Date: 9/27/19 8:59 am
From: Ron Burkert <raburkert...>
Subject: Lincoln's Sparrow - Moraine State Park, Lakeview Beach, Butler County
Late post.

After the Karyn Delaney-led 3RBC Outing on the North Country Trail at Moraine SP McDanel's Boat Launch on Tuesday, I stayed and visited Lakeview Beach for 84 minutes, hoping to see any of the infrequents reported there. Found some black-throated green warblers, and probably other warblers but I need to look at photos, in the trees along the shore. Then heard a song behind me that I didn't recognize. I found the bird singing in the weeds and blackberries growing on the bank at the edge of the lowest parking lot, looking a lot like a song sparrow but with grayer face and smaller streaks on breast with buffy band across the breast. Combined with the long, almost continuous singing with short breaks between each song, I determined it was a Lincoln's. A second bird was observed close by. Audio and photos added to my eBird checklist:

They were there for over an hour and I got excellent photos just before I left after a playback of the Merlin ID song caused the bird to appear out of the thick blackberries. Did not appear to be migrating as they stayed in one spot.

After seeing and recording the LISP I was working my way toward the beach along the lower edge of the parking lot, I heard a crow squawk and looked up to see an American kestrel chasing a crow out of a tree. The kestrel broke off the pursuit quickly and flew by at 30 yards and landed in a tree in the parking area. From the dorsal view I got as it streaked past and numerous photos in the tree this was an immature. It finally flew back past me and zipped over the shoreline trees and made a couple turns and then flew along the beach and dove on some ring-billed gulls standing at water's edge. It disappeared but less than a minute later it dove again with more screaming protests from the gulls. It finally flew out of sight.

A very interesting day starting with the North Country and Butterfly Trail walks and then topped off with close encounters with a couple infrequent birds of my own!

Ron Burkert

Oakmont PA

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