Sunday, November 10, 2013

Local Patch Birding 11/9

An enjoyable Saturday morning neighborhood walk was productive with my first "local patch" Fox and American Tree Sparrows of the fall. White-throated Sparrows have thinned out in the past week with only a few present this morning being "replaced with numerous Dark-eyed Juncos. While Song Sparrow have been absent from the yard, I was able to find a dozen plus at the edge of a nearby corn field.
One of three Fox Sparrows 

My first local American Tree Sparrow sighting of the fall
I hawkwatched for about 20 minutes from a vantage point at a vacant sandpit and noted 2 Red-tails, 2 Red-shouldered and 1 Cooper's Hawk migrating. A dozen Eastern Bluebirds passed along with a few Purple Finches.
one of two migrant Red-shouldered Hawks on the move.

Another nice surprise was small mix flock of blackbirds that contained Common Grackles, Red-winged Black birds and 9 Rusty Blackbirds, in about equal numbers!

A quick check of the Old Mill pond turned up a female Gadwall, a very uncommon species in this part of Worcester County. She was consorting with the usual large flock of Mallards, but was noticeably more skittish as I approached.
A female Gadwall at the Old Mill

Gadwall feeding,.
A House Sparrow in my neighbor's yard, that I've seen a heard a few times this week, was my first "sighting" of this species from home in over 5 years. While it was a addition to the year's yard list (now at 94 species), I consider it a "low point".

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