Sunday 29 December 2013

The Winter Robins are Arriving

With the abundance of dogberries (mountain ash) on the Avalon and in fact all through Newfoundland this winter we were expecting robin flocks. Sometimes it takes until Christmas for the flocks to build and the birds to enter the city of St John’s.  December 28 was perhaps the real good official first sign of city robin action.  Lancy Cheng found a flock feeding behind Cavell Ave.  He called me over and together we watched the flock of 150 which had moved a couple hundred metres farther east.  John Williams and Dave Hawkins appeared with their cameras.
Lancy and I were checking each robin for European thrushes especially Redwing and Fieldfare but not limited to those possibilities!  We didn't find any but it was good to get back into winter robining mode again.  This should be the start of a good month of this favourite winter activity.  Alvan Buckley also saw 100 robins in his neighbourhood on Roache Street.  Make sure you know what a Redwing and Fieldfare looks like and beware of starling and female Purple Finches often feeding on berries with the robins that give even veteran robiners a start now and then.  GOOD LUCK.

Some American Robins gorging on dogberries on 28 Dec near Quidi Vidi Road/Forest Road intersection.

This is a practice test. Find the mega in this photograph from near the Fluvarium, Long Pond taken January 2007.  BTW the Fluvarium area is perhaps the best place for robining in the city. The base of Signal Hill is another hotspot, Bally Haly Golf Course is good. But Redwings and Fieldfares have shown up in every part of the city over the decades. Go Find One. It can happen to you!


1 comment:

  1. Interesting how this Redwing looks like it could belong to the nominate ssp iliacus (i.e. not Icelandic). But that is just plain speculation of course.


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