Birder's Eye View

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Birding the marsh

Song Sparrow
Equipped with a borrowed mountain bike, today I rode up the local bike trail all the way to its northern-most point, where it ends at a preserve area on the bay. The habitat is mostly marshy grasslands, but this made an ideal environment for practicing my very rusty sparrow IDing skills.

Barn Swallow

There were also mass quantities of Barn Swallows in the area, nesting underneath the few footbridges that crisscrossed the water. They would all explode out from the grass when anyone approached, and swoop around you chattering irritably until you left.

Savannah (Belding?) Sparrows

For all the sparrows that were hiding in the grass, it appeared that they were mostly Song Sparrows (with the exception of the questionable pair above), although I could be mistaken. Like I said, my sparrow identification skills are severely lacking in some areas.

Red-tailed Hawks
There were also these two raptors waaaaaaay far away on a power line.

Aside from the numerous swallows and sparrows, I also got a glimpse of a Common Yellowthroat! Beautiful bright yellow male, but barely got a glimpse and picture before he disappeared in the grass.

Heeey, another sparrow!

Above is a pretty good representation of what most of the area looked like -- lots of dense grasses, some dry brush, and a muddy stream. The birds loved it, as did the ground squirrels in some of the drier areas.

It was a fantastic park, and I will certainly be returning very soon to explore some other spots I didn't get to this morning.

Until next time,

Happy birding!

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