Sunrise Bird Walk – October 8th

12 10 2011

Lincoln's Sparrow - Luke Tiller

Saturday I hit my old stomping grounds at Allen’s Meadows with a group of keen birders as part of my series of fall walks for Sunrise Birding. Upon arriving things initially actually appeared a little slow, and I wondered if I was going to be somewhat disappointed by my old friend. However perhaps the slightly quiet greeting was also due to a rather large Coopers Hawk that was making its presence felt by throwing its weight around in the community gardens area.

Things slowly heated up a bit though, with a couple of American or Buff-bellied Pipits (depending on which side of the Atlantic you reside) putting on a rather amusing show as they hopped up on and walked along a nearby set of soccer goalposts. Allen’s really is a haven for open country birds like the pipit and every time I visit I give thanks that the town finally saw reason and decided that plonking a dog park on a couple of the few remaining acres of natural habitat wasn’t the smartest use of the space.

Sparrows are probably the main draw at Allen’s Meadows in fall and the walk saw a typically strong showing, with at least nine species of this family seen.  As well as all the expected species we also stumbled upon a Vesper Sparrow or two, which is one of the rarer regularly occurring species in the state. Allen’s seems to be as good a place as any to find Vesper Sparrows in the state and I always feel a little disappointed if I don’t come across one on a trip there in October.

Vesper Sparrow - Luke Tiller

As well as the expected and hoped for birds, as is so often the way Allen’s threw up an interesting bird on the day in the shape of a rather late Hooded Warbler that was picked out for the group by local birder Joe Bear.  It was a real surprise to stumble upon this stunning male warbler but a shame that it only put in the briefest (but definitive) appearance for everyone.

I have to say I rarely come away from Allen’s feeling disappointed and today was not to be an exception. As well as the relatively uncommon species we also had a nice mix of common birds including a rather beautiful male American Kestrel which put on quite the show as it teed up in a nearby pine. No overwhelming rarity on the day but you can’t have everything. Looking forward to heading back there at the end of the month with another Sunrise Walk and seeing if we might find something special then.

Swamp Sparrow - Luke Tiller

Trip List – 54 species as follows:

Great Blue Heron

Canada Goose

Turkey Vulture

Coopers Hawk

Broad-Winged Hawk

Red-Shouldered Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

American Kestrel

Herring Gull

Great black-backed Gull

Mourning Dove

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Eastern Phoebe

Blue-headed Vireo

Blue Jay

American Crow

Tufted Titmouse

Black-capped Chickadee

White-breasted Nuthatch

House Wren

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Eastern Bluebird

American Robin

Gray Catbird

Northern Mockingbird

Brown Thrasher

European Starling

American Pipit

Cedar Waxwing

Nashville Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Palm Warbler

Hooded Warbler

Common Yellowthroat

Eastern Towhee

Chipping Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Lincoln’s Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Vesper Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Northern Cardinal

Indigo Bunting

Common Grackle

House Finch

American Goldfinch

House Sparrow




2 responses

12 10 2011

Thanks for this nice recap, Luke. Love your site.
— Patrice

12 10 2011

Hi Patrice,

Thanks for joining us. It was nice to catch up with you again. Glad you like the site.


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