Friday, March 30, 2012

Savannah Sparrows singing in the meadow...and the warbler countdown begins!

Last Saturday I met Paul and Joe at Armleder Park in Cincinnati to photograph Midland Smooth Softshell turtles at the Little Miami River (about 30 miles south of where I usually walk the Little Miami), but in the huge meadow between the parking lot and the river, two species of returning migrants had already taken up residence...Savannah Sparrows and Vesper Sparrows! This pair of Savannah Sparrows looked very sparrow-ish in the tall grasses and took turns diving down to the ground and flitting here and there among the dead stalks left over from winter...

Two Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis) perch in the large meadow at Armleder Park in Cincinnati. Vesper Sparrows were nearby, and Tree Swallows dipped and dived through the grasses before returning to the nest boxes set out along the trail.

A bubble of music floats
The slope of the hillside over;
A little wandering sparrow's notes;
And the bloom of yarrow and clover.
--Lucy Larcom
(as referenced in "Music of the Birds," by Lang Elliott)

I laughed when photographing these two. They were like little kids. "Could you both look at the camera at the same time, please?"


It's so fun to watch the summer birds arriving little by little. Soon the warblers start! This May I'm heading up to Magee Marsh and the Black Swamp Bird Observatory for the Biggest Week in American Birding! Finally...I'm going to see the spring warbler migration on Lake Erie. I'll be blogging there too (more posts about that soon). The warbler countdown begins!!

If you're headed to Lake Erie for spring migration let me know!


Banjo52 said...

Wow, they're perched in a perfect formation--and great color blur in the background.

Warblers?! Does that mean they'll be early to Magee Marsh this year too? Makes sense in this unusual spring.

Frank said...

Trust the 'kids' not to do as they are told! The first of our early returning migrant Warblers has arrived but now we wait in anticipation for the main event.

We have had the driest Winter for years and still no rain this Spring so I'm not sure how everything is going to cope.

Have a great weekend Kelly.

TexWisGirl said...

really cute little ones.

Gillian Olson said...

These are great pictures, you have a good eye.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Great pictures of the Savannah Sparrows, Kelly... Enjoy your time with all of the other birders...

Have a great weekend.

Elaine said...

Sweet little sparrows! You're going to have a great time at Lake Erie!

eileeninmd said...

Beautiful shots of the sparrows! I went to Magee Marsh last year it is the best place to see the warblers. You will love it!

Kelly said...

...thanks, everyone! I love these little sparrows. i usually see them at nearby VOA park. I'm going to have to head down to Armleder Park a little more often. I would love to sit out in the field and just be still to watch them. It will be great to see the babies after nesting!!

Montanagirl said...

They are such a cute little birdie. Nice photos, Kelly!

Lois said...

The Savannah sparrows are lovely. Very nice,