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 seeds.
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 eBird.org). 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!