Saturday, September 12, 2009

White-crowned Sparrows back in motion

This morning, I check the migration in progress at my neighbors vegetable garden. It was a little slow on variety, only one warbler (Orange-crowned) but the first flock of White-crowned Sparrows has arrived. About a half-dozen birds, mostly adults of the "Gambel's" race, the taiga subspecies that just passes through here, on their way north or south.

It's quite interesting to look at all the different subspecies of various birds in the area. With the amazing Pine Grosbeak invasion we had last winter, I had the chance to get well accustom to the bird, and even look at which subspecies we had. Also, take a look at the subspecies of American Robins. There is about 7 or so distinct subspecies, and they, like all birds, stray from home every now and then. I have found a few Pacific robins here this spring.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Neighbors Corn Photo Essay Thing

Birding the local Patch - the passerine migration begins

Last year, from now until November, I birded my neighbors vegetable garden. There yard is the BEST magnet for migrating songbirds I have EVER seen! 9 species of warblers and 11 species of sparrows in one season in one place, and all three Zonotrichria sparrows (white-crowned, white-throated, Harris's) in one binocular view! The migration has just started and only a few migrants are trickling through.

Only Savannah, and Chipping Sparrows were here, but I did have the first large sparrow of the season. Either Song, Fox, or a zonotrichia sparrow. I know that is a wide range of suspects, but all I saw was a flash of a large, dark sparrow drop into the acre of corn, and one chip note.

4 warblers today, MacGillivray's, Wislon's, Orange-crowned, and Yellow-rumped Warblers. Also a family of Lazuli Buntings, and Blue Jays were about. A few odd, or uncommons today; Red-naped Sapsucker, Pileated Woodpecker and Cooper's Hawk. Nice finds.

I snapped a few pictures, but I know that later in the season when the birds pick up, I will get some more, and better shots.

Pine Siskin in the corn
Really cool clouds today
Savannah Sparrow in the corn