I took the Vizsla on a birding outing this morning to the local North Branch Nature Center – I wanted to check out the community garden for birds. I hitched up her leash to my belt and off we went, with her dragging me along the mowed pathway. I met an acquaintance who I see birding from time to time and he reported that he saw many sparrows, and ticked them off to me, including a couple of juvenile Field Sparrows.
Well, my sparrow expertise is about like my warbler ID skills – not great — but I had already heard a Song Sparrow sing from the top of a bush as I started out. That seemed pretty unusual for this time of year but it was a good start.
I entered the fenced-off garden and watched dozens of skitterish sparrows scatter here and there. I could see that many were Song Sparrows but then I started to see a few White-Crowned Sparrows. Here’s a poor picture of one — I’ll blame it on the morning light.
In addition to the many active Black-capped Chickadees were a dozen or more Chipping Sparrows.
I also saw some Lincoln’s Sparrows and was looking for White-throated Sparrows but they were likely back in the woods. Finally, a gardener, with a dog, showed up and I left her to her fall chores since my dog was very interested in hers.
This afternoon I went for another walk with the Vizsla in our woods and among other birds, saw two very cooperative White-Throated Sparrows. They flitted around and I was able to grab a couple of photos of them.
I suspect I’ll try to get back to the garden sans dog later this week and check for Field Sparrows. I have yet to see one this year — about the only one I’m missing from our usual suspects.
When I watch sparrows I wish that I had started birding decades ago like many my age but hey, we all need challenges. Sparrows are one of mine.