Saturday, December 26, 2015

Rockwood, MI CBC "Gold" - 26 Dec 2015

I'm a lousy human being. There. Said it. I had invited a couple of people over to look for the Golden-crowned Sparrow today as part of the Rockwood, MI Christmas Bird Count. But, after not seeing it since 18 Dec I sent e-mails suggesting that today would be an exercise in futility. Construction of the new house next door had been going on all week, and the feeder birds had been scarce to non-existent. Christmas day saw little-to-no feeder activity, so why waste their time? They agreed, and decided not to make the trip. Of course, it showed up...

I started a feeder survey at 7:40 am with 16 Mourning Doves barely visible in the still dark thirty hours. Juncos soon started filtering in, and by 8 am I had a high count of 12 Dark-eyed Juncos. Northern Cardinals showed up, followed by Black-capped Chickadees and Tufted Titmouse. When I spotted a White-throated Sparrow under the Bluebird Box I was hopeful that I might see the Golden-crowned Sparrow. But, try as I might, I could not find it in the brush (the GCSP had been seen each time in the company of a WTSP).

At 8:45 Robin asked me to help her to a stretching routine, so I sat in the window and read instructions from the iPad. Every few minutes I would look over my shoulder at the feeders to see what was going on. At 8:58 am I spotted a single sparrow below the sunflower feeder. Score!
Leaving her in mid-stretch, I grabbed the camera and photograhed the Golden-crowned Sparrow for almost a minute.

I then digiscoped a video of the bird as it scratched at the sunflower shells.

A couple of digiscoped stills later, the sparrow flew off. The rest of the birds flew off, and nothing would return to the feeders until late this afternoon.

The Golden-crowned Sparrow may represent a new CBC first-record for Michigan? I notified Tom Carpenter (compiler) and let him know of my finding. Now, I just have to wait to see if the Snowy Owl seen earlier this week was relocated by Jim Fowler and Co...


Cathy Carroll said...

Jerry, congratulations on adding such a great bird to the Rockwood CBC!

Mark Wloch said...

The gift that keeps on giving.

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