Every year around the beginning of November the autumn low of birding in Southern Ontario arrives. Most of our breeding species have migrated south in response to a decline in the insect populations and the reduced day length, but the handful of species that irrupt from the northern regions of Canada have not yet arrived.

In early autumn, possibly in anticipation of the November low, Ron Pittaway compiles the observations and research of ornithologists of Ontario, and beyond. It is titled “Winter Finch Forecast” for the upcoming year, but covers most irruptive species. The forecast for 2010-2011 is very informative.

Today there were 3 Pine Siskins at the finch feeder at the Heidelberg centre. They can be identified from the similar American Goldfinches by their very streaked, browner-overall appearance and the yellow wing bar, that varies in intensity with age and gender.