Le Conte’s Sparrow – Milford Point

9 11 2010

Le Conte's Sparrow - AJ Hand

As you probably know I am pretty antipathetic to the whole world of chasing and twitching birds (maybe antipathetic is too strong on reflection but I do like the word so lets leave it in). Apart from my Allen’s Meadows list, I could care a jot for listing in general (nothing wrong with it it just isn’t what excites me about birding). Simply put I’d prefer to spend my free time just looking for birds than sitting in a car driving to look for one someone’s already found.

That said I’ve actually twitched three birds this fall including a Lark Sparrow (thanks to Matt Hoyt) and a Northern Wheatear (thanks to Tina Green, Penny Solum and Mike Warner) at Allen’s Meadows (well I could hardly not chase those could I, they both at my old patch on the same day!!!!).

The third bird was the Le Conte’s Sparrow at Milford Point (as found by Tom Sayers). Although not even remotely related to Allen’s Meadows or even an addition to my county list, I wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity to see a lifer sparrow and a particularly beautiful one at that. Personally sparrows are probably my favorite North American birds. A little challenging, but not like those ridiculous gulls and a secretive beauty that outshines (in my opinion) those gaudy neotropical birds.

Anyway it was a fun day out with fellow Quaker Ridge hawkwatcher Bill Wallace with a couple of nice additions to the days hunt added by Bill and myself including 3 American Golden Plovers and 1 Sora as well as some fairly abundant Nelson’s Sparrows.

I was also pleased to note that the whole thing was pretty stress free. In years passed I might have been fretting about dipping on the bird, but I really just spent the day enjoying the whole hunt and catching up with birders that I haven’t seen in absolutely aeons. Still getting the bird in the gloom at the end of the day certainly didn’t hurt the general enjoyment of the whole experience!

Thanks to AJ Hand for sharing this stunning picture of the bird – simply beautiful., and much better lighting than when I saw it 😉
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