Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Rock Me Ammodramus

Lovely bit of scrubby field habitat
Dan wanders towards America
Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna
Grasshopper Sparrow Ammodramus savannarum
...honestly...try squinting if you don't see it...or no, unfocus and look from afar
...or try mashing your thumbs into your eyes real quick...

Dan's badass sketch of a Grasshopper Sparrow...superlative cross-hatching!
  When he’s not fainting away into the bushes, Dan is an illustrator (http://dansvatek.com/). Last week he did a wicked black-and-white illustration of a Grasshopper Sparrow for a sustainable ranch, so when I told him about a recent sighting of said species down near the border, he was all in.
  The spot ended up being just down the road, literally, from the U.S. border, on a quiet farm road. When a farmer rolled up on us real slow like in his pick-up, I was worried we’d be hearing a shotgun shell being wracked into the chamber and a "Why are you standing in front of my house?" Instead, we were greeted with a jovial “Have you guys heard that bird yet? There’s fuckloads of ‘em in there!” Hopefully that means the locals have only been exposed to well-mannered birders so far.
  After being initially psyched out by a Savannah Sparrow (Psych!), we ended up getting onto our target with frustratingly distant, dim, and rainy views, as the Grasshopper Sparrow dueled with a cantankerous Eastern Meadowlark. It is a Grasshopper Sparrow. I swear. Or is it a bleached out hacky sack? No, it’s the Grasshopper Sparrow. Wait, is it a caterpillar tent? Or an old forgotten marshmallow? No. No, that’s the Grasshopper Sparrow, 100%.

  Dang, Ammodramus sparrows (Ammodrami?) are badass, time to find some more.
  Bring on the horrendous record shots!

Hemmingford, June 5, 2018
Great Blue Heron-(2 from the road)
Green Heron-(1 behind Burger Bob in town...solid poutine there)
Canada Goose-3
Turkey Vulture-3
American Kestrel-1

Upland Sandpiper*-2 shorebirds that flushed from the field were later determined to have been this species, after putting together all the clues (size, shape, colour, tail pattern, habitat, time of year, etc...)
Rock Dove-5
Mourning Dove-1
Chimney Swift-5
Ruby-throated Hummingbird-(1 from the road)
Northern Flicker-1 or 2
Alder Flycatcher-1
Least Flycatcher-1
Eastern Kingbird-1
Red-eyed Vireo-1 or more
Blue Jay-1
American Crow-2
Barn Swallow-3
Eastern Bluebird-2
American Robin-4
Gray Catbird-2
Brown Thrasher-1
European Starling-5
Yellow Warbler-2 or more, (+several from the road)
Common Yellowthroat-1
Indigo Bunting-2
Northern Cardinal-1
Chipping Sparrow-2+
Grasshopper Sparrow-1
Savannah Sparrow-1
Song Sparrow-2
White-throated Sparrow-(1 heard from the road)
Eastern Meadowlark-1
Red-winged Blackbird-3
Common Grackle-6+
Brown-headed Cowbird-2
House Sparrow-1
American Goldfinch-10+

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