Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sweet Swamp Sparrow at Spring Valley Nature Area...

Before we went to the Little Miami trail to look for the eagle's nest (click here for that post), Rick and I spent some time on the boardwalk at Spring Valley hoping to catch a glimpse of the Virginia Rails. We heard two rails calling close to the observation deck, but they stayed hidden in the cattails. That was okay, though, because while we waited patiently for the rails to peek out, a very pretty Swamp Sparrow caught our eye as he waded in and out of the shallow water around the observation deck...  

A Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)
A male Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana) wading into the water looking for something to eat. 

A Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)
True to their names, Swamp Sparrows really like water. This fellow acted more like a shorebird wading through the water than a sparrow.  

A Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)
A Swamp Sparrow from behind is pretty. I like his droopy wings and rusty colors.

A Swamp Sparrow sitting on dead cattail stalks at Spring Valley Nature Area.
A Swamp Sparrow perches on dead cattail stalks. He was singing his lovely song from this perch. He's probably migrating through, though, not setting up a territory. Swamp Sparrows breed in Ohio, but much further north. 
It was really nice to just sit on the observation deck in the warm sun and listen to the Red-winged Blackbirds singing all through the marsh. Beautiful Blue-winged Teal flew over regularly, and an Osprey took to the wing flying by low. Painted Turtles were everywhere basking on logs, and we could hear frogs and toads from the marsh edges...

Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) basking in the sun at Spring Valley Nature Area.
Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) on a submerged log soak up a bit of sun.
...it was hard to leave the boardwalk. I loved lazing the time away in the warm sun just watching and listening to the birds. If that log were bigger I would have crawled out there and joined the turtles!

13 comments:

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Hi!!!.. Nice pictures., A regard from Madrid

Roy said...

I need to spend some time here in the Dykeman Springs Wetlands park to check out the Painted Turtle situation. Their usual sunning spot was the annual Muskrat lodge built in the middle of one of the swamps there, but a Mink got one of the Muskrats this Winter, so this year there's no lodge. So now that the weather has broken and finally gotten warmer, I'll to find the new sunning spot.

Montanagirl said...

Hi Kelly. Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your comments. I always enjoy your blog so very much. That Swamp Sparrow is so pretty, and a bird I've never seen before. Those turtles are huge! I could feel the warm sun and hear all those sounds you were describing! All we have here is snow, snow, snow!

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Sounds lovely! I can see why you were in no hurry to leave. I saw and heard a red-winged blackbird near my home on Monday. Love to hear their songs.

Bob Bushell said...

I love the three Turtles, just walking and talking together.

TexWisGirl said...

sweet sparrow with pretty russet markings! lovely! i always like your clean northern turtles. ours are always gunked with algae. :)

Roy Norris said...

Although generally brown, the colours on this sparrow are quite striking Kelly.

Gillian Olson said...

The little sparrows have beautiful colouring and the painted turtle line up made me smile.

Elaine said...

What a lovely little sparrow. I'd love to be lazing away the time in the warm sun, but alas, although we're getting lots of sunshine now it's just not quite warm enough to bask in....

Marco Alpha said...

Hey Kelly,
Very good shots of these birds. Very special to see that one.
The turtles are very funny.

Many greetings,
Marco

E said...

Beautiful trio and birs, great catch, Kelita.
Congratulations, very well done. Abrazos

Kelly said...

...thanks, everyone! I hope to see this fellow again. I read that they commonly stay around until mid June at the Spring Valley Nature Area, so I'll watch for him. I hope to see the rails one of these days too! Spring Valley is about 35 minutes from my house, which isn't too bad, but I wish it were a bit closer. :-)

BUFO said...

Beautiful post!