Despite the lousy weather this past weekend, I decided to make the best of it and hit a few places with fall migration starting so went to Bolton Flats on Saturday morning to see what I could find. I'd have to drive my car through the puddle at the entrance and that alone would remind me of how much I missed this place. I have quite a few places I love to bird at, but this may be my number one because of the bird diversity as well as the memories like my first Forbush Field Trip, walking through deep, murky swamp water in hip waders with Alan who's just as crazy as I am and of course the shore birds, who can forget them.
Anyhow, I'd get out of the car and it wouldn't take me long to find my FOY Swamp Sparrow. There would be quite a few of them and not much else as I was soon to find out.
2. They can be feisty and fun to watch as they chased after each other in some form of territorial dispute.
3. They pish easily
4. And finally, a personal observation about me and that is I'd never noticed this about the Swamp Sparrow before and it kind of bothered me. While driving home I'd think about it some and realize a lot of the chasing I've done in the past had given me the mind set that once I've seen the bird and checked it off the list, my work was done and now time for the next species. While it was and still is a lot of fun, it hasn't helped me much in my birding because not only are field marks and song important skills for a birder, but behavioral knowledge is key too.
When I got home, I went to my Peter Dunne's Field Guide Companion and there it would be on page 618.
"A busy, active sparrow. Not shy, but likes to stay where it's thick and likes to stay near the ground"
Well I guess I was right in my initial assumptions!
I'd spend about 45 minutes in the rain following the various flocks of sparrows in hopes for a Lincoln's but now matter how hard I tried, I couldn't make any of them into one. It did give me the opportunity to really study the other birds though and never realized just how varied Song Sparrows can look in terms of color. I did manage to flush a good amount of sparrows who were feeding on the ground where they proceeded to land on some brush nearby and could confirm, the Swamp, Song and White throats and would get my bins on one with a really nice white crown, but be gone too quickly for me to determine whether or not it was a White-crowned or White-throated, especially with the foggy conditions so I'm assuming it was just a good looking white throat mixed in with the others.