Alan and I did a little Saturday morning birding with the first stop being Gate 36 of the Wachusett Reservoir in hopes for my FOY Snow Bunting as well a a check of the rocks for a Great Cormorant of course! The first bird we'd see would be the Horned Grebe above who was very close to shore as well as two fishermen nearby.
After a nice, short walk in the sunshine, we'd finally spot one lone Snow Bunting who'd be fairly close by and eating very calmly which made us wonder if the bird was ill..
But it wouldn't take long for us to see the bird move around some letting us know it was fine and probably just trying to warm up and get some early breakfast. We'd see no cormorants of any kind so headed to Sterling Peat in hopes for the Common Redpolls Tom had yesterday. We'd see Mark, Sheila and Peter already there with a scope on a bird who'd turn out to be a sandpiper behaving very odd and not at all active which made for an immediate ID challenging.
The sandpiper would turn out to be a White-rumped Sandpiper so we were wondering if it was the same one from Bolton Flats which is where we were headed next.
But not before checking for the Common Redpolls as they would be FOY's for both Alan and I and it wouldn't take long to see them.
None of the redpolls were that colorful except one, but it was nice none the less as the only time I've ever had one was at my feeders so it was nice to see them eating the way nature intended.
The one colorful redpoll flying away just as I was getting ready to get an "in focus" shot!
Our last stop would be Bolton Flats as I was on a mission to get the Wilson's Snipe considering I had it written off for the year. We'd see quite a few shorebirds far out in the fields including the lousy shot of the Killdeer above. It would also be nice to hear their call one last time before winter takes hold.
As well as the Wilson's Snipe I wanted so badly for the year which made for an added bonus! I had some time to watch these birds feed and they reminded me very much like dowichers with their sewing machine like mechanisms which was nice to see as it was a first as normally I get these birds only by flushing them. The Pectoral Sandpiper and White-rumped Sandpiper would still be around so not sure if this is the one from Sterling Peat or not as it could have gotten their quicker than we did once it fled from Sterling Peat so who knows. All I can say is it does make for some interesting birding!
I'd then head home and hope the yard bird I had early in the morning would still be around and it wouldn't take me long to re find it.
And that bird would turn out to be the very handsome adult White-crowned Sparrow above!
Love this picture as it has a White-throated in it too for a nice comparison shot.
Swoon! This would be a new yard bird for me and re-enforces why I don't weed my herbs, flowers or even weeds come fall as I've lucked out with sparrows this year. I have some blackberry brambles right near the feeding station he feels most comfortable near as he's rather shy so it seems as if my lax landscaping has paid off! ;-).
And lastly lousy video of the bird which I wanted on record considering it's not that often I have the fortune of seeing this bird forage The video was lousy to begin with but for some reason even worse once I put it on YouTube go figure. It actually reminds me of the Fox Sparrow feeding wise somewhat and even flushes like the Fox Sparrow in that it hops to cover instead of flying like the others. Loving my yard birds this year and looking forward to spending the rest of the weekend close to home to do some cooking, canning and birding from the kitchen window. Hoping for Evening Grosbeaks tomorrow of course. ;-)