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A Cooperative Grasshopper Sparrow

Published June 17, 2013
Tags: General Observations, Grasshopper Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, Bobolink, Eastern Kingbird, Yellow Warbler, Great Blue Heron

On my way home from an appointment this morning, I decided to stop by "the Mounds" at Tillman WMA again.  When I last saw a Grasshopper Sparrow, it was a life list addition with looks long enough to ID it, but too short for my satisfaction.  Plus I really wanted to capture a photo of it.  And so, with my little lightweight chair in tow, I hiked on up to the Mounds, taking care not to step on any nesting sparrows, and found a spot to sit and wait one out.

I heard several of the sparrows in the tall grasses surrounding me - and I had a few nice views of some Savannahs that popped-up every now and then.  I enjoyed the melodious calls of Bobolinks that sporadically interrupted the buzzing of the Savannah and Grasshopper Sparrows - and I puzzled over a couple of Eastern Meadowlarks that gave an unusually "gruff" call.  I had to look their calls up when I got home because I thought my eyes and ears were playing tricks on me.  But no, that rougher "chirp" is indeed, one of their calls!

I got some distant looks at some Grasshopper Sparrows and I even caught a couple of photos of one on one of the gas pipes.  But eventually, a little further away than I had hoped - but still relatively close - one popped up and balanced on a dead twig in the strong wind, swaying but staying long enough for me to study for a short while. He stayed for at least a couple of minutes, during which I grabbed as many photos as I could before he went on his way.  Other than a few more distant "teases", that was all I got - BUT it was a GREAT view this time!

In addition to the Savannah Sparrows, Bobolinks, and Eastern Meadowlarks seen during my short visit, I also saw:  an American Kestrel, an Eastern Kingbird, a Yellow Warbler, and a couple of fly-overs by a Great Blue Heron.

I also heard a song that sounded sweet, like some warbler songs - 3 long notes, then 3 short.  I tried finding it in my bird app after I got home, but no luck.  I wish I had been able to locate the singer!
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A very photogenic Grasshopper Sparrow
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Grasshopper Sparrow
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Grasshopper Sparrow
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Grasshopper Sparrow
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Savannah Sparrow
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Savannah Sparrow
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Savannah Sparrow
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Savannah Sparrow
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Eastern Kingbird
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The ubiquitous Yellow Warbler!
Reply from: Lynn on 6/17/2013 7:29 PM
 Nice job on the photos. And how nice that the Grasshopper Sparrow was cooperative! It was a great day to be outdoors.
Reply from: Tim on 6/17/2013 9:10 PM
 Great photos you have been posting Sue! What has your lens of choice been lately?
Reply from: Sue on 6/18/2013 6:38 AM
 Thanks, Lynn! And you are so right; it was a wonderful day to be out! Thank you for the nice feedback. ~ Sue
Reply from: Sue on 6/18/2013 6:39 AM
 Hi Tim, Thx! I’m back to my “workhorse” 200mm IS II, f/2.8 coupled with a 2x extender. I wasn’t happy with the 2 other lenses I purchased earlier this year so I guess I’ll wait until I can afford the one I really want! A girl can dream! ~ Sue