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Charlie Spencer

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Posts posted by Charlie Spencer

  1. Lexington County, central SC, 25 March 20.  Mixed habitat, although this bird was in a small tree, one of many widely space small trees planted along a wide road shoulder.

    The bird pretty much sat there for a few minutes.  I looked at something else and it was gone when I looked back.

    I see pink legs, a pinkish-grayish bill, streaking on the upper chest but none on the belly, a strong narrow white eye ring and faint eye strip stripe, white malars.  Vesper, maybe, although I've never seen one before and I'm not comfortable with that call.  A young / non-adult bird, although I -assume- any sparrows at this time of year are adults.  Chipping, Song, and White-throated are common at this site.




  2. Lockwood Folly, SE coastal NC, 15 Mar 20, low tide

    These are the same two birds.  Do these photos have a Greater in the foreground and a Lesser in back?   I'm basing that on the back bird having a bill less than 1.5 times the length of the head, while the front bird's bill is at least twice the head length.  Relative size is difficult with this much separation.  I have other photos from this location but not necessarily of these two birds.

    Note the legs on the foreground bird in photo 1 appear longer due to the reflection.




  3. 12 hours ago, Johnd said:

    i was so hoping at least  trails would be open , but they closed them here after bigger then normal crowds were showing up at all the parks.

    So far the NWRs on the coast are still not completely  shut to the public

    You gotta get out of that 'parks and refuges' mindset!

    • https://www.everythingbirds.com/articles/weird-places-to-go-birding/  One of my favorite hot spots is an underdeveloped industrial park that's on my route home.  Fishing docks are good, esp. ones where the commercial fishermen tie up.  Most of my Prothonotary Warbler sightings were at Darlington Raceway on race weekends; there's a swamp that cuts through the middle of the property.  There's a block of soccer fields that are unused during the week, adjacent to where I have the car's oil changed.
    • While the parks and NWRs are / may become closed, are the public beaches still open?  The birds don't know where the park boundaries end.
    • I've only visited Houston twice but I had luck just standing on suburban sidewalk bridges that overlooked bayous.  (Incidentally, when my sister moved from SC, she bought a home that the realtor said 'overlooked the bayou'.  Sis looked over the back fence and said, "So that's a bayou. In South Carolina, we call that a 'drainage ditch'.")
    • Speaking of drainage ditches, consider runoff retention ponds.  The bigger the better, but I've had herons, egrets, blackbirds, sparrows, and sandpipers on ones as small as a quarter-acre.  Look for ones with a good growth of cattails and similar marshy plants.
    • Use eBird's hot spot tool and look for other unusual locations.  Filter for this month only.  You'll have to do a lot of clicking on the markers to separate the closed parks, etc. from the less likely but possibly still open sites, but that will help fill some of the idle time.  A couple of the best hotspots in my area are stretches of public road over looking private property.  You drive along the road and stop every few hundred feet at gaps in the brush, pond or field overlooks, likely clumps of trees, utility line rights-of-way, etc.

    Good luck, both with the birding and with getting through April.

    • Like 1

  4. 9 minutes ago, Trevor L. said:

    Yes! I talked to a couple other birding friends, and many of them recommended the Vortex Diamondback. I ordered them earlier this week.

    Funny world.  The Bushnell 10 x 42s that I was given for an employment anniversary eight years ago stopped focusing this week.  They were my secondary 'kitchen window / deck' pair.  Today I ordered replacement Diamondbacks, based on my experience with Vipers (my primary 'seriously birding' pair).

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