Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring White-throated Sparrow - 2012

As far as I know this is the first spring White-throated Sparrow reported. This one showed up at Catherine Barrett's feeder earlier this week. It was quite skittish as it would run under the feeder grab a seed, look around a bit and then as fast as its feet would take it - hurry back to the safety of the woods.  There was also a Song Sparrow spotted in the same area, but I didn't see it.

The feathers on this bird did not look as bright as those of a bird in breeding plumage, but the yellow lores were rich in color and very prominent.  In just a few weeks, there will be lots of these birds showing up around town, especially in some of the walking trails. Along with them will appear the Savannah and Swamp Sparrows.
The last White-throated Sparrow that I remember reported was a winter visitor that showed up at Gene and Karen Herzberg's feeder around the end of the year. I did get a quick look at it on New Year's Day when I went to see the Cape May Warbler that stayed with them for quite a while.

So let's see, what sparrows are around?

House Sparrows have been all about during the winter as they tend to stay.  A scattering of Song Sparrows have been spotted around the Avalon during winter. It looks like a number of them overwintered this year. A Lincoln Sparrow took up winter residence at Kelly's Brook. This is quite unusual. Sightings of Fox Sparrows are happening all around us. One White-throated Sparrow report heralds the arrival of this species back to our zone.  I wonder which will show up next - the Savannah or the Swamp. There clearly is a distinct pattern to the departures and arrivals of winged creatures to our rocky island.

Note: A third polar bear has floated in on the pack ice.

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