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We enjoyed observing Ospreys and Bald Eagles nesting and feeding along the river but the highlight was probably the sparrows. There were four species observed by the group and we had great practice identifying them by sight and sound. I've included a photo of each along with an embedded sound file from the Xeno-Canto public archive.
|The Clay-coloured Sparrow is often tricky to see and is easily identified by its call - a series of insect-like buzzes. The unstreaked breast, grey nape, and buffy feathers behind and below the eye are good field marks visible in this photo.|
|There were lots of Savannah Sparrows, which are more visible than the other species often singing from the tops of fence posts or grass stalks. Their song, a mixture of chirps and buzzing sounds tells us to "take, take it EAAAZZZY"!|
|The Vesper Sparrow was our last sparrow of the morning. I heard one singing far off in the distance and eventually another member of the group picked out a bird several hundred metres away on top of a rock. After setting up the scope we were able to confirm Vesper Sparrow with a similarly fuzzy image to the one above (which was actually taken near Strathmore on last year's May species count). The song of the Vesper Sparrow often starts with one or two pairs of clear even-toned notes followed by a fast musical trill.Larkwire rather charmingly translates this as "oh, oh, my, my, it's-such-a-beautiful-day"|