Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Adventures & Observations

My birding blog site


  Clay-colored Sparrow at Times Beach NP

Published: September 24, 2018
Tags: General Observations, times beach nature preserve, clay-colored sparrow, black-throated green warbler

Walking through Times Beach on this breezy but beautiful autumn day was so pleasant and relaxing.  There wasn't a lot going on but there were enough warblers and a couple of thrushes to keep my continually roving eyes happy.

At one point, I stopped to look over a small'ish sparrow that landed in a short sumac.  I saw an eye-ring and a pink bill - and I thought it was an "odd looking Field Sparrow".  When it turned its head though, I clearly saw the unique facial pattern of a Clay-colored Sparrow. Nice!  Instinct kicked-in and I went for my camera to document the uncommon visitor (uncommon in Erie County).  This guy did as so many others do:  he flew just when I got my hands on my camera!  How do they know?

The sparrow had launched himself into the field of wildflowers, thistle, and weeds - and it was nearly half an hour before I finally got a second look at him.  As I doggedly searched for him, I worried that I had mistaken the ID - or worse - fabricated the little guy in my mind!  Thankfully, at my THIRD look, I finally got a few backlit but over-exposed photos that I felt would be good enough for documentation purposes.

Later, when another birder (Kevin R) joined to look for the sparrow, we were treated with a leisurely look at the special bird as he perched himself in a small shrub and entertained us for several minutes.  Kevin captured some digi-binned photos, a unique talent of his, and I got some better shots that I was somewhat satisfied with, despite the back-lighting.

I wrapped up my visit by finding a few more warblers, and enjoyed an especially cooperative female Black-throated Green.

Enjoy the mediocre photos!

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Clay-colored Sparrow - an uncommon visitor to Erie County

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Clay-colored Sparrow

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Clay-colored Sparrow

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This shot shows off the gray nape nicely

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Female Black-throated Green Warbler

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Black-throated Green Warbler

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An Orange sulphur was a nice sight - many Monarchs are still migrating through the area too.



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