Sunday, 4 March 2012

Chasing Sparrows is Anything But a Lark

Well, less than 48 hours after looking for new sparrows in Fort De  Soto and Possum Branch, I had my own version of Groundhog Day, with a twist.  Though I was repeating everything I did from Friday afternoon, including an early morning, unsuccessful run for the White-winged Dove, this time I actually did find one of the Sparrows.  FLARBA had reported a Lark Sparrow near the Old Fort and it was just a matter of finding the correct bush.  I walked the general vicinity of where the sparrow was supposed to be seen, and before even seeing it, I heard it loud and clear.  I had it's call in my iPhone, so I knew what to listen for.  Even still, after hearing it and once again listening to it's recorded call, it took several orbits of the bush to actually spot it.  And when I did, it was clear as day and I had no trouble at all getting a great photo.  Bird number 3 for March, in 4 days - while working a full time job - and number 213 for the year.

So I felt good.

Of course, good only lasts so long, and once against was Ground Hog Day all over again, as I went to Possum Branch before heading home.  Once again I tried for the Clay-colored and Swamp Sparrows and neither showed themselves.  I shall try a morning run at them, instead of at sunset next time.  This time I saw both the Cotton Tail and Marsh rabbits.  The Savannah,  Lincoln's and Song Sparrows all came out to say a cheery hello, as well as the now ubiquitous Green-tailed Towhee.  And there were Greater Scaups and Herons and Egrets at the party too.  Not to mention folks fishing in the little river close by.

I also stopped by Moccasin Nature Park and took a walk around the trail, where, amazingly there was a  group of Common Peafowl.  A Peahen and 3 Peacocks.  As I later found out, they are part of a group of about 50 locally breeding Peafowl that live on and around a nearby farm.  I would love to count them as number 214 for the year, as they are living and breeding out of captivity, and are alive and unrestrained.  I shall need some help and advice on including them on my Big Year List.

No birds to chase tomorrow.  Perhaps a trip to Honeymoon Island, after work.

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