Winter Sparrows - Help?
- Yakkers and Auduboners,
A little confused about those small birds weaving through your yard and
feeders? Are the ones with the gray breast and an eyebrow female House Sparrows or
are they immature White-crowned Sparrows? Or winter plumage Golden-crowned
Sparrows? Streaked breast...Song Sparrow, female House Finch or Fox Sparrow?
Pine Siskin or Common Redpoll? If only you could see them a little closer...
The Yakima Valley Audubon Society is offering a little help by sponsoring a
"big sit" stationary field trip at the Yakima Area Arboretum's Sparrow Patch
this Saturday, DEC 4. Richard Repp will be there with his trusty spotting scope
from 9:00 am to 11:00 am to help you sift through the wave of sparrows
visiting this close up bird feeding area. Rich has been certified as a Permanent
Beginner by the prestigious BBBB (Bodacious Brotherhood of Befuddled Birders).
But he doesn't let that stop him from enjoying the birds of our valley.
Twenty species have been recorded scratching for seed at ground zero at the
Sparrow Patch and dozens more have been observed flying over or visiting the
adjacent trees and brush.
Everyone is welcome to drop in; spend 15 minutes or two hours. Again, scope
views will be available to help you get that close look a field marks that may
be eluding your eyes and/or binoculars. Your confusion may be wiped away!
As for Rich, well, he is always going to be confused.
Feel free to wander the Arboretum grounds in search of the Bohemian Waxwing
or Common Redpoll. The Greenway paved pathway and Buchanan Lake are close by
awaiting your inspection. After the "big sit", a short walk will visit one or
both of these areas.
The weather forecast for Saturday is for possible showers and a little
breeze. We can tolerate the mild stuff but if we have driving rain and/or steady
winds above 25 mph, the "big sit" will be canceled. Another "big sit" is
scheduled for JAN 2.
The Arboretum is located just east of the Interstate 82 interchange with East
Nob Hill Blvd/Highway 24. Turn north at the stoplight controlling traffic to
Kmart and the Arboretum/Greenway. Within 10 yards (watch for the Arboretum
signage) turn left again. Drive past the Arboretum's main building (the Jewett
Interpretive Center) to the gravel parking lot to the north. To find the
Sparrow Patch, walk through the wide access just left of the "Rose Garden"...the
concrete curbing dips down here and a small rectangular red brick pavement
entry invites you to the grass and two concrete benches. Veer 45 degrees to the
left...then when you reach an open area, look to the eastern boundary of the
grass and you should see a small pathway between the trees and brush. The
Arboretum uses numbered gray posts with white rings to identify areas of interest.
The Sparrow Patch entrance is just left of post # 12.
Hope to see you there!
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