Unfortunately the island is closed to the public until May 1st but I was very lucky to get invited to the island yesterday.
There was a small flock of European Goldfinch in Hammock Grove of ~12 birds and a small group of 5 (same birds?) seen off Nolan Park later in the day. I was looking into European Goldfinch sightings on eBird and the most recent one in the area is from Prospect Park on Nov 26th of one bird. The only sightings "locally" are from Bermuda and points north of Chicago. The number of individuals from the Lake Michigan group are no higher than 8 individuals for sightings between Nov-Dec of this year. European Goldfinch: Current Year Map for Nov-Dec • https://tinyurl.com/y7yg59yx ... zoom out to view sightings from Bermuda. Is the most likely explanation that these are a new set of escaped birds? Or could the weather have had an effect on local populations? They understood Sweetgums as a food source and the birds were very vocal. How quickly do newly escaped birds take to Sweetgum Trees? You can see photos on Cathy Weiner's eBird checklist: • http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41179158 -- Ben Cacace Manhattan, NYC Wiki for NYS eBird Hotspots <http://ebirding-nys.wikispaces.com/Birding+in+New+York> Facebook Discussion for NYS eBird Hotspots: Q & A <https://www.facebook.com/groups/NYeBirdHotspots/> -- NYSbirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsWELCOME.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsRULES.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/NYSBirds-L 3) http://birding.aba.org/maillist/NY01 Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --