Monday, September 26, 2011

Nelson's Sparrow #400

On my way to Milwaukee to visit some friends this past weekend, I stopped at Tiscornia to see if any ducks were flying. There was a moderate Blue-winged Teal flight, and 2 Whimbrel flew over calling. There was also a Nelson's Sparrow present, but it was very difficult and flew into private property and not relocated in a few tries (hence the reason no report). We gave up after searching for 1.5 hours. This was year bird #400 for me. I have never kept a cumulative year list before, but with all my traveling this year, I thought it would behoove me to do so.

I managed some terrible photos, but I do think they identify the bird as a Nelson's Sparrow, barely. These pictures, along with my personal observation of the dark gray median crown stripe and dark gray, unstreaked nape should eliminate Le Conte's Sparrow. The sharp delineation between the white belly and bright breast with blurry, non-distinct streaks should eliminate Saltmarsh Sparrow.
These guys do not like to stay out in the open, or stay still for very long. Thank god for manual focus.
The bird is looking to the left, and part of the gray nape and gray median crown stripe are visible.
Only 100 more year birds to go to reach my goal of 500. With a trip to S. Texas for a week and a winter Alaska cruise in the Bearing/Chukchi Sea, with a return to Dutch Harbor, I fear I may fall short of my goal, but will have a good number to beat next year!

1 comment:

  1. Def a NESP, no doubt about it. Sweet bird, would be a state bird for me.