Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sparrows, Sparrows and More Sparrows!

This past weekend, I took a Sparrow Class offered by the Connecticut Ornithological Association.  So in the Early Morning, I headed out to Allen's Meadow to try and find some sparrows.  With about 30 other eager birders, we started to walk around the park.  At first it seemed like we'd find everything but sparrows.  We found Ruby-Crowned Kinglets, Winter Wrens, Butterbutts, Cardinals and even some loud and active Pileated Woodpeckers.  We even found some Pine Siskens before we found some sparrows.
Eventually, we started to find some sparrows.  The first few sparrows we saw were White-Throateds and Savannahs.  They were later joined by Juvenile White-Crowned.  We heard of some Vesper Sparrows, but by the time we got over there, a dog had scared away the Vespers.  But we waited patiently and then they returned!  The eye ring is one of the key marks of the Vesper.  As I was looking at a Vesper, there's a call that someone found a Clay-Colored Sparrow!  (picture below)  The Buff Coloring near the eye and the rich coloration on the back help id this bird.  Its also a useful indicator to know where to look.  Both Vespers and Clay-Colored, Like many sparrows, enjoy open grassfields as  places to eat and fly about.  They'll be moving through to their wintering grounds these weeks so I will be on the lookout for more birds to see!

File:Spizella pallida4 edit.jpg
(c) goingslo on Flickr

2012 Life List

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fall Migration!

A visit to Hammonasset was supposed to yield rare and random seabirds.  No seabirds minus the Double Crested Cormorants that are prepping for their migration.  While the seabirds were disappointing, the rest of the day was incredible.  Birds were literally dripping from the sky... or bouncing around on the ground.  The Life Birds I got were: Orange-Crowned Warbler, Golden-Crowned Kinglet, Blue-Headed Vireo, Black-Throated Blue Warbler and the Elusive Marsh Wren!  It was a great to be outside and birding!

On another note, it had been a while since I had such a good time meeting and encountering other birders.  Not that other birders are rude, most follow the rules of etiquette and some will just ignore you.  But everyone I encountered was great, friendly and helpful.  It reminded me why I love to bird.  The nature is fantastic but I always enjoy seeing people appreciating it as well.  Next week, I am taking a class on Winter Sparrows and many more exciting Birding events are coming up!

Get Outside!

Blue-headed Vireo Photo
The Blue-Headed Vireo (c) Cornell Lab of Ornithology

2012 Life List Total:
223 Birds