Date: 3/10/17 11:21 am From: David Seibel <dseibelphoto...> Subject: Golden-crowned Sparrow continues in Ellsworth County, 9 March
I was very late to the party, but yesterday I finally made the pilgrimage to Ellsworth County with Galen Pittman, who had kindly been sending me text messages for the past month and a half every time someone else saw the Golden-crowned Sparrow first discovered by Kevin Groeneweg on 7 January. These messages were gentle reminders that the bird, which would be a new addition (#411) to my Kansas life list, had been ridiculously cooperative week after week for dozens of birders, staying almost exclusively in a single brush pile just a few feet from the road and routinely popping into view within minutes or seconds.
We arrived shortly after noon and promptly found most of the species that had been previously reported in the brush pile... except for the Golden-crowned. An hour later, we had seen those same species quite a number of times, but still no sign of our target bird. Finally, just as we were contemplating formulating a Plan B, the bird apparently awoke from its midday nap and started to forage at the south edge of the brush pile, mostly scratching like a thrasher on the straw-covered ground but occasionally sallying upward as if after an insect. I got a few photos to add to the burgeoning documentation of this very attractive 1st winter bird, which I've posted on BirdsInFocus (short link: goo.gl/bAm03T) and with my eBird checklist (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35071091). In my archives I also have some nice shots of the bird foraging among fresh cow pies... and in my archives is probably where they will stay.
It was a great day to be out. We also found a Mountain Bluebird, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Cedar Waxwings, and an Eastern Screech-Owl at Wilson Lake in Russell County and a Rough-legged Hawk nearby in Lincoln County. Our complete lists are on eBird.