Friday, October 24, 2014

Colliers Mills WMA 10/24--Lincoln's Sparrow

Where the sparrows are.
After 2 days of rain, I was ready to get out of the house. I wanted to see what sparrows I could find at Colliers Mills. There is a field bordered by brush just off Range Road (the road to the firing range) that held a lot of sparrows last time I was there. Once you find a good spot, you always want to check it out, even if it never produces another bird. There's always that chance for an interesting bird. Today I had that chance.

Sparrows (and a few other passerines) were hopping, jumping, and flying through the tangles along the edge of the field. Quickly I identified junco, chipping, white-throated, swamp, towhee, yellow-rump and bluebirds. Then a pretty little sparrow popped up on a bare branch, very close and allowed me very long looks, long enough to dismiss my initial impression of a Song Sparrow and replace it with my first Lincoln's Sparrow in the county and state. The buff breast with the streaks ending where the buff became white and the striped crown were the field marks I noticed and they all lined up for Lincoln's.

I skirted the edge of the firing range and almost stepped on a couple of Northern Bobwhites. They scurried into the grass, which didn't look especially high, but I couldn't find them. Which is why you need dogs to flush them, I guess.

A couple of times I stopped to pish and was able to call in all the expected little birds--titmice, chickadees, nuthatches, both kinglets. A Brown Creeper was probably just in the vicinity and not attracted by my noise-making. 

It is getting close to hunting season--lots of guys out running their dogs--so I suspect that this WMA will have to become a Sunday destination very soon. Too bad, because I expect the ducks and other waterfowl to return pretty soon.

Only 22 species for the day. Next target sparrow there: Vesper.
Canada Goose  5     f/o
Northern Bobwhite  2
Turkey Vulture  3
Red-bellied Woodpecker  4
Blue Jay  6
Carolina Chickadee  5
Tufted Titmouse  10
White-breasted Nuthatch  4
Brown Creeper  1
Carolina Wren  1     Heard
Golden-crowned Kinglet  6
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  4
Eastern Bluebird  7
American Robin  2
Yellow-rumped Warbler  15
Eastern Towhee  1     Field near Range Road
Chipping Sparrow  5
Song Sparrow  5
Lincoln's Sparrow  1
Swamp Sparrow  8
White-throated Sparrow  5
Dark-eyed Junco  10

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