Friday, October 25, 2013

Sparrows, Waxwings, and Wrens... Oh my!

So, a front came through Wednesday evening. Unfortunately, yesterday was busy for me, so I couldn't get out to see what migrants might have been grounded. But this morning, I decided to go for a walk at my new favorite place: Harvest Square Recreational Preserve.

The air was brisk this morning, but comfortable. Around forty five degrees. I arrived at 9:30 and first started by walking over to Terry Pond. There's a group of Muscovy Ducks that hang out here. I don't know if they're "countable" in Alabama, but I won't count them regardless. Looking out over the pond, from a distance I see some shapes on the water. There were three Pied-billed Grebes present and a male Ruddy Duck. I work my way over to the Beaverdam Trail, as last time I walked here this area was the most active.

Along the trail, I would see sparrows darting in and out of the grass and shrubs. I would probably miss identifying about seventy five percent of the sparrows I saw, simply because they hid so well in the undergrowth. However, Song and Field Sparrows were in large numbers. The Field Sparrows sang as I continued to walk. They are more bold than the other sparrows, often perching right out in the open to investigate who was coming down the path.

As I'm walking the trail right along Terry Pond, I see a small bird flittering about through the cattails. I am in desperate need of wrens for my list this year (as by this point I've only gotten House and Carolina for the year)... so I stalk the bird, and patiently wait for it to become visible enough for an ID. My patience pays off, because it's a Marsh Wren: The black and white markings on its back unmistakable. Oh, this day is already shaping up to be awesome.

I continue on, and suddenly out of the corner of my eye, notice a bird taking out on the water. I turn and do a quick photo snap and see an American Coot.

Among this surprise bird, a few others flitter about: Eastern Bluebirds, a Gray Catbird, a Hermit Thrush, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, White-throated Sparrows, a couple Dark-eyed Juncos... Blue Jays chase each other as a Red-tailed Hawk soars overhead. At this point, I have almost finished the Beaverdam Trail, but not before seeing a Lincoln's Sparrow. He flew into the tall grass, and paused to watch me, allowing great looks with the binoculars, but not a great spot to get a photo.

Once I finish this trail, I walk the one back to Turner Pond. But nothing to report really along that trail. It was eerily silent and no birds were present on the pond.

I spent two hours, and walked a grand total of 1.5 miles. Forty-one species in two hours makes for one fantastic fall day!

Until next time...
Happy birding to all of you!

No comments:

Post a Comment