Ash Creek-Lincoln’s-No RB Nuthatch

Yesterday, I decided to head over to Ash Creek and do a thorough bird of the place, one because I’m not gonna be able to after surgery on tuesday, and two because I was hoping for something rare or unusual. In the back of my head I kept the possibility of the 8 American White Pelicans, sighted in Rhode Island, the day before, to fly down the coast.

I first birded the point trail, because people with dogs were making a lot of noise in the main part of the Open Space. I heard a low call, reminiscent of a sparrow, so I started to pish. I came out and perched in the open for a second-American Tree Sparrow. My first of the winter, although they’ve been present for a good month now. This one bird was very elusive and repeated attempts to come back and photograph it were unfortunately unsuccessful. After the sparrow I scanned the marina and found many roosting gulls. However, I didn’t see anything rare or unusual after 10 minutes of scanning so I moved on. At the point, there were a few gulls across the way on the St. Mary’s sandspit but again, nothing rare or unusual. A female Red-breasted Merganser swam very close, allowing me to capture a few nice shots. I then decided to do a “seawatch,” but nothing seemed to change after awhile so I left. As I was walking back down the point trail a definitely non-elusive sparrow walked right out of the brush and gave me great views and also great opportunities for photos.

Song Sparrow, looking at something, perhaps a hawk

After the sparrow I got close looks at a Downy Woodpecker, but the rest of the Song Sparrows seemed very elusive. I then decided to bird the Open Space.

The resident mockingbird greeted me when I walked in, and a flock of goldfinches greeted me by flying off. I didn’t have as many chickadees as last time, and there was no sign of the RB Nuthatch. I continued. In the closed-in marsh north of the open space, the pair of Hooded Mergansers was joined by a second pair, and an American Wigeon with the Black Ducks. As I entered the shore-edge trail, on the shore of Lower Ash Creek, I flushed a Great Blue Heron, 12 Bufflehead were on the water, with a female Red-breasted Merganser, and two flyby Hooded Mergansers. There were many sparrows hanging around the end of the trail, ad after pishing and looking into the brush (these sparrows-for some reason were so darn elusive). As I looked, I spied a bird with thin, fine flanks and yellowish on its flanks. Also, when it was facing me, it didn’t have a large breast spot like a Song Sparrow-A Lincoln’s Sparrow! Seems a bit late……?

After the Lincoln’s which didn’t stay in view for awhile (sorry no pictures) I went to go try again for the nuthatch. After a long 30 minute search of the woodland parts of Ash Creek, I was unable to turn anything up. I don’t think this bird is necessarily gone, but maybe just wasn’t present where I was today. However, I birded the entire Open Space, so it would have to be somewhere outside. I’ll try again.

I never did see the pelicans. When I got home I saw Nick Bonomo’s post-the pelicans were only at Hammo. That’s ok-I have years left to see these birds in CT.

A nice day to be out!

-AB

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