Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Early Bird Catches The Worm

Well they say that the early bird catches the worm and on Sunday, May 22 it proved to be correct. Despite coming down with a cold, I met my friend Paul at 7 AM on Gooseberry neck, Westport Massachusetts to see what the weather brought in in the way of migrants. The day was dark and dreary, yesterday I had birded the area around the parking lot just prior to going over for the main birding at Allens Pond Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary and found a orchard oriole and a yellowthroat warbler passing through.

Today, the birding activity was extremely slow, however, in the parking lot there was a sparrow. The usual suspects would be a song sparrow or a savannah sparrow, but with a close look at the sparrow, we determined that it was a Clay-colored Sparrow. Here is a picture of the sparrow.

Clay-colored Sparrow

What makes this very interesting is that I made a search on eBird for the reported sightings of a Clay-colored sparrow in Bristol County Massachusetts and found that there have been only a total of three sightings reported, two sightings in 2010 and this sighting this year.

We found an Eastern Towhee who song sounded when it started like a common yellow throat song. I did capture a video of it singing and you can hear the song even with all the wind that was blowing.

Some other bird seen:

Common Grackle


After Gooseberry we checked out a conservation area are in Westport where the major findings were a Veery and a yellow warbler's nest.

Yellow Warbler's Nest


We then traveled down to Weetamoe Woods in Tiverton Rhode Island and took a brief walk. We did hear a Arcadian flycatcher and the possibility of a Kentucky warbler.


Wild Geranium

Old Bus in Field with Flowers

At this point my cold was was getting worse, so I quit and went home to bed. But, the sighting of the Clay-colored sparrow was worth the trip even though I was not in the best of health.