Date: 9/3/18 5:31 pm From: m b via VA-bird <va-bird...> Subject: [VA-bird] Lark Sparrow possibly still at leesylvania
I know it was not seen this morning, and by very expert birders, unlike myself. But I went at about a quarter to 5 this evening anyway. I saw a solitary bird twice, that had a clear chest, was definitely some kind of sparrow, and was feeding on the ground in both the garden beds around the visitor center.
Unfortunately, because it was a holiday, there were many people walking past, and it seemed to be agitated. Once disturbed, it did not stay in one spot for more than a few seconds. Therefore it was very difficult to see. I only saw it twice, and only for a few seconds each time.
Both times when I saw it, it was in the process of leaving feeding on the ground to fly to a high point in a tree. Once it flew from the front garden bed in front of the visitor center to the antenna on the roof and then immediately to the maple tree just there. The other time it was feeding on the ground in the garden bed on the side of the visitor center, and it flew up into an oak tree right there. Both times the sun was such that its face was silhouetted and all I could see was that it for sure had a clear upper chest. I could not even see if it had the spot on the lower chest/belly. It never came back again while I was there, but its behavior, combined with the unmarked white chest, suggests to me that it may have been the Lark Sparrow. But of course, it may not.
So I thought I would let people know, just in case anyone was discouraged from this morning's reports and thought it was for sure gone. I think it may still be there, though I cannot be absolutely positive. The other thing is, I carefully listened to its alarm call in the car before I went over to look for it, and both times that it flew from the ground to its perch it emitted that little chip call. I'm terrible with bird calls but I had just listened to it 3 minutes before, so I think I had it right.
Anyway if anyone wants to go and try, it might not be for naught.
MB from Nova
sent from my phone so please excuse all typos, gibberish, and horrifying misspellings