I had initially intended to go to Salems Centrum to see the Pine Grosbeaks found there a few days ago yesterday, though rain and dark, overcast conditions on the day saw me have a rethink. There were blue skies forecast for today and I decided to take a chance and hold off for 24 hours. It was a risky strategy, though it paid off...
On arrival this morning a group of tightly packed birder's in the corner of the parking lot told me the birds were still present. Not only that, they were incredibly tame! The birds were no more than a metre away at times, photographers having to step back to get focus. The birds were feeding on berries and totally unconcerned by humans. They performed incredibly well for the camera, as can be seen here.
These birds have been irrupting for the past few weeks and are moving in big numbers right now. I really wanted to catch up on the species, get some photos and maybe record the call. These birds certainly provided the photo opportunities. As regards sound recording, the centrum was very busy and noisy, with a school besode the birds also. Despite this the birds did allow me to record the calls as they fed, albeit with much other noise in the background. I will post this when it has been edited and added to Xeno-Canto.
All in alll, a quite incredible experience, only the third time I have seen the species, though seeing them so close was amazing. There will perhaps be more of these birds in the near future, should the irruption continue..