Date: 4/4/18 4:03 pm From: Derek C. Richardson <dcr...> Subject: [MDBirding] Re: help: unusual sparrow -- Laurel Lake
Here's the information I pulled out of my audio notes from the morning on the mystery sparrow I saw at Laurel Lake:
- sparrow - white median crown stripe between thicker dark bands - pale bill, seemed large, making pointed face - distinctive yellow lores - strong white eyering, making wide-eyed expression - gray eyebrow - darker line behind the eye, widens near(?) auriculars - pale/buff face, throat, and breast (not white) - fine streaking on throat, coarser lower down flanking belly - 2 buff wingbars - cryptic pattern of brown, gray, & rufous edged with white on upperparts - distinct white edging on primaries(?) folded on back - medium-length tail - pink legs & feet - at edge of lake in coarse vegetation (small purple flowers) - seen at medium to close distance through fence with good light; windy - no vocalization
Now that I have my Sibley's, and with these notes and my recollection, I favor Grasshopper Sparrow, but I'd sure like a second opinion lol. I do recall thinking I saw a flash of yellow near where the sides meet the wing, but didn't note it in the recording for some reason. The fieldmarks that are a little problematic I think are the wingbars (but a few photos I found show paler edging to the coverts) and the streaking on the throat (most pictures I found show unstreaked throat), but the streaking wasn't super distinctive; far more prominent was the buffy coloration of the face and throat. I have only seen (confirmed) Grasshopper Sparrows a few times as a birder, ironically at larger distance, and they were singing.
Here's my full list for the short walk. Rod Burley added 4 Chipping Sparrows when he searched for our mystery bird a little later (without success).
Laurel Lake/Granville Gude Park, Prince George's, Maryland, US Apr 4, 2018 10:18 AM - 10:50 AM Protocol: Traveling 1.013 mile(s) Comments: A chance walk around the lake produced a surprising sparrow that I think was Grasshopper. 26 species (+1 other taxa)
Canada Goose 35 Mallard 7 Pied-billed Grebe 1 Double-crested Cormorant 2 Black Vulture 1 Turkey Vulture 1 Osprey 2 Ring-billed Gull 1 American Crow 5 Fish Crow 15 crow sp. 3 Barn Swallow 2 Carolina Wren 3 American Robin 8 Northern Mockingbird 5 European Starling 30 Cedar Waxwing 12 Grasshopper Sparrow 1 (see notes above) White-throated Sparrow 3 Song Sparrow 4 Northern Cardinal 3 Red-winged Blackbird 1 Brown-headed Cowbird 3 Common Grackle 12 House Finch 1 American Goldfinch 1 House Sparrow 20
On Wed, 4 Apr 2018, Derek C. Richardson wrote: > > All, > > On the east side of Laurel Lake (PG County), i.e., closest to Rte 1, toward > Olive Garden, in the coarse vegetation on the side of the lake (on the lake > side of the wire fence, and near one of the cement drain(?) structures), I > had a sparrow that reminded me most of LeConte's or Grasshopper -- from > memory: yellow lores, white eye ring (making the bird look wide-eyed), buff > underparts with light streaking (heaviest on the sides of the belly), white > crown stripe, gray eyebrow, dark patch at end of thin eyeline, cryptic back > pattern of brown and black edged with white, but also hints of rufous, maybe > more yellow on the side, medium-length tail, pale bill, pale/pink legs. No > camera, no field guide, and no time lol (had to leave). I have audio notes > that I'll go through later, but likely not until this evening. > > If anyone is in the area and can have a look, that would be great! > > This was around 10:45 am. > > D
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