Friday, October 28, 2011

Prospect Oct 28th: "At home" Meadowlark & Vesper Sparrow; better late than never

The lone EASTERN MEADOWLARK (EAME) and VESPER SPARROW continue to delight birders visiting the Baseball fields fence enclosure. In a rare occurrence for length of stay, this being the third straight day for EAME, Mary Eyster reported the bird early this morning.During my lunchtime hour, along with Mike Yuan, we saw the EAME fly out to a tree overshadowing field #3, where its bright yellow breast illuminated well from that distance.But it came back  for Chris Elliot, the EAME staying put in the medium high grass in the center of the enclosure. I got a later report from Mike Yuan that a second EAME joined in later.

Just as long ( if not longer) for the other local rarity, Mike reported the VESPER SPARROW along the west snow fence. So, it's great to see both these birds stick around in their protective enclosure despite all the human activity outside.

Here's a report from Mike with a photo of the VESPER SPARROW ( click on link)


a 2nd meadowlark joined the 1st at the ballfield enclosure.

a crop of the vesper sparrow, seen outside the ballfield enclosure in a flock of chipping sparrows:

On another note, Mary E. reported very good sparrow activity in a sizable smart weed meadow north of the Picnic House ( just past the picnic table area and east of the pedestrian road dumpster ).There are two sparrow infested meadow patches, the other more of a Beggar Ticks/smartweed mixed  meadow near the flooded depressed road that crosses the Long Meadow. I found a sizable flock of WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, likely 125 birds with some SONGs and 2 SWAMP. A WINTER WREN skulked around as well.. Nothing rare but its a great spot to observe and hope for a rarity.

On a last note, on the east side (or Long Meadow side) of that picnic tables area under the grand oak grove, numerous DARK-EYED JUNCOS were skittish and nervous as they fed on the bare lawn below two great Oaks. I saw one interesting junco, with good amount of pink flanks, likely a Pink -sided subspecies. I didn't get much of a chance to watch it more because a RED-TAILED HAWK flew right in and perched right above the flock.Zing...gone were the juncos. No wonder the "high anxiety". When I came back thru the area later, the Red-tailed came swooping in from behind me ( and I saw it close) ,barely missing a startled squirrel on the ground. Lots of action there! ( and nuts I missed seeing a grab)

High sparrows numbers came in late this fall, more the latter half of October instead of early October. Well, better late than never.