Saturday, January 2, 2016

Zonotrichia Updates - 28-31 Dec 2015

I was at Mom's all day Monday (12/28) putting up a new ceiling, so I could not watch the feeders. But, bless her heart, Robin kept a casual eye on the feeders during the day to see if the Golden-crowned or Harris' Sparrow would return. At 12:20 pm she spotted the Harris' Sparrow below the feeder and took a few record shots w/ my camera.

A strong ice storm is hitting SE Michigan today, and the feeders were hopping right up until about 1 pm when the worst of the storm hit. We had a 1/4" of ice on everything, and it poured until well after midnight. Roads were iced while raining, so it was miserable. Would this be the last we see of either / both sparrows?

On Tuesday, Dec 29th, Adam Byrne, Phil Chu and Scott Terry arrived at the house a bit after 8 am and watched feeders with me. At ~ 9:10 am Phil spotted the Golden-crowned Sparrow below the neighbor's feeder two houses down from us. The Harris' Sparrow did not make an appearance. Yesterday's storm had melted, but everything was soaked and partially flooded. An adult Cooper's Hawk made several passes through the yard today, and even stayed long enough for an obscured photograph through the window!

Brownton Abbey, 26340 Higgins Way, Wayne, Michigan, US
Dec 29, 2015 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Protocol: Stationary
Comments:     Phil Chu, Adam Byrne and Scott Terry saw the Golden-crowned Sparrow at ~9:30 pm. Three others arrived shortly after and did not see the Harris' Sparrow, which was first reported on 12-27-2015. A Cooper's Hawk, high wind, and yesterday's ice storm may have contributed to the lack of a sighting of the Harris' Sparrow today.
18 species

Canada Goose  17     fly over
Cooper's Hawk  1     Made several passes through yard this morning. Adult.
Bald Eagle  2     pair of adult birds soaring over house late this morning!
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Ring-billed Gull  4
Mourning Dove  17
Downy Woodpecker  1
Blue Jay  1
Black-capped Chickadee  4
Tufted Titmouse  2
European Starling  3
American Tree Sparrow  1
Golden-crowned Sparrow  1     Observed below feeder 2 doors down from yard by Phil Chu. Confirmed by me, Adam Byrne and Scott Terry. Foraging for ~1-2 minutes before disappearing. Scoped from ~200'. Got good enough views to be able to discuss possible black streak through eye, but reviewed recent photos to discount. Photos taken by Scott and Adam.
White-throated Sparrow  1
Northern Cardinal  6
House Finch  17     high count for yard to date
American Goldfinch  1
House Sparrow  4

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S26517468

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

On Wednesday, December 30th, I spent the morning at Pt. Mouillee getting cold looks at nothing special. I did see Andy Dettling, who was the best bird of the day. Snowy Owl not relocated. Duck numbers down, except for 4000-6000 American Coot in Humphries Unit. 8 Horned Grebes were seen in Cell 4, but no Eared Grebe.  I did not see either Zonotrichia sparrow in the afternoon. However,
the Hack Brothers (Matt and Ben) saw the Harris' Sparrow in the morning! I was happy to finally get a decent pic of a Tufted Titmouse at the feeder (this guy froze in the bushes after the Cooper's Hawk flew by).

Both Golden-crowned and Harris' Sparrows made appearances on Thursday, December 31st! At 8:44 am the Golden-crowned appeared below the feeder. Jeff Stacey was here and got pics. Scott Jennex arrived a few minutes later. At 9:06 am the Harris' Sparrow appeared! Both Scott and Jeff were able to get pics.

I was able to get a few pics of each, as well as videos! Great way to end 2015!


Brownton Abbey, 26340 Higgins Way, Wayne, Michigan, US
Dec 31, 2015 8:15 AM - 11:15 AM
Protocol: Stationary
Comments:     Jeff Stacey saw both Golden-crowned and Harris' Sparrows, while Scott Jennex saw the Harris'. Feeder count. Maximum number of birds per species reported during time period.
16 species

Canada Goose  3
Cooper's Hawk  1     adult bird in tree at back of property.
Ring-billed Gull  3
Mourning Dove  10
Downy Woodpecker  1
Blue Jay  1
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Tufted Titmouse  2
Dark-eyed Junco  38
Golden-crowned Sparrow  1     Appeared below feeder at 8:20 am for 1-2 minutes. Yellow forehead, dark supralorals, yellow extending into eyebrows. Dark patch on back of head w/ white central patch. Captured video using D7100/300mm/2.8 VRII/1.7TCII through back window ~20' away. Jeff Stacey got photos from back of house.
Harris's Sparrow  1     Appeared just before 9 am below feeders. Photographed and digiscoped from back of house through back window. Large sparrow w/ white belly/chest, black forehead, throat and chest spotting, tan face/cheeks. Scott Jennex and Jeff Stacey saw and photographed, as well.
White-throated Sparrow  1
Northern Cardinal  10
House Finch  30
American Goldfinch  8
House Sparrow  4

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S26561282

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

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