Monday, April 27, 2015

Sparrows = warblers

Most startling on this chilly off day for me was the diversity of sparrows. There were equally the same number species as warblers I saw. 8 sparrow species was my total that included FIELD, SAVANNAH  and TOWHEE as top birds.

With sparrows dominating the day, I'm pleased with the day. Sparrow and warblers are favorite bird groups for me. The FIELD numbered two, one at the back of the Peninsula meadow fence and the other in the Vale Cashmere south section. Two EASTERN TOWHEE as well: a female in the West Island benches area, a male inside the Peninsula woods. And the same for SAVANNAH, two again at the Peninsula Rustic shelter. On Nellie's Lawn a flock of CHIPPING fed along with DARK EYED JUNCOS. But  most noticeable were good numbers of WHITE THROATED SPARROWS within the Quaker slope woods and again in the Vale of Cashmere. With the latter, many were feeding high up on beech tree seedlings at the south end. In that same tree , I spotted a male ROSE BREASTED GROSBEAK. That's a cool looking bird to enjoy under the morning overcast skies.Sun finally broke thru at 9:45 am adding warmth to the day.

Sparrows were not the only thing in town. Very early this morning at about 645 am, as I was watching some Yellow rumps warblers-- common today-, five high flying terns  flew over  West Island. First thing to note is the wingtips, whitish that I identified as FORSTER TERNS: an early bird gets the worm moment.

Finally the warblers to mention. Best among the Prospect birds was my first season NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH in the Vale Cashmere pool.I heard from Rob Jett that LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH still hangs out in the Ravine creek and a NASHVILLE WARBLER in the same area. I wound up with 6 species warblers in Prospect . Adding the Greenwood Cemetery PROTHONOTARY WARBLER at Sylvan Water southeast shoreline, a seven , then another new species  later equals my sparrow species list.

In Greenwood Cemetery,a SPOTTED SANDPIPER with swallows galore including a lone NORTHERN ROUGH WINGED at Sylvan Water accentuates my off day, making it a worthwhile birding day.

By the way, Maureen Matthews reported YELLOW THROATED WARBLER along Forest Ridge avenue when we crossed paths. I went looking with Peter Colen without success , both of us birding GWC the whole time. We did get a great looking male BLACK THROATED GREEN WARBLER in conifers above the south hillside of Sylvan Water.

Back at Prospect ,flyover  COMMON LOON,perched PEREGRINE FALCON and PRAIRIE WARBLER were other day offerings