PS: Friday, there were 2-3 Fox Sparrows along the bridle path/stream between the waterfall & red bridges. New arrivals for sure!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone
----- Reply message -----
From: "David Jordet" <sailbirder@...>
Date: Tue, Mar 19, 2013 7:42 pm
Subject: [SINaturaList] 3/19 Clove Lakes Migrants
CloveLakes Park - Royal Oaks Lawn and woods to picnic area above boathouse
Tuesday 3/19 4:45-5:15pm
Clove Lakes Park was rather quiet in terms of total species, but the birds present were quite active.
There was a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers doing a mating dance with their heads weaving and bobbing back and forth. I don't think I've ever seen that before.
Also five BROWN CREEPERS and two EASTERN PHOEBES.
An extended, blog-type description is below
At this time of year, I am reminded of the challenges of spring birding, hearing sounds that I may know, but finding difficult to identify. WIth some work though, every year seems to get a bit easier.
Today, I came across two bird species that I've found challenging over the years to identify by voice.
Warblers tend to be the holy grail of bird identification in the spring, but today I came across two species that confuse with the best of them.
The first, dark-eyed juncos may be easy to identify visually, but this time of year, and only for a few weeks before they depart north, do we get to hear their mating/territorial song (link below) which sounds like a chipping sparrow or pine warbler. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/dark-eyed_junco/sounds
I heard a single junco singing on the edge of the Royal Oaks lawn.
The other bird is the Brown Creeper. For the last few years, I have wondered what sets this bird's call apart from the Golden-crowned Kinglet. Some birders can tell the difference and fewer can describe the difference.
Tolday, in a grove of red oaks on the hillside near between the boat house and picnic tables, there was a group of at least four or five Brown Creepers working the trees halfway up each trunk.
This group of birds actually proved to be the most elusive birds I have experienced in a long time, taking me 20 minutes to visually locate a single one, even in the leaf-bare trees.
All this time gave me a chance to listen to the creeper call and hear what's different between this and Golden-crowned Kinglets.
I won't try to describe how the calls of each bird sound difference to me, but here are links for each (concentrate on the calls, as we're more likely to year them than the songs.
Brown Creeper (the second "call" or trill is more identifiable, I think). http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/brown_creeper/sounds
Good birding and happy spring!