On Dec 8, I found one of my nemesis birds for Seminole County: a Clay-colored Sparrow (White-throated Sparrow, Western Kingbird, and Yellow-breasted Chat are next on my list). I’ve been trying to find one here for years. It’s been hanging out here for about a week now, so I’m hopeful that it might winter here (along with a Field Sparrow, also somewhat unusual in Central Florida).
My favorite sparrow spot is really just a fence line with lots of dense vegetation around it bordering a cow pasture. It’s not a park; it’s really just a little spot along the side of the road. I sometimes worry about the local residents being irritated by my presence.
However, the “locals” don’t seem to mind me at all, and sometimes they stop and chat for a minute as they drive by. On the day I found the sparrow, I was hoping to photograph an Ash-throated Flycatcher that my friend had found just a couple days earlier.
I was striking out on that bird when this little sparrow popped up and posed for me. I’ll take that trade any day of the week.
I’ve never really thought of this species (really, this genus) as being terribly attractive. The Spizella genus has nothing on Ammodramus. But this particular bird to mee seems quite smart-looking. I may need to reconsider my view of things here.
As you can see in the photos where the sparrow is on the ground, taken today, someone put out seed for it. I guess another birder wants it to stick around for the winter.
But unfortunately, I can’t claim with that photo that the bird wasn’t baited. However, the first two photos are from the day I found the bird, and it was not baited or called in.