Date: 10/22/18 5:11 pm
From: Jim G (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Vesper Sparrow, Purp. Finch, Nelson's Sp. - Pea Island, Dare, NC
Good (Great) Evening,

After 5 years of serious birding, it's getting harder and harder for me to
find "Life Birds" in Dare County, NC. Yet, great friends, persistence, a
good eye and "dumb luck," have been paying off. This morning, with the
help of Mike Gosselin and Audrey Whitlock, I was able to locate a Vesper
Sparrow near, and on, the rock jetty at Pea Island National Wildlife
Refuge. It was exciting to quickly identify the sparrow by the white
eye-ring, get photos, watch it feed through a scope and share in the
excitement with Mike. High fives and smiles were abundant.

Then, a marshy area where "reeds" (mixed marsh vegetation) grew right next
to the jetty produced 3 Nelson's Sparrows, 1 Saltmarsh Sparrow and 1
Seaside Sparrow. In fact, they were all in very close proximity feeding on

Afterwards, Purple Finches caught my eye. Certainly not common on the
beach. I was able to find and follow 5 Purple Finches as they flew from
dune crest to dune crest in search of bugs and seeds. In fact, I was able
to get photos of them eating Sea Oats.

Finally, I got to see my one of very few Tennessee Warblers that vacations
to the beach each Fall (marked rare on It was in some
Goldenrod associating with a Cape May Warbler and a Palm Warbler.

What a fantastic crisp Fall morning birding underneath sunny skies!

Jim Gould
Southern Shores, NC

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