Typo...L4R
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Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 17:59   #15
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No shortage of Brambling though!
More hen's teeth around here than Brambling at the moment . . .
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Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 19:10   #16
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it's been a good autumn/winter for siskins down here
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Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 19:42   #17
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Typo...L4R
I guessed there was a typo, but your response makes it even more opaque... ???
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Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 20:11   #18
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I guessed there was a typo, but your response makes it even more opaque... ???
(Saying it out loud may help - took me a while)

The strange thing is that a typo on an almost obsolete* word kicks up a slightly (?) commoner word which in the context used gives the opposite sense to what you would expect... that was what threw me!

(* online dictionaries say it's almost obsolete, plus a search here on BF doesn't give a single result)
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Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 08:24   #19
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Typo...L4R
Ledpolls?

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Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 08:36   #20
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(Saying it out loud may help - took me a while)

The strange thing is that a typo on an almost obsolete* word kicks up a slightly (?) commoner word which in the context used gives the opposite sense to what you would expect... that was what threw me!

(* online dictionaries say it's almost obsolete, plus a search here on BF doesn't give a single result)
Good to know that you can ďstillĒ pass the cryptic test, but then being a PEdanT youíd have an inbuilt advantage and when it comes to obsolescence Iím probably ahead of you there as well.

May the Pollskins be with you.
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Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 08:48   #21
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Good grief, Iíve obviously been living in a non-English speaking environment for too long, , L4R and now PE, Iím totally lost ( in France, as the song goes )
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Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 09:01   #22
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Ledpolls?

John
I mistyped (or predictive text?) the ďLĒ instead of the R.
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Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 10:15   #23
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One, repeat one, Redwing on my patch this year so far (SW London). No Fieldfares, Siskin or Redpoll. Usually plenty of Redwings and a few of the others. The Rowan berries are all still there if there are any takers....
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Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 11:06   #24
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One, repeat one, Redwing on my patch this year so far (SW London). No Fieldfares, Siskin or Redpoll. Usually plenty of Redwings and a few of the others. The Rowan berries are all still there if there are any takers....
Iíve had probably (the same) singleton Redwing for the year which I donít see daily, a far cry from a c4 week period around 5 years ago during Jan/Feb, when they were present in the woods outback ďen masseĒ. I couldnít estimate the numbers involved, but suffice to say that you couldnít look out the window for more than c30 seconds without seeing them in singles or groups flying past...must have been a short lived epicentre, in marked contrast to the present.
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Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 11:18   #25
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(Saying it out loud may help - took me a while)

The strange thing is that a typo on an almost obsolete* word kicks up a slightly (?) commoner word which in the context used gives the opposite sense to what you would expect... that was what threw me!

(* online dictionaries say it's almost obsolete, plus a search here on BF doesn't give a single result)
That's the second** word this week from the 1913 Webster's Dictionary; even then it was archaic...
MJB
**The first word was 'imitatress', which BLI adopted for Cryptic Honeyeater...
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