Tuesday, October 24, 2017

What a Difference a Week Makes

I mentioned how hard the sparrows made it for us to identify them in my last post.

This past Saturday it was much easier.

It didn't start out that way.

The first views were like these.

Distant. Obscured. Brief. Frustrating.

We knew they were there. And this time we knew what they were. It was just a matter of getting good looks. And positive IDs.

One needs to be patient.

And it helped that we went at the right time, as high tide was approaching.

There were two very similar sparrows in the reeds. The one in the images above, a Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow, and the Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow. We saw both but I was only able to photograph the Saltmarsh.

And while we were able to see, and identify, the sparrows, the bird shown above was the only one of the entire flock to pause long enough to have it's portrait taken. Very camera shy these sparrows. Flying into the reeds and then down.


Unlike the trip to the Franklin Parker Preserve, this was a (semi-) planned outing. We knew these sparrows would be at this site, the Great Bay Boulevard Wildlife Management Area, this time of year as they migrate south. And we knew that as the tide came in it would push them to the "high" ground spots along the shore. So it was just a matter of checking the tide chart and deciding to go. And when we woke up Saturday we saw it was a nice day and decided to give it a go. Getting to the spot is simple: just drive to the end of Great Bay Boulevard and then hike a short trail to the beach. As soon as we hit the beach we saw them.

A much nicer Saturday morning.

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