Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sparrow Season

     The leaves turn brown and so do the birds- it's sparrow season! Those LBJ's are fun to try identifying and seeing the differences between species in the field is a fun way to learn them. Of course there are some who get confusing, but these birds tend to be low (so no neck pain) but can often be skulky, diving spontaneously into thick grasses and shrubs the moment you make eye contact.
     In the last week I have been to Prospect and Calvert-Vaux Parks, and came up empty handed for Vesper sparrows, but was able to see quite a few other species...
At Calvert Vaux I had the chance to see lots of Savannah Sparrows on its baseball fields, as well as song and chipping. Near Coney Island Creek some of the shrubs had seeds that this swamp sparrow was feasting on.

I think swamp sparrows are pretty handsome with that mahogany brown tone they have on their wings.

For the sake of variety-- I also saw a juvenile little blue heron at Calvert Vaux-- which look not at all like a mature adult. But it was next to a great egret and was dwarfed in size when put side-by-side. 
At Prospect Park today (and last week) I went looking for a previously reported Vesper sparrow and mostly came up with Chipping Sparrows.

And today... also a lot of song sparrows.

I looked at every. single. song. sparrow...

--I was hoping to spy a Lincoln's Sparrow.

BUT... I did get to see the CUTEST sparrow-- one of two I saw around the LeFrak Center and Green Roof.

With a little rouge on the cheek, a pink bill, and eye ring- these birds are pretty adorable. They are also petite next to the song sparrows.
I may also have an affinity for them because our plumage matches.

For the sake of variety...
When you finally think you are about to get a nice, crisp shot of a Ruby-crowned kinglet.... you get a nice, crisp shot of it's back side.

A palm warbler shows off how it has mastered camouflage.

More and more white-throated sparrows in the park. 

Still not a Lincoln's Sparrow.

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