Date: 3/26/18 11:09 am
From: CHELEMER, MARC J <mc2496...>
Subject: [JERSEYBI] Finderne Wetlands

Having not been to this spot on the southeast side of Somerville since the autumn, I decided that a visit was overdue. A NE breeze was blowing and it was around 30 degrees when I arrived, but the sun was brilliant and the air crisp and refreshing. A warm winter parka meant that the cold temperature wouldn't be an issue.

I walked the complete two mile loop around the wetlands. While in the Fall, the prevalent sparrow is Savannah with a mixture of lots of other migrants, today it was Song Sparrows who dominated. I'm guessing I had eyes on more than 100 Song Sparrows today. In a couple of places, there were good numbers of White-throated Sparrows and a couple of Swamps mixed in. I did eventually find one adult White-crowned Sparrow, with new and blindingly bright white on its head, contrasting nicely with the fawn-gray body. I could not find a Savannah, Field, Tree, or early Chipping.

Overall diversity was low and most species I saw were onesies or twosies: A Ruby-crowned Kinglet was singing to beat the band at the top of a tree, but making no attempt to forage, so I assume he was trying to establish a territory. Three male BH Cowbirds were displaying for each other, with no female in sight; was this the bird equivalent of adolescent bragging ("I can fan my tail feathers wider than you!")? One WB Nuthatch, one RT Hawk, one Downy, two GB Heron flyovers, etc.

The best birds were two Sandhill Cranes, who came up out of a pond on the far east side of the area near Finderne Avenue. Beating their wings slowly, and flying side by side, they gave their chortling trumpet call to each other as they flew by. It was majestic to watch these two gigantic creatures slowly gaining altitude, the avian equivalent of 747s taking off from airports. They headed off to the west. Where they took off from is only about two miles from the cornfield at the Manville Causeway where the larger crane flock has been wintering, but it was still wonderful to see these beautiful birds in a different spot and in flight out in a wide open space.

Thirty-six species for the morning.

Good birding,

Marc Chelemer

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