Checklist S40136935

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Owner Frank Mantlik

  • 1
  • 0.25 mi

A visit to search for a LeConte’s Sparrow discovered a short time earlier by Stefan Martin. I spent most time searching for it, plus I briefly scanned the Sound and river mouth, and viewed gull feeding frenzy on north beach with TM. Weather: overcast, cool 54F, with chilly, steady west wind.

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  1. Number observed: 9
  2. Number observed: 25
  3. Number observed: 80

    Comments: Gull (3 species) feeding frenzy along north beach as schools of Striped Bass feast on schools of small 1-2” fish (peanut bunker/menhaden).

  4. Number observed: 30
  5. Number observed: 4
  6. Number observed: 1

    Comments: Perched in dead tree near entrance

  7. Number observed: 6
  8. Number observed: 1
  9. Number observed: 1
  10. Number observed: 2
  11. Number observed: 2
  12. Number observed: 1

    Comments: I had brief views of this rare sparrow on ground, and twice in flight. Stefan Martin earlier had a great point-blank (15 feet away) view/study of it, when it popped up in low weeds right in front of him after he spished. It definitely favored the strip of vegetation on the right along the beginning of the entrance drive, especially the patches consisting of medium and tall height grasses. Others who saw the bird subsequently included Julian Hough (“killer but brief views”), Patrick Comins and Tom Murray (the later saw it in flight, with me). My initial view of the bird was for about 2-3 seconds of it on the grassy ground, with naked eyes, so it was more of a general impression experience. Description: this was a very small, short tailed sparrow, overall generally a buffy color very similar to the autumn tall grasses it was among. It seemed brighter buffy on the chest and face, and I noted a short, thin dark line on the face extending behind the eye and then flaring wider. It definitely had a sparrow-type bill (though small, unlike the fine bill of a wren). Later, when 4 of us saw the bird two times in flight (weak flight it seemed) after it flushed, I noted a very small, short-tailed bird (sparrow) that was quite buffy and seemed to have a prominently streaked back. Also noteworthy was its wary, mouse-like behavior, creeping around on the grassy ground, then twice flushing and fleeing in flight relatively short distances (15-20 yards). No photos obtained. Past experience : I have seen three times in CT (the first one at Canton community garden; I found CT’s second one at Sherwood Is. one Oct.; then one in Spartina marsh grass at Milford Point). I have also seen the species on wintering ground in Arkansas.

  13. Number observed: 6