Sunday, May 25, 2014

American Pipit and Horned Lark

 Cape Spear: To walk or not to walk. On the not-so-nice days, this thought is always in my mind. Should I get out and walk the loop down to the water and around the back? Wind direction impacts this decision; whether there are birds on the water, too.
 Yesterday morning, I pulled into the corner of the parking lot and began a scan of the water and the grounds. There was nothing on the water. I was just about to go when I saw two small birds fly near the water.
 I figured they were Savannah Sparrows, but my curiosity would not rest. What if they were something else? That was it. Park the car, and make the walk.
 Good choice. When I got to the first lookout below the parking lot, I spotted two American Pipits and Two Horned Lark.
Of course, they decided to fly off to the right, so I had to continue my walk if I were to get a good look.
 All of a sudden, the dreariness of the day lifted, and I was focused on birds. It is funny how that happens. It's like the sun comes out, and the wind drops when a bird comes into view.
 I compared the photos of the American Pipit pictured above with other shots I have of pipits and find this one to be different.
I checked field guides, and this bird doesn't really match them either. Well, it does, and it doesn't. How often does that happen. I checked online and found a lot of variation in the American Pipit.  I think this is the breeding plumage of this species. The longer I "bird" the more I see. I think it is because the excitement of seeing a bird for the first few times has evolved into another level of appreciation.

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